The Ford Flex was originally introduced to the market in 2008 as a 2009 model. The Flex was created to replace the Fairlane in Ford’s lineup and became the first CUV to combine characteristics from minivans and SUVs. Even though the design of the Flex made it a bit polarizing, it didn’t take long for the Flex to transition out of the minivan classification and into an industry leader among utility vehicles.
Unfortunately, the 2019 Flex was the last model that Ford produced, making the difficult decision to pull the plug on the CUV roughly 10 years after it had built quite the cult following. Ford said that they were shifting their focus to areas of the auto-manufacturing market that they considered “faster growing.” Even though the Flex may not still be in production, you can get a great deal on a pre-owned Flex.
Price and Value
It’s not uncommon to find a pre-owned Ford Flex from one of the last two years of production (2018-2019) for somewhere between $22,000 and $26,000. Of course, if you want to go back further and grab a Flex from between 2009 and 2014, you can get a lower price, but that’s always the case with used vehicles. These price points put the Flex directly in line with its most direct competition, the Chevy Traverse. If you’re looking for a low-mileage, recently produced pre-owned Ford Flex, you can find some great options for $26,000 or less. That’s a hard value to beat.
Size and Seating Capacity
One of the first things that people noticed about the Ford Flex when it hit the market in 2009 was the ample amount of room it had inside. Fortunately, Ford did very little to change that over the 10 years that the Flex was in production. The most recent models of the three-row, seven-passenger Ford Flex still have a staggering amount of interior space. If you start in the front row, the driver and their passenger will enjoy 42.6 inches of legroom and 41.8 inches of headspace.
One of the best aspects of the interior dimensions of the Ford Flex is that passengers in the second row actually have more legroom than those in the front. With 44.3 inches of legroom and 40.5 inches of headroom, the second row of the Ford Flex is an incredibly comfortable area of the car. As you would expect, this means that the third-row seating is a bit smaller, but 33.3 inches of legroom isn’t exactly terrible for third-row seating. Overall, Ford Flex passengers have 155.8 cubic feet of total passenger space.
If cargo space is what you’re looking for, the Ford Flex keeps getting better. Both the second and third rows of seats have split-folding capabilities, which means you can customize your cargo space as needed. When both rows of seats are upright, you can still enjoy 20 cubic feet of cargo space. However, once you fold the second and third rows down, the amount of cargo space more than quadruples. With both rows folded down, the Ford Flex has 83.2 cubic feet of cargo space.
There is a moderate difference in power between the base model and the most high-end Ford Flex. If you opt for the base model of the Flex, you’re looking at a 3.5-liter, 287-horsepower engine. While that’s certainly enough to get the job done, you can pick up some more power by choosing the highest trim level Flex, which comes equipped with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that boasts 364 horsepower.
Admittedly, the gas mileage on the Ford Flex isn’t going to blow anyone away. With 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway, the Ford Flex has a combined mpg of 19. However, the fuel tank is large enough at 18.6 gallons that you won’t have to worry about filling up too frequently, even with the lower mpg averages.
Trims and Features
The base level of the Ford Flex comes standard with SYNC smartphone integration in place. This includes a USB port, Bluetooth capabilities, and voice recognition. There is also a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and Ford’s MyKey system. While there’s nothing wrong with the standard SYNC system, the upgraded SYNC 3 infotainment system is something to behold. It has a larger touch screen and is significantly more user-friendly and responsive than the base-level SYNC system.
The advanced trim options for the Ford Flex are numerous. If you want to aim for a higher trim level of your Flex, you can enjoy a three-prong plug-in, two extra USB ports, a power-opening panoramic glass roof, and dual-zone automatic climate control. You can also really beef up the audio experience in the Flex with various speaker options that include a seven-speaker premium audio system or a 12-speaker Sony audio system. Those speakers provide plenty of sound whether you use the HD radio, satellite radio, or Apple CarPlay.
There are also several convenience options that you can choose if you want to get a higher-level Ford Flex. Proximity key entry, push-button start, and remote start options are all out there depending on which Ford Flex you choose.
On the Ford Flex SE (base model), cloth seats are standard and are offered in either charcoal black or dune. The six-way power driver’s seat with manual lumbar support puts the driver in complete control of his or her own comfort. The front-seat passenger has four different position choices for his or her seat. The Flex SEL (mid-level) offers a choice of either cloth or leather seats and a 10-way power driver’s seat while the passenger seat has six different settings.
The upper edge of the Flex trim level is the Flex Limited. Not only does the Flex Limited come with perforated leather seats, but there are more color options, woodgrain appliques, ambient lighting, and much more.
Thanks to the parking sensors, backup camera, and other safety features, the Ford Flex received a “Good” safety rating from the IIHS. Fortunately, “Good” is the highest rating that the IIHS issues. Structurally, the Flex stands up well to all of their controlled-crash tests, and the multiple areas of air bag protection put Ford Flex drivers and their passengers in a position to be well-protected in the event of a crash.
J.D. Power and Associates, the auto industry standard in reliability grading, gives the Ford Flex a score of 87 out of 100 in regard to reliability. That rating meets the requirements for a vehicle to be considered “great” according to J.D. Power’s grading system. J.D. Power considers the Flex as an SUV instead of a CUV, but it’s still worth looking at where they rank the Flex. According to their ratings, the Flex’s reliability and overall score land it in a tie with the Buick Enclave and Dodge Durango.
The Ford Flex was a gamble for Ford. They made the decision to put something on the market that looked different, ran different, and had a unique set of functions. While it may not have had the staying power to stay on the market for decades, it built a cult following over its 10 years of production, and it’s easy to see why. It’s safe, affordable, reliable, and practical. That’s everything that you need or want in a vehicle.