Ford keep on driving 'upmarket' with their new €55,000 large SUV, the Edge
IT used to be Ford versus Toyota, Opel, Volkswagen etc. Not any more. Not when it comes to the new flagship Edge SUV anyway.
No matter what you or I think - and I think it is too pricey - they insist they are setting the Edge against mid-size SUVs from BMW (X3), Audi (Q5) and Volvo (XC60) - and possibly against even larger X5, Q7 and XC90 models.
When I say over-priced I am being unfair. It is priced as it is because it has loads of stuff in it. And it is larger than its posh mid-size rivals.
Indeed, at 4.8 metres long it nearly matches the bigger BMW X5 (4.86m) and isn't far off the XC90 7-seater (4.95m).
All of which pushes the start price to €55,700 and so far above the likes of what many feel should be its competitors, the Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento etc.
Surely, I ventured, they could have made a model less weighed down with bling and buoyed by a lower entry-level price?
No, came the reply. This is the new Ford thinking; the one that places it, and pitches it, against the upmarket makes.
I'm sure they know what they are doing but it is asking a lot of buyers. Despite that they expect around 200 of them to invest in this segment-buster next year.
They will get a large motor, of that you can be sure. I gave it a brief Irish drive here this week and we had ridiculous amounts of room. It does not have seven seats - but there is a mega boot to compensate.
And while the Edge is built in Canada it has had thousands of changes made for our European tastes. Suspension settings etc have been altered but visually there are amendments (bumpers for example) as well as the use of materials (boot floor carpet rather than the US preferred plastic).
All cars (Titianium and Sport spec) have Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive (AWD), 19ins alloys; front/ rear parking sensors, handsfree electric tailgate and keyfree system, DAB navigation system and Active Noise Cancellation system, rear-view camera and Illuminated scuff plates.
Sport spec adds 20ins alloys, adaptive steering system, SONY DAB navigation system (12 speakers), special front, rear and side sports body-styling and alloy pedals.
The active noise control and acoustic windows kept our cabin extremely quiet. Basically the noise control uses speakers at a frequency that cancels out sounds such as engine and tyres.
And the glass has a thin film that attempts to negate wind noise.
There are two 2-litre diesels: 180PS and 210PS, ranging from 149g/152g/km (both €390 road tax) with AWD and either 6spd manual or Powershift automatic transmissions.
There is no doubting it is one of the easier big motors to drive with the emphasis firmly on comfort and quietness - even on a rough piece of 'off-road' terrain that was obvious.
It will be fascinating to see how buyers respond to a 'posh' Ford SUV.