There is a new sharpness to the Ford Edge Vignale.
Ford has again raised its game and put pressure on competitors with the high spec Edge Vignale 210ps version.
When we first drove the Edge Sport with a 180ps 2.0 TD engine and 6sp manual gearbox we found it a bit underpowered for a model weighing over 1900kg. Now with the top Vignale’s 210ps output from the same engine and matched with a very smooth dual-clutch auto/ manual 6sp transmission it has been transformed.
Not only is it better to drive, has quicker acceleration and higher top speed but, and this may seem unlikely, its actually more economical by a significant amount, rising from 38mpg to over 47mpg, a staggering 25% improvement. Use the power to the full and it falls to about 34mpg, however.
Vignale is the top trim level in a compact seven model range in four grades of the all-wheel-drive only Edge with a choice of 180 or 210ps 2.0 turbo-diesel engines equipped with six-speed manual or Powershift dual clutch sequential automatic transmission and costing between £30,650 and £41,165.
With the Vignale name comes a dedicated VIP service from Ford and partners to offer owners special lifestyle opportunities and access to selected events.
The more powerful engine and automatic transmission showed a high degree of refinement and quietness along with smooth delivery and good acceleration. It’s still a small capacity engine for such a big model and this can still be an issue when heavily loaded with people, luggage or possibly towing, but in everyday use it distinguished itself.
I liked the steering weight and assistance, it turns in well on open roads and has a reasonably good circle when manoeuvering or parking but it needs big spaces and you can order park assist and a wide-view camera to help.
Slowing and stopping the near 1950kg five-door SUV as very easy with modest pedal effort, good assistance build up and an effective electric parking-brake. Advanced automatic systems also keep you safe with collision mitigation and driver alert included.
Secondary controls are familiar column stalks and buttons, which work well, backed up by scattered switches along and under the fascia, on the central console stack and between the front seats. Instruments are big and clear with a highly visible touch-screen infotainment screen for a multitude of features and displays.
The Edge Vignale is a comfortable car. Heating and ventilation was straightforward but distracting when operated through the info-screen on the move, worked well and kept the big cabin at desired temperature while the powered and heated front seats were supplemented by heated rear seats and steering wheel as options.
Access was very good with wide opening doors, lots of room both cabin and bootspace, which had a high floor wasn’t deep but wide and long instead. Oddments space was good. It had a slightly firm ride but was generally absorbent, and it really soaked up all but the very worst potholes and bumps which could be heard passing beneath the car.
You are aware this is a big car from first setting eyes on it and corners are out of sight most of the time but it handles well with a fairly neutral feel and a high degree of grip. There is almost no body roll or pitching so rear seat passengers are unlikely to feel queasy.
I found headlights were powerful, wide and long ranging, the wipers among the biggest I have ever seen and the wash was very powerful for coping with autumn road muck.
The options are plentiful and need careful consideration but they are not expensively priced compared to some rivals so the Ford Edge Vignale is a realistic proposition for a lot of buyers who would not have thought the blue oval badge would look good on their drive.
|FAST FACTS||Ford Edge Vignale|
|Price: £44,480 as tested inc towbar & adaptive cruise/ active steering||Mechanical: 210ps 4cyl 2.0 turbo-diesel, 6sp auto AWD|
|Max Speed: 131mph||0-62mph: 9.4sec|
|Combined MPG: 47.5||Insurance Group: 29E T1|
|C02 emissions: 152g/km||Bik rating: 30%, £810FY, £450SR|
|Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles||Sizes: L 4.81m, W 1.93, H 1.71m|
|Bootspace: 602 – 1847 litres||Kerb: 1949kg|
|For: Very roomy, refined, smooth powertrain, economy, equipment
Against: Big vehicle to manoeuvre in urban areas and car parks, road noise, some visibility issues, high BIK tax.