2013 Ford Flex-SEL AWD Review

Wednesday February 20th, 2013 at 1:22 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

By David Colman

Hypes: Spacious, Handsome, Comfy
Gripes: Irascible Dash Controls, Parking Woes

It’s not often I lose a fight with a turn signal indicator, but the stalk on this Flex had me flummoxed. So much pressure is required to move the lever, that half the time it wouldn’t budge until after the window of need had shut. In a microcosm, that recalcitrance is emblematic of the Flex’ testy driver/vehicle interface. For example, if you want to turn the seat heaters on, you can only do so if the proper screen is displayed on the driver information center. No physical buttons for this task are present. If it’s really cold and you’re wearing gloves, you can’t activate the touch screen without first removing your gloves, since the screen is sensitive to heat rather than just pressure. Also, if you want to change interior temperature settings, the dash provides poorly differentiated receptor spots that issue a barely audible click when touched. So you need to look at the display screen to confirm any temperature change you think you’ve made. It’s an unsatisfying, time consuming and attention diverting procedure.

Ergonomic transgressions aside, the Flex is a true family warrior, with easy seating for 6 spread over 3 rows. If you delete the 2nd row console ($100 option) you could easily squeeze 7 into this sizeable bus. The rearmost pair of seats fold flat but must be removed for access to the sunken load floor. The 2nd row seats are auto-folders which facilitate quick conversion from bus to truck. Interior room is vast, thanks to a stretch limo wheelbase of 117.1 inches and a cargo hold of 83.2 cubic feet with all rear seats folded. The price you pay for this interior convenience is measured in size and weight. The Flex is a road giant with a length of 201.8 inches and a curb weight of 4,471 pounds. Given those figures, it’s nothing short of amazing that this behemoth manages to return 19 MPG in overall mileage.

 

What’s even more surprising is this big boy’s spunk and agility. The base engine, a 287hp, 3.5 liter V-6, is 25hp more powerful than last year’s standard offering. But the base V-6, with 255 lb.-ft. of torque, is good for towing just 2,000 pounds of trailer. If you plan to tow a 4,000 pound load, however, you’ll want to opt for the 3.5 liter twin-turbo V-6 which ups horsepower to 365 and makes 350 lb.-ft. of torque. Outside of the towing limitation, the base V-6 is plenty punchy in normal driving. This engine parses power through a 6-speed “Selectshift” automatic transmission with manual gear selection available through a floor-console mounted lever. Steering response is more communicative than you might expect. It’s never difficult to place the front wheels directly on an apex, and the all-wheel-drive system keeps the 18 inch Goodyear Assurance tires (235/60R18) churning relentlessly through each and every switchback. You won’t mistake the Flex for a sports agility vehicle, but considering its size, it gets down the road with alacrity. To this end, Ford has retuned Flex’s 2013 chassis components for better road feel. Passing power is good, handling is commendable, and outward vision through the vast glass acreage is superb.

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First Impressions Review: 2010 Ford Flex SEL AWD – Boxy is the New Sexy

Tuesday October 19th, 2010 at 9:1010 AM
Posted by: berrichondanny

By Danny Chang

Pros

  • Smooth ride
  • Decent acceleration
  • Lots of interior space
  • 20-inch wheels bring road presence

Cons

  • Limb-threatening second row seats
  • Unwise location for hatch closing button
  • Controversial styling

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2009 Ford Flex Limited AWD Review – Character that can’t be Classified.

Monday November 10th, 2008 at 12:1111 PM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

By Kurt Gensheimer

Blings:

  • Cavernous interior
  • Unique styling
  • Incredible fit and finish

Dings:

  • Lazy transmission
  • Polarizing brick look - aka - biggie-sized Scion xB
  • Some may think it’s overpriced

Ruling: The highest quality, best built Ford we’ve driven in…dare we say…decades?

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All New Ford Flex Poised To Deliver A Quiet Ride

Wednesday May 14th, 2008 at 7:55 AM
Posted by: Derek

2009 Ford Flex

For those who keep up with Ford news, it is well known that the Ford Flex will take over where the Taurus X leaves off. We actually found the Taurus X to be a really competent car and very versatile. So, our expectations are high for the Ford Flex when it starts showing up at the dealerships this summer. (Editor)

DEARBORN, Mich., May 14, 2008 – When customers take their new Ford Flex for its first spin this summer, they may be surprised by what’s missing: the noise.

Flex delivers a quieter ride than competitors including the Acura MDX, Toyota Highlander and GMC Acadia, according to Ford tests. That’s good news for customers, who tend to directly relate a vehicle’s quietness with its quality, says Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president of Global Product Development. “Quietness is a very good proxy for quality in a vehicle.” Read the rest of this entry »

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