DETROIT -- On the heels of its hottest year for SUV sales, Ford unveiled a new 2019 Edge midsize sport utility that targets upscale shoppers. The vehicle gets an aggressive cosmetic and technology overhaul.
Many buyers of the SUV are professionals who say they want to project a positive image while having access to a wide range of options that may now include WiFi hotspots, internet access for up to 10 devices, and the ability to use a smartphone to lock, unlock, remotely start and locate the Edge. In addition, the vehicle allows consumers to check details such as tire pressure and fuel status from home.
The Edge is especially well-liked by women, said Cristina Aquino, marketing manager for the Edge. While women make up 35 percent of Ford buyers overall, they account for 46 percent of Edge sales.
Owners of the Edge generally aren't weekend warriors and don't have multiple vehicles, said Jonathan Crocker, vehicle engineering manager. The 2019 Edge adds a new ST model that offers a 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged engine that pumps out 335 horsepower and 380-lb-feet of torque.
Other ST features improve handling, braking, suspension and engine performance.
The ST has standard all-wheel-drive and the most powerful V6 engine in its class with auto start-stop technology that turns off the engine when the vehicle is stopped and idling, then restarts when the brake is released.
The Edge is the first Ford vehicle to offer a new eight-speed automatic transmission, which is standard on all models.
In addition to all the official perks, passengers are less likely to pick up dirt and dust on their pants, skirts or long coats when exiting the car because the ridge below the door is protected by a lower rocker panel that creates a wrap-under protection feature. Dirt doesn't collect under the door at the edge. No one touts this feature, but it's likely noticeable to a consumer.
Scott Lindstrom, driver assist technology manager at Ford, highlighted Edge features and said drivers appreciate receiving danger alerts that avert potential collisions, evasive steering support, adaptive cruise control, lane centering technology as well as parallel parking assist.
"Edge ST puts a new animal on the road -- a performance SUV with a track mentality," said Hau Thai-Tang, executive vice president of product development and purchasing. "From a performance standpoint, and with its SUV silhouette and versatility, it sets a new standard Edge fans will love to drive."