Sitting at the top of the blue oval’s range, you’re looking at at least £40k (or £434.99+VAT per month on lease) for even the basic Ford Edge Vignale model, but is it worth it? Danni Bagnall finds out.
It never hurts to start out with a bit of history. The name ‘Vignale’ may well be new to modern buyers, but it’s actually been around for almost 70 years. Starting life in Italy in 1948 by none other than Alfredo Vignale himself, the famous badge featured on special editions that the firm hand-built in house. In 1972, Ford bought the brand.
The Ford Edge Vignale is not hand-built, but it does scream luxury – hence ‘Vignale’ being known as Ford’s ‘luxury arm’.
My test model was the 2-litre TDCi (diesel) all-wheel drive, with PowerShift automatic gearbox. Featuring a Shadow Black hue, this thing looks smart. It has chrome Exclusive 20-inch alloy wheels and other chrome accents which really makes for a more upmarket Edge. Its SUV guise and higher stance is a big seller these days and there’s no question of it dominating the road like it did the car park as soon as it was delivered.
Inside, there's leather everywhere and I’m a lover not a hater. It looks and feels so plush and the plastics followed suit, with good quality materials used throughout. But it’s not all about the finishes. This car, as standard, gets a monumental list of options included in its price, the test model coming in at £43,025 and the only option it had on it was a reversible luggage compartment mat for £60.
Just some of the included features are handsfree power boot lid and key free system, Ford SYNC 3 with voice control and eight-inch colour touchscreen, rear view camera, Sony DAB navigation with premium sound acoustic side glass, adaptive lighting with dynamic LED headlights, and LED fog lights with chrome surround. Not stopping there, it's also got Active City Stop technology including pedestrian detection, privacy glass, front and rear parking sensors, power-adjustable front seats with driver memory function, ‘Quickclear’ heated front windscreen, variable heated front seats, enhanced ambient lighting, electric handbrake, plus Ford easy fuel (cap-less refuelling with mis-fuel inhibitor and tyre pressure monitoring system).
How does it drive? The Edge Vignale is available with just the one previously-mentioned engine, but there is a choice of output – 178bhp or 207bhp – and the test model was the latter, higher-powered version. It still feels a little underpowered, though. That being said, it is smooth. The performance is decent and it’s really rather good on fuel, making for a good daily family mobile. It’s also super comfortable on the road, soaking up some of the harshest pot holes I’ve only come across at the last minute. It’s not particularly brisk, but it does get there and it sounds pretty meaty on its way. The automatic gearbox that the engine is mated to also fairs well, with smooth, prompt changes up and down when required. All-wheel drive comes as standard on both engine variants. There is no manual gearbox option available – a lack I don’t see affecting popularity in the slightest.
Despite being a fan of the Ford Edge Vignale, I can’t help but think about the competition, though. The SUV segment is huge and there is just so much choice. It really can be a bit of a minefield and £40-odd thousand puts it in the territory of a BMW X3 or an Audi Q5, which I would probably prefer. And that’s not because I’m a badge snob. Not in any way shape or form. My reason is, upon considering all factors such as residual values for example, the aforementioned are probably better bets. Either that or I’d look at an Edge lower in the range, and at a lower base price, and add a few of the essential swish options to make it my own.