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Edge Vignale: Ford's large SUV gets the luxury treatment

 

Ford's taken its flagship SUV, the Edge, and applied liberal amounts of chrome and equipment to create the new Edge Vignale. Tom Wiltshire puts it to the test.

Ford's Vignale nameplate is a luxury sub-brand, which Ford says is a response to customer feedback. Loyal buyers of the American brand were buying more and more top-spec Titanium models, leaving them nothing higher to upgrade to when trade-in time came around.

In response, Ford's added Vignale trim across its model line-up, which acts as a range-topping trim - giving customers extra kit, improved materials, chrome detailing, and dedicated Vignale benefits.

We're testing Ford's flagship SUV - the Edge - in this glitzy Vignale spec. The Edge is an American import, and sells in huge numbers across the pond, but does this kit-and-chrome-laden 4x4 appeal to UK tastes?

What's new?

On the outside, the Edge Vignale gets a selection of exclusive paint colours. Once it's been painted, Ford lets its design team loose with chrome detailing - there's a massive and imposing Vignale-specific grille, glitzy chrome wheels and shiny roof rails.

Inside, the Vignale gets quilted leather seats, while Ford's covered the plastic dashboard with swathes of leather. The carpet's thicker, and even the boot is coated in deep-pile shag. Under the skin not much has changed, but there's extra soundproofing to make the Vignale a relaxed and refined cruiser.

What's under the bonnet?

The Edge Vignale is available with just one 2.0-litre diesel, available in two states of tune. The lesser model gets 178bhp and a six-speed manual gearbox, while the top brass can choose the 207bhp version mated to a six-speed auto.

Our car was the latter. The engine is fairly refined, but it's definitely no speed demon.

What's it like to drive?

Ford has a strong track record for making cars that handle well, and the Edge is no exception. For such a big car it's unusually good in the corners. But in standard form, the Edge is a very heavy car; the Vignale even more so - and you can definitely feel that weight working against you.

The steering is accurate if a tad over-assisted - a necessary evil when trying to give such a big car light steering.

How does it look?

Some will love the Edge's combination of imposing American style and shiny chrome - others will find it a bit chintzy. We initially fell into the latter camp, but had to admit the car grew on us as the week drew on.

It's certainly eye-catching, and if you want road presence, few cars at this price are better.

What's it like inside?

Roomy, spacious and comfortable: four or even five adults can sit comfortably, and the vast boot has over 600 litres of space for your kit.

Lots of places inside have benefitted from the upgrading of materials and you'll definitely appreciate all that sumptuous leather and other extras, especially on long journeys.

What's the spec like?

Ford throws the book at Vignale models as standard, and you won't be left wanting for much. Dynamic LED headlights, quilted and heated leather seats, a hands-free electric tailgate and digital gauge cluster all come as standard. You also get Ford's Sync3 infotainment system, with sat-nav, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Verdict

If you want a big, luxurious SUV, the Edge Vignale has a lot going for it in what is a very competitive premium market.

There's a definite sense that if you're already sold on the Edge, opting for the Vignale wouldn't be too big a stretch. Those who do go for it will find a spacious, relaxed SUV with a comfortably familiar badge on the bonnet.

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