This post is a little different for us, and Jason is taking the lead on filling you in about it. We recently had the opportunity to try out the Ford Flex. We took it through its paces because we drove this vehicle, that some say looks like a shoebox, up to Summerland and back again.
The Ford Flex has a vehicle design that you will either love right away because of the angular styling, or you are going to ponder why they went in such a simplistic direction. Ford has undeniably delivered with the Flex giving it tons of space, utility, and comfort.
After a week of test driving, we have grown to love the rectangular shape. We feel like it’s a throwback to the days of road trips in your parents station wagon, where you have all the room you could ever need. The box like shape of the Flex lends to the roomiest interiors we have ever seen. There was plenty of space for our family, and all the things we needed to bring with us on a road trip when packing for a baby, and a preschooler. It’s also great if your wife is an over-packer!
The Flex that we tested was the limited trim version, that had a few upgrades that made falling in love with happen even faster.
For the car enthusiasts out there, these are just some of the things the Flex has:
- turbocharged EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 that produces a heady 365 hp
- 350 lb-ft of torque
- a power liftgate
- adjustable pedals
- a blind-spotmonitor
- rear view camera
- leather upholstery
- driver memory settings
- intuitive 4.2-inch touchscreen display infotainment system
- 12-speaker Sony audio system with HD radio
- automatic parallel parking system
- adaptive cruise control
- frontal collision alert
- a power-adjustable, and heated steering wheel
- a 10-way power front passenger seat
- cooled front seats
- power-folding third-row seats to name a few.
We could go on, and on and on about what is in the Flex, what it comes down to is that the Ford’s of today are nothing like the ones of the past. All of the technology that is packed into them could seem very overwhelming, but really it’s not. It’s all put together very well to provide a comfortable and enjoyable driving experience through and through. With a little bit of reading through the manual, and perhaps the odd youtube video, you will have everything sorted in no time at all.
Taking the Flex out on the highway we noticed right away how quiet, and smooth a ride this has. We were surprised that there was not the usual rustling sound of the wind while driving at higher speeds on the highway. It was incredible to see how easily it can get up to cruising speed with it’s Ecoboost V6 engine.
The extra power was certainly appreciated going up the Coquihalla highway, and being able to pull up the long hills with ease. We did a quick check of the manual, and it was recommended to use sport mode while going up and down hills. The vehicle kept at its speed all the way up the hills and did not struggle.
What surprised us the most is that with all this available power under the hood the Flex actually got decent gas mileage with averaging 11.5 L/100KM on our week of mixed city and highway driving.
What did the girls think of the different vehicle? Well, at every pit stop, Evie had to take the drivers seat and check everything out. Addie just watched what her sister was doing. Evie would really like to see a pink option for colours, but we just don’t see that happening any time soon.
We have two different car seats, and both have rigid-latch for installation. Which is our preferred method to install the car seats in any vehicle. For car seat configurations the Flex comes with 3 different seats with the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren). The second row has two positions and the 3rd row has one seat, so it does give options to where you position a child’s car seat. Perhaps you want to put the oldest in the back? We had the girls in the second row, and brought down the centre console which gave our oldest a cup holder to use for her drink and snacks. If it were possible we’d love to see the option for LATCH to be available in the middle position too.
There are a few things we would like to see improved upon. One thing that we love about our current vehicle is that the rear doors open to near 90 degrees to get kids, and their car seats in and out with ease. The back doors do not open as wide, and in some situations it made getting our youngest daughter out while in her infant seat a challenge. We actually had to back the car out of a spot in one situation, and then put her in the car because we could not open the door enough. The control panel for the seats does not have a sensor to stop the back seats from folding if something gets in the way. The same goes for the rear door if you have pressed the button for it to close there were no sensors to stop it from closing if something got in the way. We have some concern about this with young kids. What happens if they do not notice the door closing, or accidentally press a button and the seats start to move to be flat in the back? If the child-lock is turned on, these should not be able to move. In our current vehicle we have a solid cargo shelf. This is so useful for organizing when packing for trips. It’s also handy for day to day. We actually use it as a changing station for our youngest. Any large vehicle should have the option for a cargo shelf. Highly recommend it, especially if you have kids.
For such a large vehicle it handled, and felt a lot smaller than it is. It was manageable to operate thanks to the large mirrors, the standard rear camera, and proximity sensors. These helped make short work of maneuvering and parking the long 7-seater. We had no problems parallel parking the Flex, and even managed to do so on a hill. Thanks to the rear camera, it does start to give a warning if you are near to backing into something. It takes a bit of getting used to for parking, but it’s nice having this option for seeing.
The Flex’s has a “car-like” ride height, which means that it’s very easy to get into without having to climb up into the vehicle with the help of grabbing a handle, and hoisting yourself up. You just slide into this vehicle like you would any other small SUV or crossover. That being said, you do still feel like you are up a bit higher like you do in an SUV or crossover. It’s a nice balance to the vehicle.
The infotainment system was a huge hit for us, especially because it has been upgraded from years past. It actually feels usable in a new easy-to-use design. We’ve used the Ford sync in past models, and were not fans of how it felt, and worked. The infotainment system has a new interface, with new features. SYNC® 3 is not only new, it’s responsive and innovative. The 4.2 inch touchscreen display is the heart of the vehicle when it comes to being able to control anything. The display allows you to control everything from climate, to radio, to changing the interior lighting colour. You can even heat or cool down the driver and passenger seat. The touchscreen has impressive functionality including the convenient swipe, and available navigation with pinch-to-zoom functionality. It will remind you of a smart phone. We were able to zoom in, and out on the navigation system when we were traveling to find different places. This was a game changer for a road trip in a place we had never been to.
This is what we’ve been waiting for in a car manufacturer. Thank you Ford for putting in an infotainment system that is technologically current, easy to use, and responsive!
By the end of our week driving the Flex we were talking about how we think this just may be our next vehicle whenever we go down the road to get something else. That’s right, we liked it that much!