Ford set out to re-create the family vehicle and from a design point of view, they’ve certainly done their homework. This vehicle is totally unique in a sea of “me too” crossover vehicles. The two-box shape and unique exterior design details give us a modern interpretation of the classic “woody” wagon. The availability of a contrasting roof color allows you to create your own color combination similar to MINI and the chrome treatment of the grill and tailgate further differentiate it from anything else on the road.
While the exterior gets your attention and makes the Flex easy to find in a parking lot,it is the interior that will please both your eyes and derrière’.
Visually, the instrument panel, center console and materials used are easily the best Ford has ever created. The interior themes were inspired by the fashion background of former clothing designer Anthony Prozzi, who we recently featured in headlights. The base seat fabric looks like it came from Brooks Brothers and the upgraded leather would look at home on the runways of Paris and Milan. And this from FORD!
Speaking of the seat fabric; those fashionable coverings surround some of the most generous and comfortable perches in autodom. It is one thing to look gorgeous but it is rare to have both eye and butt appeal in one package. Ford has figured it out.
Need to get a way from the hustle and bustle of the city? Spending time in the new 2009 Ford Flex will make you realize how much noise you’ve put up with in the past. If you’ve ever used the Bose noise-cancellation headphones, the experience is similar. Extensive use of sound-deadening materials, acoustic glass and attention paid to the “noise points” around the vehicle make a very quiet vehicle.
We get it, it’s pretty. But How Does it Drive?
There is nothing more disappointing than a good-looking package that lets you down when you open it up. Think about the last person you met online and you know what I am taking about. Luckily the Ford Flex won’t remind you of all those dating disasters. It drives and performs as good as it looks. The ride is controlled and “European” in feel and the 3.5 liter V6 provides spirited, if noisy, performance. In a trip from New York City to Westchester County, NY, the Flex handled the challenging Saw Mill Parkway with ease. Inherent to its boxy design is excellent visibility and its wide stance and long wheelbase deliver a solid, comfortable ride.
Front-wheel drive models are expected to get 17 MPG in the city and 24 on the highway which is about on par with the best in this class. Ford promises a more refined and efficient “Eco-Boost” turbo engine in the near future which should increase efficiency and rid the Flex from the rough noises at full throttle.
What Else Can It Do?
Two things that differentiate cars in today’s market are design and technology. Clearly Ford went a different route with the appearance and they continued that theme with the technology available in the Flex. For starters, you can get the Ford-exclusive SYNC™ – a voice-activated, hands-free, in-vehicle communications and entertainment system that allows you to control your phone and music. Then there is the available SIRIUS Travel Link that when combined with voice activated navigation displays real-time traffic, weather, fuel price information, sports scores and even movie times for your local theater!
The available technology is not limited to information and entertainment. Ford has done their part to make your life a little easier as well. There is an available refrigerated console between the second row seats that can cool up to seven 12-ounce cans to 41 degrees 40% faster than your home fridge. Last but not least, the Flex is equipped with an EasyFuel™ capless fuel filler. This feature replaces a fuel-filler cap and provides a better seal, reducing the release of smog-forming vapors.
Does He Have a Brother?
So it looks good, knows the importance of quiet time; is a spirited performer and has all the latest gadgets. Sounds like the perfect partner, right? Well, while we know “he or she” doesn’t exist outside of the cineplex, the Ford Flex comes close to a perfect companion in vehicular form.
Does that mean that the Flex is perfect for everyone? Far from it. Similar to our quest for a partner, everyone has different tastes. For example, as good as the Flex is, it can’t provide top-down driving for two. However, for those of you that are looking for a 6-7 passenger vehicle that has a very distinct look, doesn’t feel to need to dress like all the other crossovers and is versatile in its approach to life, you should check out the new Ford Flex.
Ford is a gay-friendly company.
Read other Ford reviews by Gaywheels.com’s writers