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2013 Ford Flex Test Drive and Review

For the last 12 days I have been test driving one of the 2013 Ford Flex’s compliments of Ford Canada.   Here are my thoughts.

It’s a crossover but a really big crossover.  It’s kind of like a station wagon but a station wagon or mini-van done really right.  Here are my thoughts

What I Liked About It

  • A crazy amount of power.  I felt like at times I was in a muscle car.  When you hit the accelerator, you moved quickly off the line and were thrown back into your seat.  I loved driving it.  It has a 355-horespower twin-turbo EcoBoost model, which is available as a $3,250 option.
  • Sirius XM radio.  Listening to ESPN Radio on the way to work is such a nice perk in your morning commute.21 2013 ford flex review
  • The paddle shifting.  I didn’t really use it that much but it was a nice feature to play with.
  • Park assist.  Now I personally refuse to use it but for those out there that can not parallel park, you will love this with the longer and bigger Flex.
  • Three words.  Air. Conditioned. Seats.05 2013 ford flex review
  • An obscene amount of room in the second row of seats.  They have almost as much room as the front seat.  
  • Wendy made me point out that there are drink holders everywhere.  That’s a big deal when you have kids.
  • Mark loved the fact that he had control of the climate control in back.
  • Individualized temperature settings.  I was born in Edmonton, Wendy was born in Georgetown, Guyana.  These things save marriages.
  • At the push of a button, the third row of seats flip over and become seats that you can tailgate in.40 2013 ford flex review
  • Six speed transmission makes for a smooth ride.
  • Inflatable seat belts… you know in case I drive it into a lake.
What I didn’t like about it. 
  • The Flex AWD now manages just 17 miles per gallon in the city and 23 mpg on the highway which isn’t great.  Of course I have been driving fuel efficient smaller cars for my entire life and am accustomed to vehicles with higher fuel efficiency.  Compared to other larger vehicles, it isn’t bad, especially if you get the version with Eco-Boost.
  • The adaptive cruise control doesn’t like Saskatchewan.  While I loved the adaptive cruise control on Highway 16, when we turned down a quiet highway, it stopped working and the cruise kicked out with an error message that told me to look at the owners manual.  We did and it told me that it doesn’t work in the desert which I guess Saskatchewan qualifies as.  Basically without anything to return as it’s sonar signal, it stops working which means that you have no cruise.  Now I can understand the adaptive part kicking out but the loss of cruise control totally was a little annoying.  It happened on the way to and from our destination which means that if you drive desolate roads, you won’t be using your cruise control.  For the 2014 Flex, all Ford adaptive cruise control engineers are invited out to the cabin to see if you can make it work.  I’ll put on the beer can chicken, you bring your pocket protectors and a Flex.
  • Push button tailgate seating is a great feature unless you forget a bag of Doritos in the rear seat.  They got crushed.  Mark and I got in trouble.  I am not sure that if Ford’s fault but someone had to be thrown under the bus as we needed a fall guy.
  • Brushing up on the keyless entry system locks the doors, even if the fob is in the Flex.  We learned this the hard way when Wendy leaned up on the Flex’s front door and locked the key fob in the vehicle.  We had to call Ford Roadside Assistance and pay $133 to get the doors unlocked.   From reading online, it’s a problem in a lot of Ford vehicles.  Now if I had bought the car, I would have been able to access the keyless entry but since I was just test driving it…  Of course the funny thing about it was that if you had offered a bonus for figuring out how to lock the fob in the car, neither Wendy or I would have figured it out.  
The base price is around $40,000 which isn’t cheap but the Flex feels and drives like a luxury automobile.  While I am not it’s target market, I would be if I had another kid and needed the third row.  While I prefer the amazing Ford Edge and Escape, with a little larger family, I would be definitely be looking at a Ford Flex.  I know the design has it’s detractors but I rather liked it and so did the family.  All of us were sad when we had to return it.
 
It’s another great crossover from Ford.

3 Comments

  1. cities4people says:

    It is slightly contradictory to review this automobile on a blog about “urbanism.”

    1. Even in Vancouver where they have had some great success in getting cars off the streets, they still expect 50% of trips are done by car.

  2. Jeff says:

    I think you need to read the book again, at least here in the USA we can turn the dynamic cruise off and use it like normal cruise control. It tells you all about it in the book.

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