The Ford Edge has been around long enough to have perfected many of the things people want from a midsize SUV. That is not to say that it is perfect, however. In fact, the 2021 Ford Edge is part of the second generation that has been around since 2015. Many critics point out that its design has started to age, and not necessarily well. Still, the Edge has many admirable qualities, making it a respectable choice for many buyers.
What's New for 2021?
Despite putting off a full redesign, Ford has given the Edge a few significant upgrades for 2021. All models now run their technology features on a 12-inch touchscreen. It runs the Sync 4 infotainment system rather than the Sync 3 setup found in the 2020 model. One of the biggest perks is the inclusion of wireless versions of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Rear parking sensors are also now standard across the board. For the top ST trim, a seven-speed automatic transmission becomes standard. This is a welcome change, as many are not fans of the previously standard eight-speed.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 Ford Edge – The Pros
1. Well-Equipped Entry-Level Model
All five trim levels of the 2021 Edge have an impressive standard equipment list. For the base SE, Ford gives you LED headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, alloy wheels, and keyless entry with a push-button start. The newly standard 12-inch touchscreen, along with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, helps the SE keep you connected while on the go. Ford Co-Pilot 360, the well-known bundle of safety features, is also standard from the entry-level model on up.
2. Smooth and Quiet Ride
The Edge does an excellent job when it comes to isolating its cabin from road and wind noise. Further adding to the comfort and relaxation found inside the Edge is the vehicle's smooth ride. It feels composed and corners quite well, with little to no noticeable body roll. While no one will accuse the 2021 Edge of being particularly sporty, the overall driving dynamics and ride are overall pleasing.
3. Large and Practical Cargo Hold
With its low cargo floor, the Edge is easy to load with gear. It has 39.2 cubic feet behind the second-row, making it a great choice for bulk grocery shopping and weekend road trips. With the second-row of seats down, the Edge's cargo hold grows up to 73.4 cubic feet. These are excellent numbers when compared to other midsize SUVs on the market. Buyers should be aware that the second-row does not quite fold flat, which may become bothersome in certain situations.
4. Fuel-Efficient Standard Engine
The base engine for the 2021 Edge is a turbo 2.0L four-cylinder that generates 250-horsepower. This is an adequate amount of power to move the midsize SUV around. The real appeal of this engine involves is fuel-economy, however. Front-wheel-drive Edge models can get up to 21mpg city and 29mpg highway. Even the all-wheel-drive models get that same efficiency in the city and lose only one mpg on the highway. Both sets of numbers are excellent for the class.
5. Performance-Oriented Engine Option
Perhaps you care more about power and performance than fuel efficiency. If that is the case, there is a Ford Edge that should satisfy. The top ST trim has a twin-turbo EcoBoost 2.7L V6 engine that can make 335-horsepower. This extra horsepower gives the SUV even more satisfying acceleration. As a bonus, it gets a very respectable 19mpg city and 26mpg highway. The ST trim is only available with all-wheel drive.
6. Comfortable and Well-Padded Seating
There is enough padding in the Edge's seats to keep you and your passengers comfortable on long journeys. Even the entry-level model comes with 10-way power-adjustment for the driver's seat. You can choose a trim with several interior upgrades for an even more comfortable experience as well. Options include heated and ventilated front seats, genuine leather upholstery, and a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel.
7. Standard 12-inch Touchscreen
The new 12-inch touchscreen certainly draws the eye when sitting down inside of the 2021 Edge. It is easy to use and runs the latest in infotainment systems from Ford. With standard wireless Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a Wi-Fi hotspot, it is clear that the Edge is committed to offering the latest in technology. Amazon Alexa compatibility is included as well.
8. Impressive Safety Scores
The 2021 Ford Edge has been tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and came out looking great. This SUV received the top score of "Good" in all six of the categories it was tested in. Models with certain headlights are also considered to be a "Top Safety Pick" by the IIHS. The 2021 Edge was also tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which awarded it with five out of five stars.
9. Ford Co-Pilot 360 Driver Aid Suite
All models of the Edge have come standard with Ford Co-Pilot 360 for some time. Now that rear parking sensors are standard, the 2021 model is even more impressively equipped. This SUV gives you blind-spot monitoring, automatic high beams, lane-keep assist, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and much more. If that is not enough to satisfy, the Co-Pilot Assist+ package further adds adaptive cruise control, evasive steering assist, and lane centering.
10. Four USB Ports - Including a USB-C
You will find at least four USB ports in any model of the 2021 Edge. Three of them are USB-A, while the fourth is USB-C. Since many new tech devices are coming with USB-C ports, this is a nice touch that will help the 2021 Edge stay up-to-date for quite some time.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 Ford Edge – The Cons
1. Transmission Lags and Lacks Refinement
There are many nice things to say about the Edge's performance, but the transmission does not inspire any of them. The eight-speed automatic that gets paired with the standard engine does not always provide timely shifts. Some critics have gone so far as to say it is clunky. The ST does much better with its new seven-speed automatic.
2. Design Impairs Visibility
Forward visibility is not great for the 2021 Edge. This is the one negative mark against the SUV when it comes to safety. A redesign with thinner roof pillars may help solve this problem moving forward.
3. Low-Quality Cabin Materials
With the exception of the 12-inch touchscreen, the cabin of the Edge looks quite dated and bland. Not helping this matter is the number of plastics found. It is safe to assume that the Edge will be receiving a redesign in the near future, and this is hopefully one of the areas that will be addressed.
4. No Real Off-Road Capability
These days, SUVs are thought of more as family vehicles than rugged adventure-seekers. Still, the Edge does not keep up with rivals when it comes to off-road abilities. While the vehicle is available with all-wheel drive, this does little to improve the situation. As long as you plan on keeping your Edge on the pavement at all times, this should not be an issue.
How it Stacks Up to the Competition:
2021 Ford Edge vs. 2021 Honda Passport
The Honda Passport is considered by many to be the midsize SUV to beat. It has a spacious cabin, a rugged exterior design, and a practical interior. Not everyone is a fan of how sensitive its driver aids are, however. This is one of the few ways that the Ford Edge has the Honda Passport beat.
2021 Ford Edge vs. 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport
Volkswagen makes a two-row version of the Atlas, which it calls the Atlas Cross Sport. This SUV has a spacious and comfortable interior and user-friendly technology. At the same time, the fuel economy numbers disappoint, and the acceleration can feel slow in certain situations. Those who put a lot of miles on their SUV and are hoping to save money at the gas pumps will be better served by the Edge.
2021 Ford Edge vs. 2021 Mazda CX-9
The Edge is classified as a midsize SUV, a segment of the market that has both two-row and three-row offerings. The Mazda CX-9 is one of the three-row SUVs, meaning it can seat up to seven rather than five like the Edge. Additionally, it is considered to be the most engaging SUV out there in many regards. Working against the CX-9 is the fact that Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available features rather than standard ones.
There are clear ways that the 2021 Ford Edge can improve. A different transmission, along with an updated interior, would make this a nearly perfect SUV for many families. As it stands, the safety, technology, and engine options make it a compelling option. Many buyers will be able to overlook the Edge's few flaws in order to benefit from its many perks.
• Why buy a 2020 Ford Edge? w/ pros vs cons