Dan Wiese is a freelance automotive writer. He is a regular contributor for Brand Ave. Studios and to AAA Midwest Traveler magazine's online Web Bonus.

It's an Edge with an edge.

2019 Ford Edge ST

More aggressively styled than other Edge crossovers, ST wears a unique front fascia, mesh-filled grille, proprietary dual-exhaust outlets and standard 20-inch wheels. Photo provided by Ford

The new-for-2019 Edge ST is the first Ford SUV to wear the Blue Oval's "ST" performance badge -- a monogram also displayed by the hot-hatch version of the Fiesta subcompact.

Spreading the ST performance wealth beyond cars makes sense. After all, soon Ford will be all but out of the car business, concentrating instead on more profitable trucks, crossovers and SUVs. So expanding the ST franchise to crossovers is a logical move for the future.

In Edge, the ST designation includes a 2.7-liter, turbocharged V-6 generating 335 hp and 380 lb.-ft. of torque -- 20 and 30 more, respectively, than the 2018 Edge Sport ST replaces. That muscle is sent to all four-wheels via a standard eight-speed automatic transmission.

In our ST, that powertrain enabled us to greet 60 mph in less than 6 seconds while realizing a respectable 20 mpg in 150 miles of mixed city/hwy motoring.

Much of the credit for the parsimonious fuel appetite can be claimed by ST's standard all-wheel drive system, which not only varies torque distribution as the situation requires but, for enhanced fuel economy, automatically -- and seamlessly -- disconnects power to the rear wheels when aft traction is unnecessary.

Add the eight-speed gearbox, which represents an increase of two cogs over the old Sport's six-speed, and the EPA, despite added power, rates ST 2 mpg better in both city and hwy cycles than it did Sport.

That eight-speed, by the way, is manually shiftable via paddles on the steering wheel but is mainly controlled by a nifty new rotary dial on the floor console.

2019 Ford Edge ST

Photo provided by Ford

Other ST performance upgrades, compared to the more plebeian Edge models of SE, SEL and Titanium, include a heftier steering feel and suspension upgrades that bring along stiffer springs fore and aft and beefier anti-roll bars for sportier handling.

On the road, Edge ST, which offers Normal and Sport driving modes, is generally hushed, predictable and smooth. Its turbo six-pack is enthusiastic in a way that feels more laid back, less boy-racer than some artificially aspirated engines. That said, ST's Sport mode does introduce a more aggressive shift pattern, quicker throttle response and an enhanced exhaust note.

Inside, room is excellent. Even the back seat boasts copious head room and generous leg room. Meanwhile, a robust 39.2 cubic feet of cargo space is on tap with the rear seats up, and that expands to an impressive 73.4 cubes with those seats folded.

ST cabin decor is sporty -- well-bolstered leather-and-suede sport buckets, "ST" embossed on front-seat backs, "Ford Performance" emblazoned on front-doorsill plates and an overall black-on-black interior ambience with contrasting white stitching and satin-metal accents.

Meanwhile, infotainment controls are easy to navigate -- intuitive touch screen, big knob for radio volume and on-screen climate controls aped by redundant hard buttons.

Flanking an analog speedometer in the gauge pod are twin reconfigurable screens -- trip counter, digital speedometer, driver assist stuff on the left; navigation, phone, entertainment on the right. The left-hand screen also offers a tachometer, which appears automatically when the Sport mode is selected -- a mode that also cancels the auto-engine shut-off feature.

2019 Ford Edge ST

Photo provided by Ford

Regarding active safety stuff, every 2019 Edge boasts auto emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision and lane-departure warnings and lane-keep assist.

Also worth noting, our ST's auto-park function -- push a button, engage reverse, feather the brake -- was easy to use and flawless in function.

As the first crossover to wear the ST performance badge, this Edge is a harbinger of things to come at Ford.


This content was produced by Brand Ave. Studios. The news and editorial departments of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had no role in its creation or display. For more information about Brand Ave. Studios, contact tgriffin@stltoday.com.