2012 Ford Flex

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Flash Drive: 2009 Ford Flex

This 2009 review is representative of model years 2009 to 2012.
By Staff of MSN Autos

View Pictures:  2009 Ford Flex

Ford bills the Flex as a new form of family transportation, with a different look and a number of unique features. It feels like a blend of SUV and minivan — definitely a different take on the crossover. Seats in all three rows are big and cushy, there's plenty of legroom at all seating positions and sunroofs over each row add to the feeling of spaciousness. Access to the third row is incredibly easy — push the button next to the seat and it folds out of the way automatically. Both rows fold flat giving you a massive amount of cargo space. Power is plentiful, and the Flex handles surprisingly well for such a large vehicle, but my fuel economy never got out of the low teens around town. While the Flex would make a great road-trip vehicle — complete with fridge/freezer — I found it difficult to find a comfortable driving position. A telescoping steering wheel would have helped considerably. – Perry Stern

Ford's sleek new family hauler is cleverly disguised as a custom show car with a wide, low stance and two-tone paint scheme. It's also more fun to drive than any minivan or SUV I've tested. With seating for up to eight occupants, the Flex is a big vehicle and not as nimble as the low-slung design would suggest. But out on the road the Flex really shines, with a comfortable ride, well-controlled suspension and good steering feel that make it the perfect vehicle for an extended road trip. An optional feature that would be welcome on the road is the console refrigerator between the second-row captain's chairs. The 3.5-liter V6 delivers 262 horsepower mated with a 6-speed automatic that is good for drivability but not for fuel economy, which is still only in the mid-teens. With the high beltline and dark-tinted windows, the available Panoramic Vista Roof is a nice feature that floods the cabin with additional light. Ford's Easy Fuel capless fuel filler is a welcome addition that streamlines the refueling process. – Mike Meredith

Most Americans love cars that can carry lots of stuff and have the ability to tow. The new Ford Flex addresses both demands and is a great alternative to the traditional large SUV. Designwise, it looks like a throwback to the 1930s and 1940s, when "woodie" wagons were popular. The Flex sits lower to the ground than a traditional SUV, so it is easier for passengers to get in and out. It also has three roomy rows of seats, and the second row folds down with the touch of a button. Available options are plenty, including the great Sync infotainment system, navigation and even a small refrigerator that can freeze or chill up to seven canned beverages. Unfortunately, the Flex is on the heavy side, so I was able to achieve only 19 mpg in mixed driving. – Joe Chulick

Ford makes some truly fantastic cars these days. I love the new Escape Hybrid, and I love this Ford Flex, too. It may look a little unconventional in pictures, but in person the Flex looks very, very cool. On the inside, it is wonderfully spacious. The seats are huge yet supportive, even if they do have headrests that lean uncomfortably far forward, and there is plenty of cargo space. But don't let the size of this ride fool you; it is pleasant and easy to handle. Truly amazing. I love it. – Paul Hagger

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