Monday 24 October 2016

Why Ford pricing might blunt 'Edge' SUV

First drive in Munich: Ford Edge

Published 25/05/2016 | 02:30

Pricey: The Ford Edge will cost €60,000.
Pricey: The Ford Edge will cost €60,000.
Ford Edge will larger size and higher spec be enough to justify price.

Ford's new large SUV, the Edge, raises a few questions. The major one, posed here in Motors last week, has to do with price.

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Just who will pay the guts of €60,000 for a Ford SUV no matter how big, roomy and well equipped it happens to be?

You can pick up a KIA Sorento or Hyundai Santa Fe for up to €20,000 less as I mentioned last week.

I know Ford argue that the Edge is bigger (it doesn't have seven seats though). And they claim the level of standard spec is well ahead of most. They also claim the car is a segment straddler in that its footprint is on a par with several larger models in the 'premium' SUV segment.

Ford see rivals including the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 among others. I can tell you it is bigger than those but not as big as the BMW X5 or Audi Q7.

After getting hold of it in Germany it was better to drive than I expected; I think the best way to describe it is as an 'easy' driver. But I wouldn't put a premium driving 'edge' on it.

I think Ford corporately are intent on moving upmarket but there is the risk of losing the lower sections of their traditional base.

I think they have they missed something by not having a lower-specced entry-level, around the €40,000 mark, that competes more with mainstream brands.

I drove the 2-litre 210PS auto and 180PS manual (6spd). Emissions range from 149g/km and 152g/km (€390 a year road tax). There was plenty of power. Again, it was such an easy car to drive - no fuss, no pressure to find a driving edge (forgive pun again). That can be taken as praise or criticism depending on what you want from your SUV.

The manual gearshift was moderate, at best; the automatic will cost an extra €2,000/€2,500. However, with the latter I found myself constantly putting it in Sport as opposed to Drive, which meant I was using more fuel as Sport holds lower gears longer.

The car was well planted, the lower centre of gravity helping overall balance. We had so much elbow room it was ridiculous. Their noise reduction system (Active Noise Cancellation works through the speakers to counter sound) did its job really well. Even when I pushed the engine hard in low gears there was no raucous response coming through.

The seating was excellent and while the middle pillar robs a chunk of lateral vision, overall it was easy to stay aware of what was going on around me. But the large boot lip needs something to stop it being scuffed. The boot is huge by the way.

Would I be prepared to pay the guts of €60,000 for it? No.

The Edge will be here for July reg and cost from €55,700 for the manual version.

Standard are Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive (AWD), 19ins alloys; front/ rear parking sensors, handsfree electric tailgate and keyfree system. There is also Ford's DAB navigation system, Active Noise Cancellation system and rear-view camera.

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