- Against-the-grain styling
- Wealth of features
- First- and second-row seating comfort
- Tight headroom in third-row seat
- Uncomfortable headrests
- No telescoping steering wheel
The 2009 Ford Flex is one of the most stylish new crossovers, with great passenger room and more features than some minivans.
The 2009 Ford Flex, with its slab-sided styling, is unlike any crossover vehicle on the market, not to mention any Ford of recent vintage. Its heritage is part American station wagon, part MINI Cooper, and even part Land Rover Range Rover, from its ribbed sides to its wide nose to its white- or silver-painted roof. Inside, the Flex sports a low instrument panel with blue-lit gauges, a red-lit pair of cup holders in the center console, and a choice of fabric seats with tweedy trim or leather.
The 2009 Ford Flex relies on a 262-horsepower V-6 engine for its power. The engine is coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is the norm, while the Flex also offers all-wheel drive as an option. This powertrain means the Flex is competitive at 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. The fuel economy isn't due to blistering acceleration, as the Flex runs from 0 to 60 in about 9 seconds. Handling is surprisingly adept for such a large vehicle, and the Flex's ride quality shows what a well-tuned conventional set of shocks and control arms can do, instead of an expensive, fancy air suspension.
In its vast, airy cabin, the 2009 Ford Flex offers seating for seven. The front two seats have the comfort of Volvo chairs, with equally intrusive headrests. The second-row chairs are seats of honor, with high seating positions and lots of adjustable legroom. The third-row seat has enough legroom for adults, but tall passengers will want for headroom. The second-row seats tumble with the push of a lever—or a button—to ease access to the third row.
The Flex’s safety hasn’t been tested by the insurance industry, but a comprehensive set of safety features includes six airbags, anti-lock brakes, and stability control with anti-rollover technology. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the Flex five stars for front- and side-impact crashworthiness, and four stars for rollover resistance.
The features offered as standard equipment and as options on the 2009 Ford Flex are pretty astounding. It’s gone far beyond power windows; the Flex will have third-row seats and a CD player standard, with options including Ford’s SYNC system, navigation, a second-row refrigerator and footrests, a Sony audio system with Sirius Travel Link, and a glorious four-panel Vista Roof that opens up the Flex’s cabin to the sky.