2010 Ford Flex EcoBoost
2010 Ford Flex EcoBoost. Click image to enlarge

Manufacturer’s web site
Ford Motor Company of Canada

Join Autos’s Facebook group
Follow Autos on Twitter

Review and photos by Paul Williams

Find this vehicle in Autos’s Classified Ads

Photo Gallery:
2010 Ford Flex

Denver, Colorado – You might wonder why Ford chose the “mile-high” city of Denver, Colorado as the starting point for its 2010 Ford Flex introduction. Or why journalists drove the latest Flex from Denver to Boulder, Colorado, and then to an even higher elevation (2,300 metres and beyond) at Estes Park. The answer is Ford’s new EcoBoost V6 engine, with its twin-turbochargers.

Unlike turbocharged engines, naturally aspirated (non-turbocharged) engines lose three per cent of their power for every 330 metres of elevation, so driving the EcoBoost Flex into the mountains and then comparing its towing, passing, and climbing ability against competitors powered by naturally aspirated engines is bound to make a point.

Perhaps not an entirely fair point, you could argue, but a convincing one, nonetheless.

2010 Ford Flex EcoBoost
2010 Ford Flex EcoBoost; photo courtesy Ford. Click image to enlarge

With 355 horsepower developed at 5,700 rpm, and 350 lb.-ft torque available at 1,500-5,250 r.p.m., Ford’s EcoBoost engine (recently premiering in its 2010 Ford Taurus SHO) transforms the Flex into something of a road rocket. Mated to a dedicated six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, this engine propels the Flex from zero to 100 km/h in just over seven seconds. Perhaps more important than quick starts from a standstill, the EcoBoost engine enables Flex to return the same fuel economy of 13.1/9.2 L/100 km, city/highway as the 262-hp Duratec V6 found in non-EcoBoost AWD models (premium fuel is recommended; regular is acceptable).

Ford believes that this additional power and fuel economy will suit people downsizing from V8-powered SUVs like the Chevrolet Suburban and Dodge Durango, and also people looking for more seating capacity, greater cargo room and more power than most family cars, compact crossovers and minivans (and distinctive styling, we should probably add).

In Canada, however, the Flex with with EcoBoost will only be available in $46,599 Limited AWD trim, making it the most expensive Flex you can buy. It adds $3,400 to the cost of the Flex Limited AWD.

2010 Ford Flex EcoBoost
2010 Ford Flex EcoBoost; photo courtesy Ford. Click image to enlarge

While the EcoBoost engine is definitely big news for the 2010 Flex, there are some other notable enhancements that really elevate the status of this vehicle. Chief among them is Active Park Assist ($700) which will automatically parallel park your Flex.

Ford’s Active Park Assist is truly an impressive technology; certainly the best available on the market today. Press a button on the centre console, drive beside a row of parked cars and the Flex alerts you when it finds a space large enough for a parallel parking manoeuvre. Stop the vehicle, put it in reverse, take your hands off the steering wheel and the Flex backs by itself into the parking spot, coming to a halt five centimetres from the curb, at a position equidistant from the vehicle in front of, and behind it. The system is remarkable in its simplicity of operation and effectiveness. It’s available only on the Flex with EcoBoost.

Additional enhancements include tilt and telescoping steering wheel which is now standard for all Flex models, as is Ford’s MyKey and AutoFold 60/40 bench seat with side power release. An available dual headrest DVD entertainment system will keep rear passengers entertained, and the Class III trailer tow package now includes Trailer Sway Control, a safety technology that helps control lateral movement of trailers due to uneven roads or loads.

Pages: 1 2 All

Connect with Autos.ca