The Ford Edge is getting a huge touchscreen and more active safety technology for 2021, though the updates have yet to be confirmed for its Endura counterpart here.
A spokesperson for Ford Australia said there’s no news to share about plans for the updated model in Australia.
The Edge’s new touchscreen, running Ford’s Sync 4A system, grows from eight inches to 12 and is now portrait-oriented like the Mustang Mach-E’s.
The larger screen allows users to multi-task, splitting the screen into larger and smaller windows.
The new Sync 4A system also allows for wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while the voice recognition supports conversational prompts. One example Ford gives is, “Find me the best Thai restaurant.”
Owners can now access a digital version of the owner’s manual through the touchscreen, which also includes streamable how-to videos.
Other interior changes include the addition of an optional wireless charging pad plus two extra USB ports, one of which is a USB-C port.
There’s additional active safety technology in what Ford North America calls its Co-Pilot360 suite. These features include evasive steering assist and lane-centering.
Other minor tweaks include a new Ceramic interior colourway and a couple of new exterior colours – both grey – though there are no exterior changes of note.
The new touchscreen gives Ford the largest touchscreen in its class.
The redesigned 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento have a 10.25-inch unit, though it’s a slimmer, landscape-oriented one; the 2021 Mazda CX-9 will likely follow suit, albeit without touch functionality.
Most rivals have screens around eight inches, including the Jeep Grand Cherokee with its 8.4-inch set-up.
Reports have suggested the Endura will be replaced with a three-row version of the Escape, conceptually similar to the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace.
Australia is the last right-hand drive market remaining for the Endura, with Ford recently discontinuing it in New Zealand and axing it in the UK last year just six months after it was facelifted.
While it offers a diesel powertrain and a choice of front- or all-wheel drive, it lacks the option of a petrol engine and doesn’t have the off-road ability or third row of seating many SUVs offer at this price point.
In its last full year on sale – 2015 – Ford sold 8902 examples of the Territory, by then a decade-old design. In 2019, Ford sold 5333 Everests but shifted just 1893 examples of the new Endura. So far this year, the Endura’s rugged showroom-mate is outselling it by over four-to-one.
Last year, the Endura was outsold by large SUVs like the also newly introduced Holden Acadia, as well as other large, two-row SUVs like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Subaru Outback.
The same is true this year, with the Endura only managing to best niche models such as the Jeep Wrangler and SUVs from fledgling brands like the LDV D90 and Haval H9.
Ford arguably has a more suitable model available overseas, though it isn’t available in right-hand drive.
It offers three rows of seating, a plug-in hybrid, and a twin-turbocharged ST variant, though there’s no diesel option.