To the left the waves crash loudly on the shores of Malibu, California, as the Ford Performance Blue SUV smoothly navigates the curves and the traffic. Your scribe hears a familiar exhaust note to the right. A quick glance reveals a modern Mustang of the S550 variety. Obviously modded and driven by a young gent, this fellow Ford is more overt about its performance, but knowing the capabilities of the Edge ST elicits a knowing smile.

More than anything, it’s just a hell of a lot of fun to drive. — Ed Krenz, Ford Performance

“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.”

Sure Ford Performance’s first foray into the sport utility segment isn’t going to overpower a Mustang, but up in those canyon roads above the beach it will certainly hold its own. The 2019 Edge ST walks a thin line between the daily driver that can run errands and handle the school car line during the week, but let you cut loose and drive it fast on the weekends.

Looking striking and classy in Ford Performance Blue Metallic, this 2019 Edge ST proved a perfect vehicle for a fast weekend getaway.

That’s just what I set out to do for a long weekend in Los Angeles. Picking the car up at LAX, the Edge ST looks somewhat like a linebacker in a tuxedo. You know there is muscle under its subtle good looks, but it doesn’t brag about it. Pushing the starter button elicits a raspy burble that is repressed in the cabin unless you get after it with your right foot.

The 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine powering the Edge ST is mechanically similar to the engine found in the F-150, but it benefits from a performance calibration yielding 335 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. Paired with the 8FM eight-speed auto that always keeps it in its powerband happy place, this engine is frisky if not muscular in the Edge ST.

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As I slithered on to the streets headed for Hollywood, the CarPlay enabled Waze on the in-dash touchscreen was a joy. It helped avoid traffic and arrive at my destination unencumbered by LA traffic. All the while the ride was comfortable and compliant.

Backing into a parking spot at its temporary abode, it immediately attracted attention. “Oh. I love that color,” a woman shared as the door swung open. Her male companion asked, “Is it fast?” “Why yes it is,” I demurred, knowing not everyone is a jaded speed junkie.

With its black wheels and unique front and rear fascias, the Edge ST subtly sets itself apart from other Edge SUVs.

Of course, once freed from the confines of city traffic in the turns above Malibu, I instantly recalled how well it handled. Click it into Sport mode, use the paddle shifters, cut the corners, enjoy the matched-rev down shifting, and don’t fret about heat soak or brake fade. On the street it is more than an adequate performer, even if it doesn’t offer the brute speed some might desire.

To keep drivers comfortable in daily use and in their seat while they are carving up the corners, the Edge ST features unique seats covered in leather and suede. We found them truly comfortable and supportive enough for some spirited driving.

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Its signature ST emblem’d front fascia allows 70 percent more airflow than the comparable fascia on the Edge Titanium. This increased flow provides ample cooling for the transmission cooler and turbo intercooler. Our test example included the ST Performance Brake Package with 21-inch wheels and red-painted calipers and more (see sidebar).

Then, just like that, as I returned to the congestion of the city, the Edge ST showed its balanced personality. It had the thrust to maneuver around unforgiving SoCal drivers and the quiet cabin that kept the city noise at bay. As I gave it one last blast on the way to the airport, I couldn’t only think how much fun it would be with mods. Then it would definitely be the coolest grocery getter in the car line and ready for an even faster weekend getaway.

2019 Edge ST Options

Our Edge ST tester was nicely equipped with every available option and carried a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $52,165 including destination and delivery charges. The options added the follow features:

Group 401A

• Universal garage door opener

• Perimeter alarm

• Wireless charging pad

• Evasive steering assist

• Panoramic Vista Roof

• Voice-activated touch-screen navigation

• Hands-free, foot-activated liftgate

• Adaptive cruise control

• Remote start system

• Auto-dim driver side-view mirror

• Heated rear seats

• Cooled front seats

• Enhanced active-park assist

Cold Weather Package

• All-weather front and rear floor liners

• Heated steering wheel

• Windshield wiper de-icer

• Convenience Package

• 110V/150W AC power outlet

• Hands-free, foot-activated liftgate

• Perimeter alarm

• Remote start system

• Universal garage door opener

• Wireless charging pad

ST Performance Brake Package

• 21-inch premium Gloss Black-painted aluminum wheels

• Brushless Radiator cooling fan

• Colorado Red-painted brake calipers

• Front and rear vented disc brakes with unique front rotors (13.6-inch)

• Performance brake pads

• Summer-only tires

• Vented brake shields

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