Ford is giving its midsize crossover a tech upgrade, with the 2021 Edge and Edge ST borrowing some of the best features from the Mustang Mach-E’s cabin. The updated SUVs are getting a much larger touchscreen, with a 12-inch display now standard, running the new SYNC 4A connected infotainment platform.
It’s a big upgrade from the old Edge, which ran SYNC 3 on an 8-inch touchscreen. That wasn’t bad when the crossover first launched, but is starting to feel positively small in 2020.
The new display will be much larger – and portrait orientation to take up more of the center console, unlike the landscape orientation old display and its position perched atop the stack – but more important is the software it’s running. Announced alongside the 2021 Mustang Mach-E, SYNC 4A is a more capable, more connected version of the automaker’s infotainment. That includes cloud services and conversational voice recognition.
All 2021 Edge models will support those features – though a smaller screen compared to the Mustang Mach-E’s huge 15.5-inch panel – along with connected navigation. The bigger display, meanwhile, will be more flexible: drivers will be able to split it into sections, keeping navigation and media controls visible at the same time, for example. Nine different “Information on Demand” features will be available to show.
With the embedded modem, meanwhile, there’s cloud-based voice recognition processing, as well as search results for points-of-interest plus gas pricing, parking availability, and weather updates from online sources. The same voice recognition can be used to send and respond via SMS and email. If there’s an active SiriusXM with 360L subscription, the new Edge can also show on-demand streaming content and personalized channels.
Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included, and Ford is promising OTA update support as well. Compared to the old Edge, the 2021 crossover gets twice the USB ports in the cabin: four in total, including an extra USB-C. The touchscreen can also be used as an interactive owners’ manual, with videos and search.
Ford Co-Pilot360 is now being enhanced, with the 2021 Edge and Edge STY supporting adding to the standard safety tech with driver-assistance features like Enhanced Active Park Assist, Evasive Steering Assist, and Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane-Centering. A 180-degree front camera will also be available.
Outside, there’s a new range of wheels – including 18-inch alloys on the Edge SE as standard, and 21-inch gloss black-painted wheels as an option on the ST – plus two new colors, Carbonized Gray and Lithium Gray. Inside, there’s a new Ceramic interior trim option on the Titanium Elite, and a new Cloth option on the SEL. The 2021 Edge ST-Line borrows the ST’s grille styling and other exterior details, but without the cost of the performance bump.