2021 Ford Edge ST new car reviews

Photography Courtesy Ford

Remember when the ST badge meant something?

We do.

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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

Let’s take a trip back to, like, a decade ago. Ford offered us a pair of hot hatches, the Fiesta ST and the Focus ST.

Those two were fun, quick and aimed right at the GRM audience.

But then Ford decided that it no longer sells cars to Americans. Well, other than the Mustang. And the Ford GT.

Either way, the ST and Focus ST have been consigned to time. Thank you for the memories, FTDs and national titles.

But, like your favorite superhero, the ST badge is back with an all-new origin story.

This time, though, the ST badge now represents the top of the Edge lineup.

Yes, the SUV.

Do we have another autocross special on our hands? Well, not likely.

Is there anything here to get excited about? If you dig fast SUVs then, yeah, keep reading.

Power for this one comes from Ford’s popular 2.7 EcoBoost V6 that, when fed premium, makes 335 horsepower along with 380 lb.-ft. of torque–so a tick more horsepower than an F-150 although a tiny bit less torque. Really, at the end of the day, we doubt you’ll notice the differences.

The seats felt comfortable–properly bolstered but not insanely bolstered. Ever drive a NISMO Juke? They’re not like that.

Good steering wheel–like, good feel, thick rim and, for those who like the details, perforated leather contrasting stitching.

The touchpoints feel upmarket. It’s not a BMW or a Benz, but for a sporty SUV that costs a few bucks less, it feels good. For example, the tops of the doors aren’t rock-hard, while the insides of the grab handles wear a rubber-like coating.

Controls like the stalks feel finished and not substandard. You get real knobs for both volume and station tuning. Thank you, thank you.

So, that giant vertical touch display. Yeah, it’s huge–basically an iPad bolted to the center stack.

Time to fire it up.

And welcome to another shifter knob–but not like the cool knob that’s in your Miata. Instead, we have a knob from an old TV set.

Are you in park or drive? Or maybe reverse? Who knows as there’s no tactile sensation. Yes, you can easily count the clicks, but it’s not like the automatic shifters that we had in the Before Times.

If you can get over that, the Edge ST delivers as expected: a lotta power inside a tall-in-the-saddle package. The EcoBoost V6 delivers plenty of power without any dips or turbo lag. It pulls all the way to redline.

Do you need that much power in an SUV? Okay, don’t answer.

The chassis feels composed, but are you really going to track this? Again, maybe don’t answer.

The transmission features an S mode accessible via a button in the middle of the knob. Honestly, I didn’t like it. The entire car just felt bound up around town and maybe even a little jerky at lower speeds. And at highway speeds, it still seemed a bit slow to downshift. I’d just leave it in D.

The ride is fairly quiet regarding both wind and road noise. It’s a firm ride but not punishing. Even with the somewhat aggressive wheel and tire package, it tracks straight, even on the interstate. The turn signal clicks, though, come right out of 1975.

We’re all for fast vehicles, but this is also a reminder that some of our favorites have been dropped off the menu. A real car–maybe one with a hatchback–with this kind of power and attention to detail would be pretty killer.

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Comments
ShawneeCreek
ShawneeCreek GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
4/12/22 3:00 p.m.

We had one of these in the company car pool for a while. I managed to snag it for a business trip last year. The ST specific bits certainly add a sense of occasion the first few times you drive it. And I agree that the power is fun, but not sports car fun.

But that stupid shift knob... I backed into a parking spot, went to shift into park, and turned down the volume on the stereo... I sat there and stared at the dashboard for a minute in frustration at such a stupid, error-prone interface design. Then I put it into park and got lunch.

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/12/22 5:04 p.m.
ShawneeCreek said:

But that stupid shift knob... I backed into a parking spot, went to shift into park, and turned down the volume on the stereo... I sat there and stared at the dashboard for a minute in frustration at such a stupid, error-prone interface design. Then I put it into park and got lunch.

My Fusion (and pretty much all newer Fords) has the same shift knob, and I can tell you that after 3 years of ownership.... it's still stupid. I don't mess it up anymore, and muscle memory has gotten me to where I can operate it without looking at it, but it's still not an improvement on the good old lever, other than it takes up less space, I guess.

Opti
Opti Dork
4/13/22 4:27 p.m.

i get they arent a sports cars, but they are quick and alot cheaper than a trackhawk. I cant remember i it was the explorer or edge that people were dipping into the 11s with just a tune and a tire.

kevinatfms
kevinatfms GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
4/14/22 10:14 a.m.
Opti said:

i get they arent a sports cars, but they are quick and alot cheaper than a trackhawk. I cant remember i it was the explorer or edge that people were dipping into the 11s with just a tune and a tire.

My wife had a 2015 Edge Sport which is basically an ST with a better transmission(6 speed FTW). 93 tune only and the thing was a rocket. Would put lengths on cars due to the AWD and torque of that 2.7 out of the hole. 

Biggest issue with it was the stupid oil pan. Never had an engine that required oil pan replacement/resealing more than oil changes. Ended up costing us an engine at one point from total failure. Ford covered the cost under warranty but it was ridiculous that the plastic oil pan couldnt be sealed for longer than a few thousand miles.

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
4/14/22 10:46 a.m.

I read that thinking, man, we're spoiled if 335hp in a compact SUV isn't something special. I get that it's not specific to the ST, but damn that's a ton of power.

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/14/22 10:52 a.m.

Ford have very specific targets for improvements in performance, handling, brakes, steering etc. to differentiate a Sport from regular models, and an ST from a Sport.  I forget the exact figures, some are % improvements, some are absolutes.  That's why this is an Edge ST, while the Fusion Tom Spangler mentioned above is 'only' a Sport, despite being able to out perform the Edge ST.  That doesn't mean it's a sports car.  It means it's a sporting version of the base vehicle with carefully defined improvements in key performance areas.  Is it a fun vehicle to drive?  I'm sure it is.  Is it significantly improved over a base model? Absolutely.  Personally I don't want one, but that doesn't mean it's not a worthy product.  We had a prior gen (U502) Explorer Sport.  IT was an awesome compromise vehicle when we needed to tow and haul lots of people.  It was light years better than regular cookie cutter Explorers, and certainly worthy of the badge, just not a sports car.

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/14/22 11:08 a.m.
kevinatfms said:

Biggest issue with it was the stupid oil pan. Never had an engine that required oil pan replacement/resealing more than oil changes. Ended up costing us an engine at one point from total failure. Ford covered the cost under warranty but it was ridiculous that the plastic oil pan couldnt be sealed for longer than a few thousand miles.

Interesting. I've heard people complain about the fact that it's a plastic pan, and that the drain plug is plastic, but I haven't had any issues so far. And I bought the fat extended warranty, so I'm not really worried about it, either. smiley I did look into a metal drain plug, but it was pretty expensive, and mine is fine, so I decided to skip it.

Do the F-150s with the 2.7TT have the same issues? There's an awful lot of those on the road.

Flynlow (FS)
Flynlow (FS) Dork
4/14/22 11:28 a.m.

This car (I said it deliberately) will forever be dead to me due to a conversation I had with a Ford dealership salesperson.  Slight paraphrasing from passage of time and still some remaining red mist:

Me:  "Hi, I'd like to get a quote on a Focus ST.  Blue, Recaro seats, and that's it."

Salesguy:  "We've stopped ordering new cars, and are closing out our onsite inventory, I don't have anything close to that.  But the new Edge ST is like a Focus ST, but better in every way!  You need to buy that!"

Me:  "Does it have a manual?"

Salesguy:  "No."

Me:  "Does it have Recaro seats?"

Salesguy:  "No."

Me:  "Does it drive like a car, or is jacked up an extra foot in the air for no reason?"

Salesguy:  "People like the better visibility from sitting up high...."

Me:  "Are you selling them for the same price as a Focus ST?"

Salesguy:  "No it's $10,000 more, but it's got more HP!"

Me:  "Do you understand how you've taken away all the things I liked, and somehow expect me to pay $10,000 more?"

Salesguy:  "No."

Me:  "I'm going to go look at GTI's and Civic Si's."

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
4/14/22 12:18 p.m.

I think the Kona N would be a better buy for this segment no? 

Opti
Opti Dork
4/14/22 1:23 p.m.

I know in the trucks there is TSB about the plastic pans not sealing due to prep. Ford recommends special cleaners and wipes to prep the surface and a new pan. I cant recall if its the 2.7s or the 3.5s, though. I wonder if you had all that problem before Ford figured it out and realesed the TSB.

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