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TheCarConnection.com's editors have driven the Ford Flex—including the new EcoBoost versions—in order to help deliver the best information on Ford’s new crossover and its competition. The experts at TheCarConnection.com have also researched online reviews from respected Web resources to produce this comprehensive review of the 2010 Ford Flex.
As a Ford model, the 2010 Flex sets itself apart from the pack by being completely different from other crossover vehicles, thanks in part to its slab-sided styling. Influences come from all over the globe, and keen observers will note the cues taken from American station wagons, the chic MINI Cooper, and the acclaimed Land Rover Range Rover—from its ribbed sides to its wide nose to its white- or silver-painted roof. There is substance inside as well, where 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 in the range-topping variant.
In basic trim, the 2010 Ford Flex relies on a 3.5-liter, 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 year, there is a new twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 engine available for the SEL and Limited variants of the Flex, and according to Ford, the new engine packs the wallop of a V-8 while delivering the fuel economy of a six-cylinder engine—the new twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 produces 355 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 350 lb-ft while still returning 16 mpg city/22 highway with standard AWD.
The 2010 Ford Flex offers seating for up to seven in a very roomy cabin. Although the headrests are a little intrusive, the front two seats have the comfort of Volvo chairs. In the second row, you’ll find seats that are comfortable with lots of legroom and high seating positions. New for 2010 in the second row is the option to have a 60/40 bench with a new AutoFold feature. The third-row seat has enough legroom for adults, but taller passengers will be left wanting for headroom.
This year's Flex has been chosen as a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and the Flex received the top ratings of "good" for both frontal offset and side impact collisions. NHTSA’s vehicle assessment program also gave the Flex five stars for both driver and passenger protection, and four stars for the Flex’s rollover rating. The Flex's comprehensive set of safety features includes six airbags, anti-lock brakes, and stability control with anti-rollover technology.
The features offered as standard equipment and as options on the 2010 Ford Flex are impressive, with the choice to spec the car up or keep it basic. That said, the Flex’s options go far beyond power windows; the Flex has third-row seats and a CD player standard, with options including Ford’s SYNC system, navigation, a second-row refrigerator and footrests, a 10-speaker Sony audio system with Sirius Travel Link, and a glorious four-panel Vista Roof that opens up the Flex’s cabin to the sky. New for 2010 will be an optional dual-headrest DVD entertainment system.