USED: 2015 Ford Edge Review: the Springsteen of SUVs

Ford Edge Titanium

The 2015 Ford Edge: Born in the USA and born to run.

I’m going to give a car the highest accolade I can give: the 2015 Ford Edge Titanium is the Bruce Springsteen of automobiles. Chiseled, tough, dependable and sexy. Sophisticated enough to be cutting edge, yet still stocked with the features you’ve come to love and rely on. Made for the road, and able to go for hours. Priced at a respectable but accessible $45,000 (for the model we drove), it has everything you could ever want or need in a car. And, yes, it has a terrific sound system, too.

Ford Edge Titanium

How gorgeous is this? My sister rides shotgun as I drive the Ford Edge Titanium from Jersey to Orlando. Photo by Mary Lebeau

Now, I’m usually not a car girl. Except for having a huge crush on 1967 Ford convertibles throughout my teens, I’m not usually concerned with the style and features on any given automobile. If it gets me there on time and in one piece, I’m generally happy. And if the radio can blast while I’m getting there, all the better.

Ford Edge Titanium

Ground control to Major Tom…the dashboard looked futuristic to me. I never saw these things on my ’05! Photo by Mary Lebeau

But that may have changed, now that I’ve experienced what a luxury driving can be. I was given the opportunity to test drive the Edge on an eight state road trip from New Jersey to Florida. This was an adults only trip, which included my husband, Scott, sister and adult daughter. The Edge seemed a fitting choice for this group, which was interested in getting to our destination quickly, safely and (emphasis on this word) comfortably.

First impression: Clean, sleek and dream-inspiring

I know you can’t judge a book by its cover, but I must say the Ford Edge Titanium makes a great first impression. I know I said I don’t care what a car looks like as long as it gets me there, but even I had to admire the beauty of this vehicle. Its grille was enormous and eye-catching, while the lines were strong and sharp. Even I was impressed by its design (the last car that I found so captivating was another Ford – that classic ’67 Mustang). It just looked clean, fast, and sleek.

Ford Edge

Pretty is as pretty does…this car is gorgeous, and drives the same way. Photo by Mary Lebeau

Even my youngest, who wasn’t going on the trip, requested that we pick her up from track practice in the Edge, to wow her middle school classmates, who may dream of this car the way I used to about that Mustang.

Packing made easy (especially when someone else does it)

Ford Edge

The Ford edge, ready for packing. Photo by Mary Lebeau

Let’s face it: packing the car is one of the chores of any road trip. But packing the Edge Titanium was a breeze – even though we were doing it at three in the morning. What made this chore so easy peasy was the hands-free, foot-activated liftgate. While packing the car,  all we (well, mostly Scott) had to do was kick a foot under the rear bumper. As long as he had the fob in his pocket, the power liftgate would open the rear door on its own.  This helped us pack up the Edge quickly and efficiently, even with our hands full of luggage. The cargo area was roomy and easily accommodated our suitcases and electronics bags.

The passenger area reflected the same spacious design. Although we are all adults – and two of us are long-limbed – the Edge was roomy enough for all of us to spread out and be comfortable in the two rows of seating. A fifth rider could have easily sat in the back without bothering other passengers (as my younger daughter pointed out as we pulled out of the driveway).

Modern technology that really takes care of you

My husband, who usually works overnights and thus is used to being up at 4 a.m., was going to drive the first shift. I say “was going to” because he ended up only driving a half shift – at the request of the Edge! Apparently while he was driving, a coffee cup appeared on the screen, indicating that my husband was in need of rest and refueling before going on. We made a quick pit stop and changed places.

The coffee cup driver alert system was just one of the technologies that was new to me. As I took the driver’s seat in the Edge, I realized that the dashboard was totally different than the one I am used to in my current car, a 2005 Saturn Vue.

The road trip in the 2015 Ford Edge Titanium changed my ‘view.’

The first thing I got used to was the many many ways the Ford Edge Titanium communicated with me. (Yes, you read that right!) Thanks to the Edge’s lane-keeping system, the steering wheel would vibrate if we came too close to or too far from the center line. This was quite the surprise to us, and at first we wondered if something was wrong with the car. But my husband consulted the manual, so we knew what was going on. We did notice that the wheel seemed to only vibrate when we were in close proximity of tractor trailers, which may have been more a revelation about our driving when intimidated. According to the manual, the car will even apply steering torque to steer away from the center if necessary. We never experienced this on our drive, but it’s good to know about the feature ahead of time!

My favorite feature was the Blind Spot Information System, a yellow light on the side mirror which warned me when it was unsafe to pass. Like everyone else, I have a blind spot, and I tend to do a lot of passing on 1,000 mile trips. I let the yellow light guide me and never heard a single warning beep from another driver as I entered into another lane.

Confession here – I was a bit intimidated by the parking assistance features. Every time I thought I was using the screen correctly, I ended up far from the curb and had to readjust.  But I had no problem maneuvering the Edge the old fashioned way, without the screen. My husband enjoyed testing the parking assist, which even helped him find a spot (not an easy feat in Disney!) then maneuvered the Edge into place – even when parallel parking was necessary.

Ford Edge Titanium

The Edge was so helpful, especially looking out for the blind spots. Photo by Scott Lebeau

This is cool: heated seats eased my back on the long trip

I loved the seating features, which allowed me to heat or cool my seat with the touch of a button. I have problems with my back at times, and the heated seat was soothing as I sat for hours in the same position.

My Millennial daughter, who rode in the back seat most of the way, had only one complaint about the Edge – the heated back seats. Apparently the mechanism that turned the heat  on was located near the floor by the middle console. This made it  too easy to turn on. As my daughter slept in the back, she inadvertently turned on the heat several times, and woke up thinking she was getting hot flashes.

And speaking of Springsteen (true story!)

 Ford Edge

What can I say? I’m a Jersey girl. Photo by Mary Lebeau

When I was in college, my brother-in-law was trading in a car but wasn’t offered what he thought he should get for it, so he gave the car to me. It was a beat up old boat of a car, but it had a great sound system (at least, great for the 80’s). The car was stolen a few months later right from campus. When I broke the news to my brother-in-law, he asked, “Did they at least leave the radio?”

I share that story to explain how important a sound system is when I’m choosing (or riding in) a car. I don’t know much about aerodynamics or torque, but I know what Springsteen should sound like coming through (ideally) premium speakers. This is especially important on a long road trip, when entertainment becomes essential to the alertness and the spirits of the person driving the car.

Fortunately, the Edge’s entertainment center delivered on this big time. We had downloaded all sorts of playlists, audiobooks and podcasts on our smartphones, and quickly paired our devices with the car using the SYNC feature. And talk about speakers – the Edge boasts 12 of them, all high quality Sony speakers which produced clear, buzz-free sound. And of course, the speakers can be controlled so that my sister and I could blast the Eagles up front while still allowing my husband and daughter – the overnight shift workers – to catch up on some sleep in the back seat.

Since I usually listen to podcasts and playlists while driving, I don’t subscribe to satellite radio, but my sister has been a serious Sirius user for years. The Edge comes with a six month All Access trial subscription to Sirius XM, which we totally enjoyed on the trip. It was fun discovering new dedicated channels, and we quickly programmed in our favorites – the 70’s on 7, classic vinyl, coffeehouse and, of course, E Street Radio. There was even a feature that allowed you to “tag” a song. Then, if that song was playing on any Sirius station, you were alerted and could turn it on with one touch.

Ford Edge Titanium

Our end of trip numbers weren’t typical, but then again, neither was our trip. Photo by Scott Lebeau

Racing (safely) in the streets or cruising the backstreets, the fuel economy delivers

At the end of the (long) day, we were also concerned about gas mileage. The Ford Edge boasts a combined city/highway mpg of 24 (20 city/30 highway). Our final numbers show an average of 22.6 mpg (mostly highway driving to Florida, but some tooling around the theme parks). However, our numbers are unreliable, because we don’t know how sitting still for two and a half hours due to a bridge closing affected this data. I do know we were very grateful to be in the comfortable, climate-controlled Edge (with our phones charged and the music playing) while we waited for the Port Authority to clear the bridge of a suspicious package.

What we loved

  • Plenty of cargo space, and that handy foot-controlled liftgate
  • The Blind Spot Indicator – I miss that little yellow light so much! I always knew my lane change was clear and safe.
  • The sound system – what’s not to love? The sound was crystal clear, and Sirius satellite radio provided something for everyone’s taste
  • The navigation system – honestly, we know this route so well we could do it with our eyes shut (although I’m sure the car wouldn’t let us!). But when an accident closed down I-95, the Edge’s navigation system led us around a huge lake and back to I-95 on the other side of the accident. I don’t think we would have figured out that route without it.
  • Heated and cooled seats for both rows of seating.

    Ford Edge Titanium

    I loved the front seat heat. The back seat? Not so much. Photo by Scott Lebeau

  • Trip computer – we’re a little nerdy about keeping track of the details of our trip (hey, don’t judge!). The Edge had a trip computer that allowed us to measure the deets of this ride.
  • Cup holders and charging ports galore!

What you need to know

  • The rear heated seats are foot-activated. Although I can’t imagine how, my daughter managed to turn hers on several times while she was sleeping (“No, you do not have a fever!”)
  • The steering wheel will vibrate if the car senses you are too near the center line. You will get used to this, but if you aren’t aware it might happen, it is quite startling
  • The parking assist (and screen) can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not used to such things. I would recommend practicing with them before depending on them to actually park. Not because the car is wrong (it’s not), but because interpretations of the screen may vary
  • Fuel economy: 24 mpg combined; we got closer to 22.6
  • Uses regular gas
  • Base price: $29,595; price of the car we drove: just over $45,000

Disclosure: Ford provided the Edge for my review; opinions expressed here are all my own.