(Mirror) Is it possible to be surprised anymore? It seems that American culture has become an unremitting series of meaningless drivel meant to distress, demoralize, or distract.
This makes it hard for me to remember anything that matters, like the name of a business colleague, the time I agreed to meet my new boyfriend for drinks or where I saw that incredible new bathing suit last week.
Yet life is still filled with pleasant surprises, like dating someone new who is sexy, sane and smart, or discovering that the person squeezed into the airline seat next to you isn’t a body double on “My 600 Pound Life.”
Having driven thousands of vehicles, I figured that I was beyond being surprised by any new car or truck, particularly the refreshed 2019 Ford Edge I drove last week. This is a vehicle so ubiquitous, it held as much appeal as eating lunch at Denny’s or buying clothes at Kohls.
Offered in ascending SE, SEL, Titanium, and high-performance ST models, the Edge sports revised styling for 2019 and a revamped interior center console with a new rotary dial transmission shifter and optional wireless charging pad.
The test vehicle, a Titanium model, seemed surprisingly glamorous for a Ford with its standard Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and an app that accesses Alexa from the car through a smartphone connection. Then there’’s Sync 3 infotainment system, which is one of the easiest to use in any vehicle at any price. And the optional 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system transforms the Edge into a mobile dance club.
The revelations continued as I found the Edge’s roomy cabin, comfortable seats, and massive panoramic sunroof provided a modern upmarket ambience as fetching as any luxury vehicle and proved to be the perfect complement to this crossover’s superior driving experience.
Most models have Ford’s 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 250 horsepower, except for the performance-oriented ST, which gets a 335-horsepower 2.7-liter turbocharged four and sport suspension. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, as are a boatload of driver-assistance features marketed under the name Ford Co-Pilot360. Front-wheel drove is standard; all-wheel drive is optional.
Yet the real shock comes when you put the Edge to work and you’ll find it delivers the handling chops of Germany’s finest with the ride isolation you’d expect from a Lincoln. Steering is perfectly weighted for cornering, lightening up noticeably at low speeds for easier maneuvering. Its athleticism ensures driving is fun, yet it doesn’t come at the expense of ride comfort.
Astonished? Hell yeah.
To discover such élan in a mainstream crossover explodes anyone’s expectations by delivering a truly discriminating luxury car experience at an affordable price. Its tasteful, comfortable interior, flawless technology and expert balance of ride and handling renders it best in class.
Of course, Ford would prefer you spend more on a Lincoln. Or you could pay even more and buy a foreign-branded crossover. But you wouldn’t be getting a better vehicle. It will merely cost more.
Larry Printz is an automotive journalist based in South Florida. He can be reached at.