Our verdict on the top-of-the-range Vignale version of the Ford Edge SUV, a car that’s meant to meet “growing consumer demand for more luxurious SUVs”.
What is it?
The Ford Edge is the big daddy of the Blue Oval’s three-car sports utility vehicle range – towering over the Kuga and EcoSport.
Priced from £40,445, the Vignale isn’t just plush, there’s a different ownership experience which includes home delivery of your new car and other exclusive benefits such as a 24-hour phone-based concierge so that you can call to arrange collection and delivery for servicing at a place of your choice.
You can also arrange for a loan vehicle to be brought to the collection point free of charge and even get complimentary car washes.
The Edge Vignale is a safe car, scoring a maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash testing. All models come with autonomous emergency braking (AEB), plus various other driver assistance aids including traffic-sign recognition and a lane-departure aid that’ll help you keep to your lane on the motorway.
Only available as a five-seater, the Edge’s big SUV rivals include the Audi Q5, Jaguar F-Pace, Volvo XC60 and BMW X3.
It’s very much a chunky Edge at first sight. Look closer and you’ll start to see the exclusive design elements that set the Vignale apart from standard spec versions.
The most obvious differences are the signature Ford Vignale hexagonal upper grille design with dark matte finish and polished aluminium surround, unique chrome-finish fog lamps and 20-inch polished aluminium wheels.
There are also special exterior colours including rich metallic brown Vignale Ametista Scura, no less.
Inside, higher-quality materials are used, so there are luxury perforated leather seats which are also 10-way power-adjustable for the driver and front passenger, plus ambient lighting and a leather-trimmed steering wheel.
There’s plenty of tech too, such as Ford’s Adaptive Front Lighting System which adjusts the headlight beam angle and intensity to match the driving environment, and Ford’s SYNC 3 communication and entertainment system that delivers faster performance and an 8.0-inch touchscreen.
Generally, it has a quality feel and it’s all been well put together, but it’s still not quite a match for comparable SUVs from Audi, BMW and Volvo.
There’s room for five full-size adults, while the boot is an impressive 602 litres, expanding to 1,788 litres when you drop the 60:40 split-folding rear seats.
The Ford Edge Vignale is only available with a 2.0-litre diesel engine, though there are two outputs. You can have a 178bhp unit mated to a six-speed manual gearbox or the range-topping 207bhp twin-turbo version of the same motor, paired with a six-speed dual-clutch auto box.
Both come with all-wheel drive and I tested the more powerful version which is slightly faster to 62mph from standstill (9.4, compared to 9.9 seconds). Economy is the same at 48mpg as are CO2 emissions of 152g/km.
The good news is that the engine is smooth and cruises well, though don’t expect to make especially rapid progress because the Edge is essentially a big, heavy, American-inspired SUV.
As this is the only version with an auto box, this is probably the one to go for. Let’s face it, if you’re paying more than £40,000 for an SUV, you don’t want to worry about changing gear.
At risk of repeating myself, the Edge is a bit of a brute, but it still manages to stay remarkably well composed for such a large car. However, it still needs treating with respect when taking sharper bends at speed.
Overall, it’s most at home (and refined) cruising, while the all-wheel drive offers more traction for that extra bit of peace of mind in more challenging driving conditions.
Verdict: The Ford Edge Vignale is a brave attempt by Ford to stop its high-flying customers abandoning the brand for premium rivals. Ultimately, it’s worthy of consideration, but just misses the mark because there are more entertaining big SUVs out there with hard-won badge appeal.