Originally published Decemebr, 2014
I have a nickname for the Ford Flex. “The Converter”. And no, it doesn’t have a removable roof, nor did it cause me to change my religion. It also didn’t earn that nickname for its myriad of power-folding seating and cargo configurations. The Flex is “The Converter” because everyone who drove it was converted.
I heard the Flex referred to as “the fridge”, “that horrible boxy thing” and “the stupidly big thing” by various people, all of whom came away from driving it with nothing but glowing praise. Yes, it’s boxy – but I quite like it. Yes, it’s big – but it doesn’t drive like something that’s enormous.
People were impressed by the power delivered by the 3.5L Ecoboost V6. It made the six-seat Flex feel positively nimble off the line thanks to a prodigious 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. The AWD system provided plenty of traction and the steering feel was surprisingly good. Body roll was well inside acceptable limits and handling was enough to inspire confidence and make the Flex easy to drive.
To a letter, they said they’d put this on their shopping list, one colleague even took her husband out to test drive one after sampling ours.
I likened it to a big comfy lounge chair – that just happened to turn corners like a small wagon.
The seats, by the way fold to create an enormous flat floor that extends all the way to the first row. They are also split down the middle so you can have four people in the car plus one long narrow flat floor and there is even an option to fold the rear row backwards for a tail-gating perch! In this edition, each configuration can be dialed up via the bank of switches mounted just inside the tailgate. To be fair though – the third-row folding seats and the 3.5L Ecoboost engine come at a $6,800 premium.
2015 Ford Flex AWD Limited cargo area, seating, dashboard. Click image to enlarge
The second-row also flips forward for easy access to the rear – again with the touch of a button. The rear seats when folded can be tucked forward, to allow for a super-deep rear cargo area, or folded flat for convenience. I left one flat and one deep so I could stand a water-cooler bottle in the “hole” created. Worked a treat.
Styling wise, I’m a fan of the new headlight and grille treatment. It added some much-needed flair to the bland and dull front fascia of old. The rest of it I liked but understand I’m in minority. White is not the Flex’s best colour, and frankly the optional 20-inch rims look a little too “Online Autos Clearance Special” for my liking – but the rest of the Flex’s dorky and funky looks make me feel happy in my soul.