Jumping the gun a bit on next week’s ‘ugly cars’ list we welcome in the Ford Flex and its homage to the boxes of the world. OK, the Flex has its own fan forum http://www.fordflex.net/, so I’ll back off appearances in respect to the right triangle people of the world and instead focus on more important details, like inner beauty. Flex is relatively fresh on the scene, debuting as a 2009 nameplate with intentions on grabbing the minivan crowd’s attention. The idea was Flex as a full size crossover would be the newer, cooler, full-sized family replacement. Fast-forward to now- people came for the odd looks but stayed for the functionality. With Ford touches in terms of interior features and performance, as well as the obvious versatility of space, Flex has quickly proven itself as a capable hauler, looks be damned.
Here’s what to expect with the 2012 Ford Flex. You can stretch out one of your own with CarWoo!
Ford Flex trims and features
Slipped between Explorer and Expedition the 2012 Flex comes in SE, SEL, Limited, and an upscale packaged trim Ford has dubbed the Flex Titanium, which starts at just over $38,000. Those wishing to avoid more flash can start with the SE for right under $30,000- though there are a few performance aspects and niceties that are eliminated with the base Flex, a more powerful EcoBoost engine and all-wheel drive among them.
Ford Flex configuration
All trims will seat up to 7 passengers, with 3 nicely configured rows of seating, with front bucket seats, a 60/40 split-fold 2nd row, and a 50/50 split for the 3rd row. Ford also offers a 6 seat setup with optional 2nd row refrigerated center console between two 40/40 bucket seats. Whatever the arrangement Flex divvies up its 155.8 cubic feet of passenger space well- 2nd seaters get 44.3 inches of leg room and the 3rd row offers a generous 33.3 inches. Cargo space too is painless with a standard folding 3rd row setup or Powerfold™ option which allows for multiple configurations. Flex maxes out cargo space at 83.2 cubic feet with all seats down.
Ford Flex tech
Ford wouldn’t leave one of its own without proper representation. Flex delivers with SYNC®, standard in all but SE trims, and plenty of options including voice activated navigation, rearview camera, and a DVD entertainment system for long hauls.
The optional Vista Roof™ finishes off Flex, providing natural light access for all three rows.
Ford Flex performance
Standard on all Flex trims is a 3.5 liter V6 capable of 262 HP and 248 lb.-ft. of torque. This base engine is paired with a front-wheel drive 6-speed automatic transmission, though all-wheel drive (AWD) is available on all trims save SE for those who demand it.
Ford Flex Ecoboost option
And good news for friends of Ford power- Limited and Titanium Flex trims can be paired with Ford’s 3.5L EcoBoost V6- a turbocharged engine which generates 355 HP and 350 lb.-ft., more than enough to move boxes. The Flex EcoBoost trims come with standard AWD while the 6-speed auto is paired with paddle shifters.
Add the optional tow package and Flex can haul up to 4,500 lbs.
Ford Flex fuel?
Flexes hitched with standard 3.5L engines will achieve an EPA estimated 17/24/19 MPG (city/highway/combined) with front-wheel drive and 16/23/18 with AWD. EcoBoost trims (with standard AWD) will get drivers a familiar 16/22-23/18 MPG, all of which rides the average for the class- GMC’s Acadia and Mazda’s CX-9 both achieve the same results.