“Style meets substance.”
The 2016 Ford Flex has it all on the inside and out. The interior is inviting and rather large. It features the standard seven-passenger seating with first-row bucket seats, a second-row 60/40 split bench seat with auto control and a 50/50 split bench third-row seat that are also controlled by touch and have three positions. These are upright position, lower seats for carrying cargo and the most unique being able to tumble the seats back facing outward toward the trunk for excellent seating for an outdoor view, perhaps a soccer game or something along those lines. This is obviously only available when the car is parked. Both rear seat sections can be folded flat for increased cargo room when needed. The seats were also heated and cooled for both those hot or cold days. Furthermore the dual-climate control allows you and the front seat passenger to set your own temperature settings. At the centre of it all is Ford’s voice activated touch screen navigation system powered by Sync3. It also features 3D mapping, hands free calling, and music search and control all without having to touch the screen. Speaking of music the Limited version we tested has a standard 12 speaker 390 watt Sony audio system that really bangs! The centre screen also turns into your rear view camera display when trying to back in and out of those tight spots.
There is an available appearance package that not only highlights features on the exterior but also does wonders on the inside, these include leather trimmed seats with a light grey perforated inserts, perforated leather wrapped steering wheel, upgraded door panels with unique instrument panel appliqués, black bezels throughout the inside and floor mats with separate Logos.
One of the absolute greatest features I loved about the Flex had to be the roof, every passenger in the vehicle could look up and see sky. It was likely the most glass Ford was able to incorporate before calling it a convertible. OK maybe thats going to far, but never the less it looked excellent and let in tons of natural light. When the sun goes down the Flex has plenty of ambient lighting to keep it well lit up.
Overall, the vehicle is loaded with hands free technology and has plenty of room for a big family road trip or those early morning hockey practices because there’s plenty of room to haul pretty much anything.
The exterior is nicely appointed. The lower and wider stance really helps the Flex stand out. The 19inch rims and HID headlights paired with the LED rear lights give off a beautiful glow in the dark. You can opt for an appearance package upgrade and get add on such as 20 inch black rims, grill, mirror caps, lift gate appliqué and roof painted in black like our tester did. This paired with the sweet dark orange made the Flex something that stand out. The Flex is unlike any other vehicle out there, there is not much to compare it to because it’s on a class of its own. It is literally a hybrid of a multi-purpose min-van and big SUV giving it so much practicality and versatilely. At the end of the day the Flex looks like one bad a** family vehicle and I would defiantly choose it over any mini-van out there.
The Flex Limited is offered in two different engine options, the first one being a 3.5 liter V6 engine producing 287 horsepower and 254 ft-lb of torque, the second one being the same size engine with twin turbo-chargers and direct injection. This beast however produces a whopping 365 horsepower with 350 ft-lb of torque. Now I really wish we had the opportunity to test out this option but unfortunately this time around we only had the pleasure of testing the naturally aspirated version. Never-the-less, it performed extremely well and was smooth as butter. The 3.5 V6 was mated to a 6-speed select shift transmission, paddle shift is also available but again we had to settle without it. Intelligent all-wheel drive is standard on the Limited and is also available on all models, it seems like it would be a really smart option to think about considering this is the ultimate road trip vehicle. Remote start is standard on the Limited model and is a great feature to allow your engine to warm up properly before take-off.
As far as fuel efficiency goes, the EPA rating for the Flex is 14.7 city/10.2 hwy/12.7 combined (L/100km) average.
The Flex handles more like a big car then it does like an SUV, this is mostly due to the nature of its lower centre of gravity because of its wide and long stance. Advancetrac with Roll stability control are standard features that help reduce body roll around corners giving the Flex surprisingly sturdy stability for its size. Talking about the size of the Flex, it sure was nice to have active park assist that literally parallel and reverse parks the beast for you, all you have to control is gear selection.
Safety in vehicles that are primarily designed to be family vehicles is ultra important. The case here is no different, Ford spared no detail here. Starting with our driver assistance features we have, Blind Spot Indication System (BLIS) with Cross Traffic Alert (CTA), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), rearview camera, reverse sensing system and rain sensing wipers.
The Flex was designed with lots of safety in mind, the entire truck is essentially a roll cage that surrounds all passengers in case a roll over was to happen, this is also combined with the safety canopy system. This combines the side curtain airbags with the roll over sensor to deploy all airbags and leaving them inflated for several seconds to reduce risk of occupant ejection. There are also other several safety features in conjunction with this system like dual-stage front air-bags, safety belt tensioners and crash severity sensors.