Tuesday, April 28, 2009

2009 Ford Flex Review

If you have a family that needs more than 5 seats, the Ford Flex is a worthwhile choice, provided that you like the style. That’s what this car attempts to represent – a vehicle with style and substance that is unique compared to other crossovers.


I call it a long, boxy station wagon. At least it’s unique!

In many ways it apes the strengths of the now defunct Chrysler Pacifica. Although, the Ford Flex is a much more comprehensive package with better road manners. Having a vehicle that caters to seating comfort the way the Ford Flex does is a nice luxury. Isolation abound as a passenger locates their own corner to hide. I dare say; this vehicle has one of the most comfortable passenger areas of any vehicle in its bracket.

If you have a family that needs more than 5 seats, the Ford Flex is a worthwhile choice, provided that you like the style. That’s what this car attempts to represent – a vehicle with style and substance that is unique compared to other crossovers.

I call it a long, boxy station wagon. At least it’s unique!

In many ways it apes the strengths of the now defunct Chrysler Pacifica. Although, the Ford Flex is a much more comprehensive package with better road manners. Having a vehicle that caters to seating comfort the way the Ford Flex does is a nice luxury. Isolation abound as a passenger locates their own corner to hide. I dare say; this vehicle has one of the most comfortable passenger areas of any vehicle in its bracket.

A 262 horsepower, 3.5 liter (248 lbs feet of torque) V6 is the only engine choice. It is fairly competitive, but on the slower side given the approximately 9 second 0-60 times in the AWD trim. These numbers are on par with competitor’s larger, 3-row crossovers. Word has it that a much more powerful 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6 should have a 100 horsepower boost when it debuts in about a year. The current engine averages in the mid to low 20’s mpg on the highway and in the low to mid teens in the city.

There is an option for a 7 seat Flex with a 3 person second row; however, that is at the expense of the adjustable second row captain seats and the optional center rest cooler. The driver’s seat, position, outward view and adjustability are excellent. Road feel is better than any minivan and on par with the General Motor’s big crossovers (Chevy Traverse, Saturn Outlook, GMC Acadia, etc).

So Ford, what’s the deal with forgoing a telescoping steering wheel?

The optional 20 inch wheels look nice and do not appear to enhance or sharpen the ride compared to the 17 inch aluminum wheels. In fact, I think the ride suffers a tad with the huge rollers. Either way, given the Ford Flex’s mass, you wont need massive (read: expensive to replace) performance tires anyway. All the same, I dare say this Flex is very competent on the streets.

Once you get used to the long hood (as long as a full size pickup) parking is fairly easy for such a long vehicle. It’s even longer than the aforementioned General Motor’s vehicles. If you have anything in your garage that impedes long cars, you will have to remove it to fit a Ford Flex.

This is an ultimate road trip automobile. Despite very flat body panels and glass, the Flex is slippery enough to slice through highway winds easily. The Flex’s long wheelbase and low center of gravity make for a competent highway cruiser. In many ways, this is a superb vehicle for Denver families – the AWD option should get you home to your suburban domicile even in our nasty, slushy spring snows.

The Ford Flex is a great car, but it could be excellent.

With a cheaper base price (which is a bit under $29,000), a little bit more power, a more adjustable steering wheel and more available options, this Ford Flex hangs on the cusp of excellence.

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