THE UK'S surging SUV market will be joined in the summer by the Canadian built Ford Edge that has been a top seller in North America since 2007 and over here it will be competing with formidable rivals like the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 writes Bryan Longworth.
It will lead Ford's three car SUV line-up above the popular family sized Kuga and the compact EcoSport and it will arrive in the UK with the promise of very favourable residual values which is always a good way to mark the launch of a new car.
Ford's flagship SUV will have considerable street cred for its distinctive muscular styling provides the car with an appeal that will attract many admirers in this sector of the market despite the competition especially from Germany.
I was immediately impressed several years ago when I drove the Kuga on its launch in Spain which was the first of Ford's SUV range and advance reports about the Edge which will start at £29,995 indicate that it will give those German competitors in particular a good run for their money.
The Edge which is built at Ford's plant in Ontario was launched in 2007 in North America and has consistently been a top seller in the segment achieving record sales in 2013 of nearly 130,000 so it has a very good pedigree.
The latest Edge bound for the UK will have class leading space for up to five people plus segment first technologies and refinement to rival premium competitors plus a forecast by the Yorkshire residual value experts CAP that the car will retain 56.6 per cent of its new list price after three years and 30,000 miles.
Andy Barratt, chairman and managing director, Ford of Britain, said the Edge will deliver more room for passengers than large competitor SUVs costing much more and the styling and suite of comfort, convenience and safety technologies rival the premium offerings available in the UK. Available in Zetec, Titanium and Sport series, the all new Edge is well equipped with standard kit including Ford intelligent all-wheel drive, active noise control, pedestrian detection, DAB radio, privacy glass and 19in alloy wheels.
It will be offered with a choice of two 2.0-litre diesel engines with differing power outputs and six speed manual tranmission for the lower powered unit and six speed automatic transmission with the more powerful engine.
Edge is also offered with heated and cooled front seats and heated rear seats and also a front split view camera which makes restricted visibility junctions or parking spaces easier to negotiate. Reaction to the car has generally been very good although there have been some reservations about the lack of a petrol engine and that Edge is only available as a five seater and not seven like some models but as Ford point out there is interior class leading space for such a vehicle because of this. It is expected the UK luxury SUV market will expand considerably this year and Ford is hoping that the European Edge will be as successful over here as the American version has been over there.
Model: Ford Edge.
Engines: Two diesel.
Transmissions: Six speed manual and automatic.
Drivetrain: All wheel drive.
Trim levels: Three.
Price: From £29,995.