Just how flexible is the Ford Flex?

The short answer: Very. Now for the longer: The Ford Flex is spacious, with all that space sensibly planned to the inch – and as modular as an Ikea bedroom. Indeed, if you crossbred the modularity of a Honda Fit and proportions of a Mini Clubman, then gave the offspring the growth hormone Vladimir Putin insists he does not feed middle distance runners, you would make the Ford Flex. Of all the crossover utility vehicles (CUVs) I’ve driven, it drives closest to a car (that’s a good thing) and is the most flexible.

The timing of this 2016 Ford Flex AWD Limited review was intentional.

Last week, we took two unrelated trips out of the city, both of which entailed transporting important goods. The first was a family move. My in-laws have sold their country getaway. Among the only ones getting much use out of it were me and the readers of these car reviews.

I was told there was a “heap of boxes”, packed and ready to be transported back to the city. They contained kitchen appliances, dishes, books, games and those sundries that seem to spontaneously generate in vacation properties, from binoculars to wasp traps. However, the promised “heap of boxes” turned out to be just eight of them. The Flex wasn’t taxed in the least. The three rows of seats fold six ways from Sunday, providing assorted combinations of volume for freight. For this trip, the third row and one mid-seat down – the 40 in a 60/40 split – rendered more than enough space. Without blocking any vision, I still could’ve driven three passengers.

The second trip required less space but the cargo was even more important to the family, requiring the comfortable and safe transport of our puppy and substitute third child. A five-month-old yellow lab, Orson is already huge. So he already has a full-size crate (if you’re not a typically deluded dog person, you’d call it a cage) that’s 71 by 107 cm when collapsed to a height of 15 cm.

We were visiting a friend’s beautiful summer home in Ontario’s Kawartha Lakes region. Picture a windblown Group of Seven painting with a kick-ass barbecue. The place is dog-friendly but full of interesting and often expensive, yet technically chewable, books and knick-knacks. Hence, bringing the puppy’s crate. Such a huge piece of carry-on should be a bitch to pack, so to speak. Not so.

A Second Opinion: 2016 Ford Flex Limited Test Drive

With the back row down, it was easy to secure the crate and create a den for Orson. The collapsed seats created a raised but flat floor above the seat well, while the collapsed crate provided a slightly higher platform for the puppy to lie on during the drives. All this flexible space is spacious. Despite Orson’s girth, we rarely saw his head in the rearview mirror. Moving the crate in and out of the trunk was easy too. There was plenty of leftover space on both sides, so the sharpish metal bars didn’t threaten to scratch in the plastic inner walls. Again, we could’ve transported much more back and forth without needing to resort to the towing hitch or roof rails.

Connect with Autos.ca