I did a pretty comprehensive review of the Ford Flex I rented back in September, but I rented one again this past weekend for an epic football road trip so thought I’d post some more thoughts about the car that came to mind over this much-longer trip.
My wife and I spent about 20 hours in the Flex over a four day weekend, driving about 1,400 miles. We were joined by my brother-in-law and his friend for about 1,000 of those miles, as we all went to Wisconsin for the Wisconsin vs. Nebraska football game on Saturday in Madison, followed by the Packers vs. Eagles game on Sunday in Green Bay.
The weekend was a cold one, with high temperatures never getting past 30 degrees and some snowfall too, so a great chance to try the Flex in a variety of conditions.
Here’s some additional thoughts:
- Over the 1,400 or so miles, we averaged 21.3 MPG. That number was creeping above 22 until our drive home from southwestern Wisconsin to northwest Missouri, most of which was straight into a 20+ MPH wind that just killed the mileage. I’m happy with this number though, as we had the cargo area packed and four passengers in the Flex, with the heated seats and defrosters running most of the time.
- The stock Kumho all-season tires were less than stellar. With only 7,000 miles on the car, they weren’t worn out. However, they slipped a lot in only 2″ of snow and the car lost all forward momentum on a 14% grade hill, to the point where we had to have two people pushing to make it up. It simply confirmed to me that, when I buy a Flex, I will buy winter tires for it, regardless of whether I get an AWD one or not.
- I love having remote start. So handy in cold weather.
- The 2nd row bench seat allows either side to recline individually – very handy and makes it less compelling to go with the captain’s chairs in the 2nd row versus the bench seat, since you lose seating capacity in doing that.
- You can definitely fit a lot of cargo in it, but nothing like the 2014 Chrysler Town & Country minivan that also made the trip to Green Bay with a group of our friends in it. The floor storage in that thing is pretty phenomenal, as is the overall storage. The Flex is only 1″ shorter in overall length than the Town & Country, yet the Chrysler offers 19% more cargo capacity behind the 1st row than the Acadia (the previous post’s cargo leader) and 42% more than the Flex. It’s not even close and that amazes me, having driven/ridden in both – I can’t figure out where the Flex is so much less efficient with space than the Town & Country. Here’s the numbers (all in cubic feet):
|Model||Behind 1st Row||Behind 2nd Row||Behind 3rd Row|
|Town & Country||143.8||83.3||33|
- MyFordTouch worked seamlessly all weekend – I continue to enjoy that system, especially the gauge pod information that can be switched out and reviewed using the steering wheel controls. The only negative is that the voice recognition software in it seems to be worse at recognizing music artists/song names than my Mustang’s base, 3-years-older Sync system. Can’t figure that one out.
- Between the power seat, power-adjustable pedals, and tilt+telescoping steering wheel, anybody can get comfortable driving it, as evidenced by my 5’4″ wife and I both driving it very comfortably this weekend. Love that we can both store our settings with the memory seats too.
I still love the Flex and my wife still likes the idea of buying one when we need a kid-mobile. I am disappointed how much less efficient it is with interior space than traditional minivans though; I’d hoped it wouldn’t be such a drastic gap. However, many people, such as my wife, won’t ever drive a minivan and this remains my favorite alternative for moving lots of people and stuff.