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On the FamilyCarGuide scale, it's a perfect 10 out of 10. From a family-vehicle perspective, it hits all the right marks in seating, cargo space, interior appointments, ride comfort, safety, and features; we're quite frankly at a loss to find significant criticism.
Looking somewhat like a Range Rover crossed with a Mini Cooper—throw in some elements of an old Ford Country Squire wagon, too—the Flex feels at once world-class stylish, yet uniquely American.
Interior appointments in the Flex aren't quite as boxy-chic, but everything makes sense inside, with a richness you won't tire of. The first two rows of seating in the Flex—supportive buckets—might actually be better than some of your living-room furniture; and the third-row seat is one of the rare rearmost rows that can accommodate adults for a jaunt across town without complaining—provided you put the young ones back there as it's still a little tough to get to.
There's a lot to love in the way the Flex drives, too—especially if you opt for the step-up EcoBoost turbocharged V-6, which can catapult it ahead for faster highway passes than many sport sedans. Available all-wheel drive adds all-weather assurance, and while we can't say this heavy vehicle ever feels nimble in the city, it feels born for the highway, eating up the miles without fatigue and eagerly taking on sweepers and mountain curves.
The interior of the Flex feels like it was born to entertain and soothe kids (or the hard-to-please mother-in-law). Outside of a supremely smooth, quiet ride, the Flex can be equipped with excellent Sony sound systems, a DVD entertainment system, a second-row refrigerator, and HD Radio. And for the driver, the nav system includes Sirius TravelLink real-time traffic, plus weather, sports, and movie listings.
Safety, too, has been excellent for the big Flex. A rearview camera, parking sensors, and blind-spot system are available, and Ford's MyKey system allows parents to set limits for (and monitor) new teen drivers.
For more, see the full review of the 2011 Ford Flex over at The Car Connection.