The 2018 Ford Edge beckons with clean lines, a spacious interior, and a poised ride on most models, but disappoints with subpar seats, a stiff ride on the sportiest model, and a fuel-wasting all-wheel-drive system.

Best Value

Starting at $30,310 for a front-wheel-drive SE, prices rise through SEL and Titanium trims to over $51,000 for a fully-optioned all-wheel-drive Sport model. The base engine on SE, SEL, and Titanium models is a 245-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, while a 280-hp, 3.5-liter V6 is optional on the SEL and Titanium. Standard on the Sport model is a 315-hp twin-turbocharged V6. All three engines are paired to a six-speed automatic transmission.

The SE comes with a full range of typical power features and, for good measure, automatic headlights that are also wiper-activated, a rearview camera, keyless entry with push-button start, 18-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, and a leather-wrapped shift knob.

We'd pass on the base S and opt for the SEL, which adds dual zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, satellite radio, upgraded seat trim, a 10-way power driver seat and six-way power front passenger seat, a second-row rear seat back release, a reverse sensing system, heated outside mirrors, LED signature lighting, a keyless entry pad, and access to a number of advanced safety features.

Here's how we'd build it:

  • Model: 2018 Ford Edge SEL
  • Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
  • Output: 260 hp / 240 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • MPG: 20 City / 27 Hwy
  • Options: Intelligent All-Wheel Drive ($1,995), Equipment Group 201A ($2,910, Sync 3 infotainment, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, leather seats, heated front seats, premium audio), Safe and Smart Package ($1,295, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keeping assist, an auto-dimming driver's outside mirror, rain-sensing wipers).
  • Base Price:$33,045 (including the $995 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price:$38,645

Performance

Ford Edge

Like the Fusion on which it's based, the Edge delivers a crisp, firm, well-isolated ride with precise road feel and admirable body control. The standard electric steering system tracks nicely at freeway speeds and offers plenty of feedback in curves; the adaptive system on Titanium and Sport models provides additional input at low speeds, while offering additional on-center feel on the highway. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is more than adequate for most drivers, the 3.5-liter V6 is stronger in the mid-range and an overall solid performer, while the 2.7-liter turbo packs a punch throughout its rev range. Mated to all three is a quick six-speed automatic that shifts crisply.

But things are far from perfect as the Sport model's firm dampers are nearly too firm and uncompromising for everyday driving – transmitting potholes and uneven road surfaces directly into the cabin. On top of that, advanced safety features aren't available on the base model and the Edge's all-wheel-drive system can't be decoupled from the drivetrain, with a big hit to fuel economy the result.

Style

A crisp, uncluttered body is wrapped around an appealing cabin with plenty of soft-touch surfaces and an upright dash centered around a high-resolution touchscreen in most models. The front seats are comfortable, while intuitive physical buttons control everything from volume and climate settings to heat and ventilation.

On the flip side, lighter-toned interiors are unavailable, the gloss-black trim manages to attract fingerprints, and the short, flat rear seat cushions don't do the interior justice. And while we're at it, the optional panoramic roof eats into headroom, while the Edge lacks the clever multiple-tier cargo systems of rivals.

The Best and Worst Things

The Edge's quick steering, composed ride, and wide range of engines are impressive, but its seats don't do the interior justice, and buyers should experience the Sport model's ride before making a purchase decision.

Right For? Wrong For?

Ford Edge

A firm, well-isolated ride, nicely-detailed cabin, and plenty of passenger and cargo room should appeal to families as well as empty-nesters.

The lack of advanced safety features on the entry-level model could be a turn off for value-oriented safety-conscious buyers.

The Bottom Line

Despite mediocre seats, the Sport model's stiff ride, and an all-wheel-drive system that's less than cutting edge, the 2018 Ford Edge is a solid choice in its class thanks to its clean looks, stellar ride and handling, and nicely-appointed cabin.