Ten years ago the hype around the new Ford Crossover was huge; the Flex was even in the top 10 of the Internet search prior to its launch in 2009. Unfortunately, the vehicle didn’t live up to the build-up and never came close to the popularity of all of the other Fords SUV and Crossover lineup. Hence, in 2016 Ford has announced that they’ll be discontinuing the model, so today we are reviewing the last Ford Flex on the market.
- Powerful 365-horsepower V6 engine
- Exceptional visibility
- Eccentric noticeable exterior
- Base engine is sub-par
- Just one generation in 10 years
- Unimpressive cabin
- Gas mileage is insufficient within its class
- Reliability ratings are below average
- Tech features are good only on the upper trim
Ford Flex Overview
The rankings for the Flex aren’t impressive: Ford Flex 2019 ranks at the bottom of the lists on most of the review sites: holding the 20th place out of the 23 in the Midsize Crossovers ratings and the very unimpressive 47th place out of the 59 in the 2019 Crossover/SUV’s.
2019 Ford Flex does have a unique look about it and if you are looking for a different kind of an SUV, this might be a good choice for you. Though, it is silly to get a family car just for the appearance, as for functionality, comfort or safety – there are much better options on the market with the same or lower price tag. Now, on the bright side, it is a family-oriented seven-seater with a smooth ride and the top-tier trim does offer impressive tech, comfort, and safety features. The cargo capacity is good and Flex has a roomy and very flexible cabin with more than enough space for passengers and cargo. Flex is manufactured in three trims each with an abundance of available add-ons.
The Flex exterior style is a very distinctive one, fashionable and very charming. Ford did manage to offer a great exterior alternative for those looking for something drastically different than all of the look-alike SUV’s. Ford pulled-off the aggressive square design which is complemented by the very uncommon sleek grille and headlights design and beautiful chrome wheels.
Ford Flex has a function-first kind of cabin. Ford these days has awesome materials, hard plastics, and soft-touch seat upholstery, unfortunately, none of them are used in the Flex. Thus, overall, when compared to the rivals it falls short on most of the important things: quality, design, comfort, technology and safety features. On the bright side: the interior is spacious, the seats are comfortably spaced and positioned, the visibility is excellent.
Flex performance is just fine, generally the ride is smooth and pleasant. There are two engines, the base-level one is often referred to as “nothing to write home about” and it is a very accurate description. Fuel economy isn’t good, the vehicle feels heavy when fully loaded. All of the trims except the upscale top have the 3.5 liter V6 that generates up to 287. The upscale Limited trim offers a solid turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine capable of generating 365 hp. It is only available with the AWD and, again, fuel economy is very unimpressive.
The top-tier level is well equipped tech-wise; the bottom one and the mid-tier do need many add-ons to have that advanced high-tech safe ride feel. The cheapest trim has:
- keyless entry
- 6-way power-adjustable driver’s seat
- air conditioning with controls in the back
- AM/FM/CD player
- Bluetooth phone connectivity
- USB port
- SYNC infotainment
Moving on up the trims you’ll have much more standard and optional features and functions, as well as the upgraded awesome SYNK 3 infotainment, dual-zone CC, smartphone integration, premium 7-speaker audio system, SiriusXM Radio, Navigation System with SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link and much more.
The prices range from the 31 569 for the lower trim and go all the way up to and exceed 48 000 USD for the top-tier trim. As for the value – there are surely better value for money choices available.
Flex is a seven-seater with three rows of seats that transforms into a six-seater if you want to opt for upscale second-row seating in the mid and upper trims. Both rows in the back can be folded flat to create more cargo space. There is enough led and headroom in the first two rows, the third one is a tad cramped. The Flex has three sets of LATCH car-seat connectors.
The two base models have a single zone manual AC, the top-tier trim has dual-zone electronic automatic temperature control.
The SYNC 3 infotainment is the best user-friendly voice-activated tech. It has been significantly modified over the years to the point of perfection. With easy-to-manage smartphone integration you’ll be able to boost your tech features by adding Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
Storage and Space
There is definitely enough space for a big family, you’ll probably be able to fit whatever you want in the vehicle. There’s even an option to transport long items with a front passenger seat folding down. Overall, the Flex provides 20 cubic feet behind the last row of seats and 43.2 behind the second. With all of the rows down you’ll have an 83.2 cubic feet of space available to you.
Again, there’s that word – fine. The comfort level is fine, you won’t be uncomfortable, but there’s definitely the feeling that in 2019 we have a bit higher expectations for the level of comfort. The seats could be better, the tech could be more advanced, the ride can definitely be quieter.
Seats aren’t very supportive, the quality is better on the upper trims if you opt for a six-passenger version. The lack of quality is especially evident during the long rides, the third row feels a bit cramped.
Overall, Flex offers a smooth ride, but, you should note that the bigger wheels, especially the 20 inch ones take away from the quality – even the small imperfections on the road will not go unnoticed.
Overall, the Flex provides an adequate driving experience, but there are a few small things here and there that question the quality. The Flex isn’t that pleasant to drive. There is definitely plenty of power and traction and acceleration is sufficient. The same cannot be said about the steering, and the brakes, though very effective and responsive, have a long travel and almost no feel.
Safety & Reliability
Overall NHTSA crash test safety ratings aren’t available, and the rollover ratings were 4 out of 5.
Should I Buy the Ford Flex?
If you are set on purchasing the Flex, take the maid trim SEL for a test drive, out of the three it is the best value for money choice.
How Much Does it cost?
30 575 USD – 43 590 USD