Last week my family test drove a 2011 Ford Flex. It is a unique and stylish vehicle that has lots of room for the whole family. The Flex we drove seats six, but there is an option for a bench seat that would create seating for 7. I love how much space there was in the Flex. Every row of seating had ample leg room and space to put drinks, books and other things the kids carted along. There was plenty of head room too (not that I ever have a shortage of that at my height). The seat could be raised up or down to compensate for short people like me.
My husband was in love with this vehicle from the first time he sat in it. He loves the little details like the bluetooth option that allows him to not only use his phone right from the dashboard, but also could connect to the music stored on his phone and play it. It can be hooked up to Sirius radio too, which is another bonus.
I drove the Ford Flex to Toronto for an event, and on the way home we drove right into a traffic jam. What should have been a two hour drive took around four hours, and I learned that not only does the Flex offer a smooth ride, it is comfortable even after being made to sit in it for hours. It handled the start and stop traffic without any problems, and with the option to set the temperature for the driver, the passenger, and for the passengers in the back. The kids love the sun roofs, especially when we were near the airport and they could watch the airplanes.
Some of the simple luxuries that I liked about the Flex were: remote keyless entry (yes, we drive two vehicles that are so old that we do not have remote keyless entry); remote engine start…this would be fantastic in the winter months; a gas tank that doesn’t require a cap or a lock; seats that fold with the simple push of a button; lots of drink holders and places to store items; a ‘cooler’ area at the back; heated seats; the lumbar support in the driver seat; and the net to contain items in the back.
No one tell my daughter I used this picture (normally I wouldn’t use a picture that isn’t flattering, but it shows the seats). My kids loved the buttons. There are buttons for everything! They really like the tinted windows and that they could pull the shades over the sun roof when it was sunny. They liked the reclining seats, the headrests in the back that could flip up to be very tall, and that they could play DVDs if they wanted.
The Flex came equipped with Active Park Assist. I didn’t get a chance to use it, since I avoid parallel parking at all costs, but I have been in a vehicle while it was used before, and it was very cool! There were radio controls right on the steering wheel and the GPS was amazing. I had a little mishap where I didn’t realize that a button was clicked to avoid freeways and as a result had a trip take longer than necessary, but I did figure it out eventually. I really like that the GPS was specific about which lane to be in, whether the destination was on the left or the right and that it gave a diagram as well as sound to direct me.
Another great feature is this handy screen that helps when you are in reverse. I live in a community with a lot of young children, so this feature is an awesome safety feature. It also helps a lot because I found it difficult to see behind me in the Flex and relied on the screen quite a bit. The only real downfall I found was the blind spots. I had a difficult time seeing to change lanes when on the highway. I think a little height would have made a difference since the headrest was in my way.
The Ford Flex is equipped with EcoBoost. According to Wikipedia…
EcoBoost is a family of turbocharged and direct injected six-cylinder and four-cylinder gasoline engines produced by the Ford Motor Company. Engines equipped with EcoBoost technology are designed to deliver power and torque consistent with larger displacement, naturally aspirated engines while achieving approximately 20% better fuel efficiency and 15% reduced greenhouse emissions than these same engines. Relative to the power output and fuel efficiency of hybrid and diesel technologies, Ford sees EcoBoost as an affordable and versatile alternative and intends on using it extensively in future vehicle applications.
Overall, I think the Ford Flex is a great family vehicle. It would be ideal for long trips and large families and it is a pleasure to drive.