Ford wants to stay cool and relevant to all car shoppers, even as the American giant turns almost all its attention away from cars and focuses on SUVs. The 2019 Edge ST is meant to straddle the line between maximum cargo space plus a providing a comfortable ride and providing corner-carving handling with the spirit of a muscle car. In that sense, the Edge ST ushers in a new era for Ford, as it dabbles with the idea of a muscle SUV.

The Good: Until now, the sky has been the limit when it comes to cramming horsepower into an SUV. The only problem: the best ones often carry nosebleed prices. The Ford Edge ST is a more affordable alternative for SUV shoppers whose budget doesn’t stretch to the realms of Porsche and Range Rover.

Who It’s For: The Edge ST could help save marriages. Rather than being forced to ditch that beloved sports car for something infinitely more practical – and deathly dull – this Ford sport-utility offers a dose of Mustang-like attitude in a handier wrapper. The rear seat is spacious, the cargo area is huge and the performance (mostly) lives up to the hype.

Watch Out For: Affordable doesn’t mean inexpensive. The Edge ST carries a starting price of $43,350, before factoring in options. When it’s fully loaded with every available convenience and safety feature, the price of the Edge ST can easily zoom past $50,000. Also, why doesn’t 335 horsepower feel more exciting? The culprit: a curb-weight in excess of 4,400 pounds.

Alternatives: Luckily for Ford, the Edge ST doesn’t have many direct rivals. Other performance SUVs cost thousands more once you start adding options. Except they also carry far more prestigious luxury badges than this blue oval product.

2018 Porsche Macan ($48,850, base)
2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio ($43,290, base)
2019 BMW X4 ($51,445, base)

Verdict: The 2019 Edge ST is a sporty mainstream SUV that stands out from the crowd. It has usable performance but never punishes you with a rock-solid ride or hair-trigger gas pedal. If anything, the 335-horsepower 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder feels a little too tame. Still, Ford estimates the run from 0-60 mph takes less than six seconds.

Review: The 2019 Ford Edge ST shows that Ford engineers aren’t concentrating all their collective brain power on cupholders and USB outlets. Earlier this year, when Ford announced it would stop selling sedans in the U.S. market within the next 4-5 years, the automotive world wondered what that would mean with regard to the company’s future offerings.

Thankfully, one of the few non-SUV reprieves was granted to the Mustang, the automaker’s muscle car mainstay for more than 50 years. With a refreshed Edge SUV now arriving at dealerships, the timing was right for Ford to prove it’s still a company that cares about horsepower and handling – even when the vehicle is wrapped in a sport-utility shell.

From the outside, the Edge ST announces its intentions with a gloss-black grille and side window surrounds, along with body-colored mirrors and LED headlights and fog lamps. There are six colors available, though no matter when exterior color you choose, you’re going to get a black leather cabin to match.

While I’d love to see a little more choice in terms of interior colors, the Edge is a pleasant place to spend hours behind the wheel. The ST-specific front seats are nicely bolstered, without looking or feeling too boy-racer. The infotainment system is also vastly more intuitive and easy to use than some of Ford’s most recent systems. Only the lower half of the center console, which looks surprisingly devoid of buttons (and style) seemed out of place.

In many ways, the Edge ST nicely manages the balancing act between family-hauler and speed machine. The 335hp provided by the 2.7L four-cylinder engine is enough to get the Edge ST down the road quickly, and with little hesitation. Strangely, Ford doesn’t quote exact figures when it comes to acceleration, though the company does say the Edge ST will sprint from 0-60 mph in “less than” six seconds. The substantial weight of the Edge ST – a whopping 4,477 pounds – makes this figure all the more impressive. Top speed is pegged at 130 mph.

On the open roads outside of Park City, Utah, the engine sometimes felt too well-behaved for its own good. Unless you press the Sport button, located in the center of the rotary gearbox control, the Edge ST doesn’t deliver much in the way of exhaust growl and grumble. Maybe that’s another reason why the impression of speed is eerily muted?

You can use the paddle shifters fitted to the steering wheel, except they’re small and plasticky, with the tactile feel of a mid-1990s video game controller. That being said, the eight-speed automatic transmission does a fine job when left to its own devices. With four-wheel drive fitted as standard, the Edge ST returns a 17 mpg in city driving and 24 mpg on the highway. For comparison, a 2018 Porsche Macan powered by a 252-horsepower 2.0L turbo four-cylinder delivers 20 mpg city, 25 mpg highway.

Powering through winding country roads, the handling is accurate and lets you place the Edge ST exactly where you want it. The suspension has been specially tuned for the ST and you can tell Ford didn’t want to go overboard when it came to firming up the ride. The ride is stable and comfortable, even with the 21-inch wheels and Pirelli P Zero summer tires fitted to our test models. These bigger wheels and stickier tires come with the optional ST Performance Brake Package ($2,695), which also includes performance brake pads, calipers painted Colorado Red, and 13.6-inch ventilated front and rear discs. If you don’t need such an aggressive footprint or massive stopping power, 20-inch alloys are standard and all-season tires are available.

We couldn’t talk about a Ford SUV and not mention some boring stuff. Luckily for the 2019 Edge, the boring stuff is pretty impressive. The 39.2 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the second-row seats is cavernous; the rear seat is also useful by adults. Standard safety equipment includes forward collision warning with dynamic brake support, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitors, rearview camera, lane keep assist, automatic high beams and rear cross-traffic alert.

So yes, the Edge ST is a Ford SUV that provides some true driving thrills, along with enough cabin room for runs to soccer practice and trips to IKEA. As a family vehicle, it has enough menace to be the cool alternative to other me-too SUVs.

2019 Ford Edge ST Key Specs

Engine: 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
Transmission: eight-speed automatic;all-wheel drive
Horsepower: 335
Torque: 380 lb-ft
Weight: 4,477 pounds
0-60: Top Speed: 130 mph

Read More Gear Patrol Reviews

Hot takes and in-depth reviews on noteworthy, relevant and interesting products. Read the Story

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.