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These days, the midsize SUV dominates the vehicle market when it comes to families. They offer a more stylish alternative to those who are not ready to trade in their sporty car for a minivan. The midsize SUV is particularly popular because it is large enough to be practical without being too large to maneuver.
Naturally, the SUV market is full of options. The 2021 Ford Edge does a decent job of making a name for itself but has to contend with several heavy-hitting competitors. This SUV attempts to appeal to drivers with its comfortable cabin and efficient yet powerful engine options.
For 2021, the Edge gets the more advanced Sync 4 infotainment system that has been popping up in Ford's vehicles. It runs on a 12-inch touchscreen, up from the 8-inches found standard last year. Rear parking sensors also are added to the SUV. The 2021 model is a part of the second generation of this model, which debuted in 2015.
Five trim levels exist for the 2021 Ford Edge. To help shoppers decide which one they want, the following guide breakdown the differences between them all.
Compare the 2021 Ford Edge SE vs. Edge SEL - What is the Difference?
The Edge SE is what the rest of the lineup builds off. Starting in 2021, it offers an even stronger list of standard equipment, making it a more appealing choice than in years past. This model gets its power from a twin-scroll 2.0L four-cylinder engine that generates 250-horsepower. It pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
With front-wheel drive, the Edge SE gets 21mpg in the city and 29mpg on the highway. This base model is also available with Intelligent AWD. Going with this option will give drivers one less mpg on the highway but does not impact fuel economy in the city.
The cabin of the SE model is comfortable, giving buyers standard dual-zone automatic climate control and a 10-way power driver's seat. Cloth upholstery is standard, and the front row gets reclining bucket seats. A push-button start and cargo management system are two convenient features included in the base model as well.
As of 2021, the SE gets the Sync 4 infotainment system on a 12-inch touchscreen. Wireless versions of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are included, along with a Wi-Fi hotspot. For charging gear, the Edge SE gets four 12-volt power outlets along with two smart USB charging ports. Satellite radio rounds out the standard technology feature list.
The Edge SE gives drivers 39.2 cubic feet behind the second row of seats. At its maximum, this SUV can offer 73.4 cubic feet of cargo space. When compared to two-row midsize SUVs, these numbers are great. They fall behind three-row members of this vehicle class, however.
LED headlights with an automatic on/off feature is included for the SE. There are also LED brake lights and daytime running lights. Dual exhaust tips with a brushed stainless steel finish decorate the rear of the vehicle. Otherwise, most exterior accents are black. An exception is the body-colored rear spoiler.
Rear parking sensors are a standard driver aid for all Edge models starting in 2021. They join an already long list of high-tech safety equipment, including blind-spot monitoring, automatic high beams, forward automatic emergency braking, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and lane-keep assist. MyKey, which is Ford's version of the teen driver system, is included as well.
Like the rest of the lineup, the SE received high safety scores. From the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it received five out of five stars. In testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it received the top score of "Good" in all categories it was tested in.
The SEL has the same engine and drivetrain options. Inside, it gains two driver-configurable 4.2-inch LCD displays. It also unlocks many available features, including a wireless charging pad, a universal garage door opener, and a remote start. The steering wheel gets wrapped in leather, and the upholstery is synthetic leather rather than cloth.
Heated front seats also make an appearance on the SEL. The front passenger gets six-way power-adjustment, further enhancing the comfort of this model. A nine-speaker audio system is another significant upgrade found here.
On the exterior, the SEL has silver roof rack side rails. Many of the things that are black on the SE, like the mirror caps, become body-colored for the SEL. Both LED fog lights and LED signature lighting are also added. For added convenience, this trim has a keyless entry keypad on the door. The side mirrors gain both heat and a power-folding function.
Many package options are opened up for the SEL. One example is the Cold Weather Package, which has a heated steering wheel, windshield wiper de-icer, and all-weather floor liners. All-wheel-drive models can also get the Class II Trailer Tow Package, which gives the Edge the ability to tow up to 3,500 pounds.
Perhaps the most significant available package for the SEL is known as Ford Co-Pilot 360+. Buyers will have to add this if they want evasive steering assist and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go as well as navigation. Be aware that this package remains only optional for the trims after it and does not even come standard on the top ST model.
With its comfort-enhancing features and access to more packages and options, the SEL is a tempting option that justifies its extra cost.
Compare the 2021 Ford Edge SEL vs. Edge ST-Line. What is the difference?
There are several significant upgrades made for the midlevel ST-Line trim. It starts out with a hands-free, foot-activated power liftgate. Previously optional features, like the wireless charging pad and remote start system, are standard for the ST-Line. The interior also gains a universal garage door opener and a 110-volt power outlet.
The ST-Line is meant to appear sportier, although it does not make any mechanical changes. Little details like red-stitching on the steering wheel reflect this. On the outside, the roof rails are black, and the Edge receives specialized ST-Line badging. While previous models have had 18-inch wheels, the ST-Line goes up to 20-inch gloss black-painted aluminum ones.
Available packages are the same as what is found on the SEL. The ST-Line costs a decent chunk of change more than the SEL, making it a hard sell.
Compare the 2021 Ford Edge ST-Line vs. Edge Titanium - What is the Difference?
The Titanium model is the luxury version of the 2021 Edge. It makes no mechanical changes, but it gets several upgrades for the interior that make it worth consideration. The cabin gains ambient lighting, and the side mirrors gain memory functions, a handy feature for families with multiple drivers. A heated steering wheel joins the standard equipment list.
Music-lovers will enjoy the Titanium's premium sound system from Bang & Olufsen. It provides an immersive sound experience with 12 strategically-placed speakers. The front seats are trimmed in genuine leather when buyers choose the Edge Titanium.
The roof rails go back to silver for this model. While all models give drivers acoustic-laminated glass, the Titanium adds it to the front row side windows as well. The wheels are 19-inches standard, but the Titanium has available options in both 18-inch and 20-inch varieties.
Safety features are identical to the ST-Line. The Titanium does have an exclusive package option available, however. Known as the Titanium Elite Package, it bundles brick red interior accents and chrome exterior accents for a more upscale look.
Buyers can also opt for the Lux Package. It has ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and an automatic parking system. This system has the ability to actively steer into both parallel and perpendicular spots. Also included here are a front-facing camera and the contents of the Ford CoPilot 360+ package. A panoramic glass roof is a standalone option for the Titanium trim as well.
The Titanium model has several attention-grabbing upgrades. Are they enough to justify the jump in price? For most drivers, the answer is likely no.
Compare the 2021 Ford Edge Titanium vs. Edge ST - What is the Difference?
The ST trim level is quite different than the rest of the lineup. This is immediately apparent when popping the hood. The ST gets an exclusive 2.7L V6 engine that produces 335-horsepower. An eight-speed automatic transmission remains standard, and this model is available exclusively with an all-wheel drive. Although it is not as efficient as the base engine, it is still estimated to get a respectable 19mpg city and 26mpg highway.
Small touches to indicate that the ST is performance-oriented can be found inside. For example, the floor mats gain the words "Ford Performance." The brake and accelerator pedals also gain an aluminum cover. It is worth noting, however, that the heated steering wheel goes back to being merely optional when drivers choose the ST.
The outside of the ST is unique as well. For the front grille, Ford gives its top Edge trim a black-painted mesh design that features the ST logo. The dual exhaust tips are trapezoids, giving the back of this top trim a unique look.
For this trim only, there is an available ST Performance Brake Package. It includes performance brakes, red brake calipers, and vented brake shields. There are also front and rear vented disc brakes along with specialized front rotors. Also bundled into this brake package are 21-inch wheels, a brushless radiator cooling fan, and summer-only tires.
This trim has what is called the High Package, which includes the same equipment as the Titanium's Lux Package. Buyers who want to go with the ST model should be aware that it costs over five grand more than the Titanium, which is already pretty pricey. Since most drivers will find that the standard engine is more than adequate, it is hard to imagine many people willing to spend this much on the ST.
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Which Trim to Choose?
The 2021 Ford Edge is definitely an example of a vehicle where buyers should stick to the lower trims. With its new infotainment system, the entry-level SE is mighty tempting and should satisfy those seeking to spend as little as possible. If it fits into the budget, however, most buyers should step up to the SEL.
For the SEL, the Edge gains a few extra creature comforts. It is also the first trim to open up all of the packages that Ford offers for the Edge. If drivers are after the full list of available driver aids, the SEL is an attractive choice.
The ST-Line is flashy but does not justify its higher price in any meaningful way. With its luxury upgrades, the Titanium will appeal to some, but most families do not need the bells and whistles added here. The extra power offered by the ST is going to certainly attract some, but the price tag should be a deterrent. If buyers are willing to spend that much, there are more appealing performance-oriented SUVs out there.
For a well-rounded SUV that will not break the bank, buyers should opt for the 2021 Ford Edge SEL.
• Compare the 2020 Ford Edge Trim Levels