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.
Whether you go for a base SE model, or a better-equipped SEL or Limited model you'll get a comprehensive set of features. 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. This screen- and voice-based interface combines climate, infotainment, and navigation features, as well as other functions. We came away mostly with a positive impression from the system, but noticed that there were still some delays or a dulled response for some menu selections.
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 capacitative panel that houses supplemental audio and climate-control buttons. There's a physical button for the hazard lamps, but all else relies on touch.
A second-row refrigerated console is a feature that's not available in any other vehicle in this class. Other new features include rain-sensing wipers, passive entry and start, and a new feature that lets you go up or down a gear at a time on all models, not just those with paddle-shifters.
New for the first time this year is an Appearance Package that brings a black (as opposed to white or silver) roof—plus black mirrors, unique door-trim panels, and 20-inch machined aluminum wheels with painted pockets. In all, Ford says that there are six new wheel styles, with three of them 20-inch.