As school letter grades are issued, parents scour excitedly for letter “A” or “E” designations and with consternation for letter “F” designations.

In honor of its founder, the letter grading scheme at American automaker Ford has traditionally been the converse. “E” passenger crossover grade is reserved for < than F-series work truck or “F” model passenger cars. Not wholly without illogic, there is”M” for “Mustang” and “T” for Taurus.

As passenger cars ride into the sunset at the Blue Oval, it is time to see whether family “E” family crossover SUV grade has the “EDGE over  family car “F” grade.

 

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WHAT:  2019 Ford Edge Titanium AWD , generation 2.5 on the EUCD  platform.

Standard Power: 1998 cc, turbocharged, direct injection 2 x Ti-VCT DOHC 16V I-4 cylinder gasoline engine, start-stop idle = 250 hp/ 275 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm + 8-speed planetary automatic transaxle.

Optional Drivetrain: PTU to viscous multi-clutch differential all-wheel drive.

WHAT (A) STYLING DIFFERENCE:  Mid-cycle visual refresh to what was already among the more squat, attempting to convey sport, mid-size family crossover sport activity vehicles.

Long A-pillars meld into dual side twin hood creases, forming complete, bowl; Glass between A-pillar and sail panel; Door mounted oversized wing mirrors; Grille went from taller bi to thin, wide quad horizontal bar with chain links; Headlamps go elongated pentagonal trimmed with boomerang white LED DRLs; Straked front lower corner faux inlet foglamp housings; Wrap around contrast dark grey lower valances and side cladding bezeled by upper chrome band; Lower air inlet goes from honeycomb to bi- horizontal bar; 

Dark gray body cladding throughout, except at wheel arches; Prominent upper and lower door creases; Lower cheat line chrome band; Sharp rising belt-line; Hofmeister kink; Prominent body matching roof spoiler;

Kammback mid arch liftgate; Dual layered rear bumper cover overlapped by pseudo vertical corner duct; Wrap -around from tailgate trapezoid tail lamps; White directional hockey stick insert now bisected by chrome band rather than red LED band ; Lower rear fascia reflectors w/ integrate reverse lamps; Prominent rear skid plate,  now with simulated diffuser creases

WHY: Ford “says” they are done with volume family cars.

WHEN: On-Sale (in the U.S.) since Autumn 2018

WHERE: Ford new vehicle dealers

WHERE MADE: Oakville, Ontario, Canada

WHERE TO: Front-wheel biased all-wheel drive, electronically transmits up to 100% of torque rear-wards; side-to-side ABS torque vectoring; 8.1″-inches ground clearance; Inclement weather survivor; -1 No AWD lock; -1 No terrain modes.

HOW ROADWORTHY:

There will be no sublime six smoothness out of the fretting turbo four, but the powerplant is flexible enough get a buttery, occasionally indecisive 8-speed automatic (co-developed with GM, but missing one gear ring) to snap to with a wave of spin. Flipping the smallish steering wheel dorsal shift paddles imparts more of a suggestive than command sensation in the drivetrain.

An assemblage of taut damping with casually soft chassis movement leads to something less than a serenely plush cruiser which pauses and ponders at abrupt inputs. Steering with heft is condemned to little road feedback.  Disc binders at four corners stops with a soft pedal.

+/-  Twist dial console transaxle position selector

HOW FAR: 23 combined miles per gallon fuel economy.  515 miles highway range.

HOW BIG/ LITTLE: Considerable usable space per small footprint

√ Ford Edge wheelbase = 0.5″ < Chevrolet Blazer , 3.3″ > Hyundai Santa Fe

+1: 40.6″-inches Row 2 legroom = 1.0″ > Blazer, 0.3″ < Santa Fe

HOW USEFUL: Tall load aperture; remote cable release 60/40% split fold 2nd Row seatbacks; Low load floor adjusts to 2nd Row seat incline fold;  Floating center console storage + deep armrest bin; +1 Hands-free power liftgate; -1 Thick A, D pillars hinder forward, rear visibility; 1 Sparse front & rear door pocket storage; -1 Tow Rating: 1500 lbs.

+1 Cargo space (max.) = 14% > Chevrolet Blazer; 3% > Hyundai Santa Fe

HOW SAFE: STANDARD: 8 airbags; Rear camera w/ predictive grid; Audible rear park assist; MyKey restrictive access; Ford Co-Pilot360 Blind Spot, rear cross traffic Warning; Post collision S.O.S. alert; Lane Departure Warning & Steer Prevention; Forward collision, pedestrian detection warning w/ avoidance braking; -1 Dim headlights

Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist Plus: Full adaptive cruise control; Emergency evasive steering, Lane center steering.

Active Park Assist: -1 perpendicular parking struggled.

Titanium trim: Rain sensing windshield wipers, automatic high beam headlamps.

HOW PEOPLE FRIENDLY: Heated, cooled leather front bucket seats, 10-way power, 3-place memory driver’s, 6-way power passenger; 4 power windows = front full express; Heated, tilt & telescoping, cross-stitched leather wrapped steering wheel; 2-zone Automatic climate control;  Easy access left lower dashboard dimmer & rotary light switch; Heated, tilting 2nd Row seats;  +1 Wind & road noise isolation; ; -1 Narrow front footwells, -1 No center console knee padding; –1 Modest front seat lateral, and thigh support;

Cool Gizmo(s): Metallic rotary transmission position selector; √  Floating center stack; Configurable color LCD dual flanking gauge cluster MFD.

Details Done Right: Soft dashtop, door arm & hand area inserts; Mirror chrome bezels & housings; Blue-green night switch illumination; Large, precision machined metallic audio volume & transmission selector rotary dials; Variable color cabin door, foot-well and console ambient illumination.

Nearly Non-Descript: -1 Hard plastic pillars; Scuff prone cargo area dark hard plastics; Add-on, non-distinctive sub-horizontal steering wheel spoke cruise control switches; Driver’s door window switches located too far forward; Low cabin color contrast.

HOW “APP” -LICABLE: Dash-top 8.0″-inch Sync3 3-pane capacitive touch LCD infotainment screen; +1 Large icons; +1 Extensive voice commands; Voice learning hands-free communications; 12-speaker, 800 W Bang & Olufsen Play w/ streaming audio & HD radio; Mobile powered Android Auto/ Apple Car Play application & navigation overlays;  Pandora mirror application.

Subscription based: Sirius XM radio (90 day free trial);  Sirius TravelLink traffic, weather, sports scores, movie listings, fuel prices, ski conditions apps (5 years);  WiFi hotspot;

USB x 2, 12V x 1; 110V 2nd Row outlet +1 Covered lower center console wireless device bin;

+/- Native navigation won’t operate with Android Auto activated.

HOW MUCH: $47,585 = 2019 Ford Edge Titanium AWD

WHAT’S MISSING: 2nd Row USB port

ANY COMPETITION:  Chevrolet Blazer: +1 Low slung profile, handling; Honda Passport: +1: smooth NA V-6, car-like ride; Hyundai Santa Fe: +1 Car-like ride, rear seat legroom, fuel economy.

BOTTOM LINE: Exceptionally well appointed for volume brand, but dynamically handcuffed successor to the mid size family sedan.

(Contributing Editor: Peter Stamatis)