2013 Ford Flex Review

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Consumer Reviews
2 Reviews
2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

With an unmistakable design, strong performance, and a roomy, comfortable interior, the 2013 Ford Flex proves that three-row crossovers don't have to be boring.

The boxy 2013 Ford Flex wagon isn't just fashionable; it's one of the better picks for a cross-country trip; and for carrying six adults out for the evening; and for busy moms; and for all of an afternoon's ill-advised IKEA purchases.

Catch our drift? While the Flex looks like a vehicle that must have some sort of deal-breaking packaging flaw, there really isn't. Compared to most other crossovers on the market, the Flex not only makes more sense, it's more stylish, and at least next to the Explorer, it drives better. You get the interior packaging goodness of a minivan, without the mommy-wagon image. Plus, with this year's changes, a more cohesive design than ever and with the EcoBoost, a vehicle that can be hustled as quickly as some sporty sedans.

It’s a pleasant vehicle to drive, too, and we think it's a step up from the likes of the Traverse, Pilot, and Highlander. Mostly, it's because of the superior ride quality, descended way back from the Volvo XC90 that spun off the Flex' platform, the same one underpinning the Taurus, the Lincoln MKS and the MKT. Even the base Flex carries itself like a smaller wagon, with crisp steering feel and a compliant feel that comes from its long wheelbase, but great control over its body motions even when it's hustled in a way no family vehicle will ever be used. Trust us on this one.

Ford has made good by fitting variable cam timing to the base 3.5-liter V-6 this year, so it now makes 287 hp and returns 1 mpg better compared to last year. But the star of the lineup remains the turbocharged, 365-hp EcoBoost Flex, which runs off 0-60 mph times of under seven seconds and lightens up the Flex's footwork, making it faster than anything in the class. Thanks to a new electric power steering system, a quicker ratio, and a steering unit that's now locked onto the subframe, steering feel is more precise, while a host of improvements improve ride harshness and keep the cabin much quieter from road noise.

As large as the 2013 Flex is (it's 202 inches long, with an also-long 118-inch wheelbase), it's surprisingly manageable to park and drive around the city. It doesn't exactly drive small, but it doesn't feel much more cumbersome than a mid-size sedan. All the seats in both the first and second rows are cozy, with limousine-like room in every direction, and a choice of buckets or a bench. The long wheelbase pays off most here, but even the third-row seat has leg room for smaller adults, though head room is scant for six-footers.

The Flex is among the safest vehicles you can buy. Its comprehensive safety package includes six airbags, anti-lock brakes, and stability control with anti-rollover technology. A rearview camera and parking sensors are available, as are a blind-spot warning system and adaptive cruise control, and this year it gains inflatable second-row seat belts, and adaptive cruise control (with forward collision alert), and a blind-spot monitoring system.

The 2013 Ford Flex isn't only about bold looks and three-row seating; it aims to be an excellent, full-featured family wagon, and especially in its top Limited guise feels like a full-fledged luxury model. The base Flex SE comes standard with three-row seating; a CD player; power windows, mirrors and locks; capless fuel filling; and MyKey, which lets owners set pre-programmed levels for radio volume and vehicle speed, effectively putting an electronic leash on younger drivers. Upscale Flex crossovers can be fitted with the EcoBoost turbo engine; all-wheel drive; a leather interior; and a glass panoramic sunroof. All 2013 models except the base SE include the new, upgraded version of MyFord Touch, which includes improved responsiveness, a less cluttered look, improved fonts, and a better design for on-screen buttons. The main instrument panel has been redesigned to go along with MyFord Touch, and a left panel can be reconfigured to show a number of different functions, including a graphic tachometer. Also new, just below MyFord Touch, is a capacitive panel that houses supplemental audio and climate-control buttons. There's a physical button for the hazard lamps, but all else (even climate controls) relies on touch.

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July 15, 2016
2013 Ford Flex 4-Door SEL FWD

Love this vehicle, ugly but a great ride

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I have to admit the only reason I initially bought the flex was because it was easy to transfer my husband from his wheelchair to the vehicle. After driving it a while I love this vehicle. It is very... + More »
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April 13, 2015
For 2013 Ford Flex

I am about to get my third Flex next week

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I am in love with my Flex. I got my first the year they came out. And it has spoiled me. Some people might not like the looks but noone can beat the ride and storage. I am sorry to have to give my leased Flex... + More »
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December 27, 2015
2016 Ford Flex 4-Door Limited AWD w/EcoBoost

Fantastic peace of equipment

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Expensive but enjoyable .With Ecoboost , Power , handling ,comfort better than avrage in class . One only negative point ...... 20'' Goodyear give a harder ride on bad road ,6 flat tires in 55,000 KM + More »
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October 25, 2015
2016 Ford Flex 4-Door Limited AWD

Best riding most quiet car that I have ever owned.

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Our Limited Flex is an '09 (did not have that choice in the style category). Purchased it new and now have 130,000 miles on it. The Flex is a great road car--quiet, very comfortable, and a joy to travel in. We... + More »
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April 14, 2015
For 2015 Ford Flex

Our Flex is the best driving, most comfortable, and most quiet vehicle that I have ever ridden in.

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Our Flex is an excellent road car--room and comfort are super. The vehicle is very quiet.
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August 3, 2015
2014 Ford Flex 4-Door SEL FWD

Just about the nicest car I ever owned!

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I was driving a 2010 Explorer. I liked it very much, but my wife is having trouble with arthritis, and getting in was difficult, even with a running board, so I bought the Flex because it is lower. WE LOVE IT!... + More »
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May 12, 2015
2014 Ford Flex 4-Door Limited FWD

Exceeds my expectations

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Needed a vehicle that my wife could get into easily and had room for her walker, but wanted some fun features and good handling. Flex does all of that.
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February 12, 2016
2012 Ford Flex 4-Door Titanium AWD w/EcoBoost

Amazing peoples moover .

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At 53000 click this car as been for me one of the best all aroud among 46 cars i own at this point . Confort , power , handling and versatility at is best . The Goodyear 20 inches tires are the only dark point... + More »
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September 14, 2015
2011 Ford Flex 4-Door SEL FWD

Maybe it's my heavy foot for fuel economy, faux leather checking ( cracking ) for quality ssues.

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Great travel and golf vehicle. 95000km. Good gas mileage, design wise, like a Single Malt Scotch ... an aquired taste
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May 13, 2015
2011 Ford Flex 4-Door Limited FWD

great car for middle to large family

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I love it this car is loved by all of the family great interior and features
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