Ford's big, boxy, and bold Flex soldiers on unchanged for another year. The big three-row wagon crossover was all-new for the 2009 model year. It got a small makeover with new styling for 2013, but hasn't changed much since.
Despite the aging platform, the Flex is still competitive in the segment. It has more room than competitors like the Toyota Highlander and Mazda CX-9, and fitted with the 3.5L Ecoboost V6 it's a bit of a rocket ship next to the also-quick Chevrolet Traverse.
The Flex gives room for three rows of full-size adults, which makes it somewhat unique in the segment. This is the modern take on the classic wagon. It's missing the wood paneling, but the upright styling, big power, and big room are all still there. But since the wagon has changed to the crossover, the Flex is higher up than any wagon ever was. But it's not as high as some of the other more SUV-biased crossovers, which helps make getting people and things in and out easier. The upright styling has a huge greenhouse, with lots of glass. That give great visibility for driving, parking, and maneuvering this big wagon.
The Flex offers four 12-volt power plugs, a standard six-speaker stereo with USB input, a leather wrapped wheel, power windows, tinted rear glass, and Ford's Sync infotainment and connectivity system with a 4.2-inch screen.
The base Flex SE is front-wheel drive with a 3.5L V6 and six-speed automatic. That V6 makes 287 hp and 254 lb-ft of torque. That engine returns 14.7 L/100 km city 10.2 highway. A dual-headrest DVD entertainment system is optional.
The SEL model adds Ford's Sync 3 system with a larger screen. It also adds heated and power adjustable front seats, a separate rear climate control system, and remote start. The SEL can be optioned with all-wheel drive, leather seating for the first two rows, a 110-volt power outlet, a premium audio system, blind spot alerts, and a power liftgate. Second-row seatbelt airbags are also an option.
Flex Limited adds unique maple trim, a 12-speaker Sony audio system, and perforated leather for the front rows. The base V6 is standard, with the same fuel economy as the base model, but the 3.5L twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 is available with 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. That turns the Flex into a surprisingly fast and fun family hauler. The EcoBoost comes with intelligent all-wheel drive. Packages for the Flex add active parking, radar cruise control, a heated steering wheel, and cooled front seats. There is also a three-piece Vista Roof that gives a moonroof to second and third row passengers. To pamper the passengers a little more, a fridge is avaialable for the second-row console. Finally, Ford offers optional power-folding third row seats that go flat into the floor, or reverse for tailgate seats.
Flex Limited with the EcoBoost is rated for 15.7 L/100 km city, 11.2 highway.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed