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QUALITY | 8 out of 10
“Impressive interior packaging”
“Huge legroom in the middle row”
Third-row legroom “8 inches more than a Chevy Tahoe”
The 2009 Ford Flex has crisp styling and a strong powertrain, but its killer application is its ability to haul seven passengers in comfort.
The 2009 Ford Flex has “impressive interior packaging,” according to Edmunds. “The second-row seats literally flip and fold forward at the touch of a button…and the third-row seat is fully functional for full-sized adults.” Jalopnik reports that the second-row seats “are firm and they travel on tracks so you can go all the way from huge legroom in the middle row and a reasonable amount in the wayback, or comfy legroom for all.” Edmunds adds that “there is 7.5 inches more legroom in the second row of the Flex than in the slightly longer Chevy Traverse crossover,” and in the third row, “some 8 inches more than a Chevy Tahoe.”
The seats themselves are “firm, with nice perforated leather and remind us of minivan seats,” Jalopnik reports. “And the sunroofs--all of them--were quite a sky-sight to behold. All in all, we were pleasantly surprised and look forward to spending some time with it on our own terms.” Visibility is a strong point in the 2009 Ford Flex, Car and Driver says.
Edmunds thought the interior quality was higher than most recent Fords, too: “There were also soft-touch inserts along the door panels where your hand or arm is likely to contact them, and while much of the dash (and the bulk of the door panels) were hard plastic, the plastic had a rich texture that at least made it look premium.”
The optional Vista Roof in the 2009 Ford Flex will “brighten the interior,” Car and Driver says. Base versions also offer a “faux tweed” seat trim with “miniature houndstooth patches.”
TheCarConnection.com’s recent rides in the 2009 Ford Flex proved many of the same points. The front seats are the place to be, not only because they’re comfortable, but because most of the fun entertainment systems are within hands’ reach. The seats themselves show that Ford is picking up lessons from Volvo, which has the best seats on the planet. The headrests on the Flex, though, push intrusively forward and can’t be adjusted backward since they incorporate anti-whiplash protection.
The second-row seat is best for leg- and headroom. The seats move to and fro for limousinelike room, and a single lever folds the seatbacks down and tilts the seat forward for easy access to the third row. There’s also a power button that will do the same for you.
The third row has limited use for adults, but kids should be happy back there. Head- and legroom are fine for anyone under 5 feet, 8 inches or so—six-footers will be impinged by the Vista Roof headliner. The third-row seat isn’t small—and it seems better than the same position in the 2009 Honda Pilot.
In terms of fit and finish, early versions of the Flex showed fine assembly quality—and materials, and the way they work together, are a step up for Ford. The door panels have faux-wood trim, metallic bands, leather, and plastic all next to each other, and they come off as high-quality pieces. There is some hard gray plastic, banished to places where hands don’t usually touch. Everything within arm’s reach seems to feel soft and considered.
The 2009 Ford Flex is an exceptionally roomy crossover vehicle, and quality seems to match Ford’s best intentions.