A face-lift and some mechanical upgrades benefit Ford’s people mover.
The Ford Flex is as adept at moving people and their belongings as is a minivan, and it is as satisfying to drive as a sport wagon. Unfortunately for Ford, however, the Flex’s dynamic qualities haven’t translated to real-world sales; the Flex is the slowest-selling passenger vehicle in the Ford lineup. To address some of the Flex’s perceived shortcomings, Ford introduced a face-lifted and updated 2013 model that went on sale last spring. The Flex’s styling has been updated with a new, one-bar grille, new headlamps, and new wheel styles. Under the hood, the base 3.5-liter V-6 receives variable valve timing, increasing output to 287 hp and 254 lb-ft. The EcoBoost V-6 — available only on the top-spec Limited — provides V-8-like power while matching the fuel economy of the base V-6. All versions of the 2013 Flex have stronger brakes and other chassis updates. The former are courtesy of a larger brake master cylinder and booster, drastically reducing pedal travel and making for a firmer, more consistent feel. In fact, the front brakes are now identical to those on the Taurus SHO. The non-EcoBoost Flex gains electric power steering. All-wheel drive is available with the normally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6. EcoBoost Flexes get standard all-wheel drive. As before, interior amenities abound, but you’ll have to pay extra for many of them.
new for 2013
An updated Flex went on sale last spring as a 2013 model. Styling changes were made to the exterior, and the interior got a redesigned instrument cluster, steering wheel, and seat trim. The Titanium model has been dropped for 2013, leaving the Limited as the top-spec Flex. There are three new exterior colors.
Front, side, and side curtain air bags; ABS; traction and stability control; tire-pressure monitors; a reverse sensing system; and programmable MyKey are standard. Inflatable second-row outboard safety belts are optional. Blind-spot mirrors are standard on S and SE; BLIS is standard on Limited and optional on SE. A rearview camera and adaptive cruise control with collision warning are optional. Trailer-sway control is optional with the towing package.
Easy-to-access third row
Expensive when fully optioned
Base Price Range: $31,710–$40,055
DRIVE: Front-wheel, 4-wheel
TRIM LEVELS: SE, SEL, Limited
BODY STYLE: SUV/crossover, 6- or 7-passenger
ENGINES: 3.5L V-6, 287 hp, 254 lb-ft
3.5L twin-turbo V-6, 365 hp, 350 lb-ft
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
PASSENGER VOLUME: 155.8 cu ft
CAPACITIES: Towing 4500 lb; cargo (behind third/middle/front seats) 20.0/43.2/83.2 cu ft