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FEATURES | 10 out of 10
finding your music and podcasts via voice command on a Bluetooth connection just isn't going to happen
While the new system is markedly improved over the previous generation, it still feels as if Ford is asking it to do too much, a mistake BMW famously made with the early iterations of iDrive.
new and much improved MyFord Touch
latest version of the MyFord Touch infotainment system, updated for 2013 with clearer menus and more responsive controls
A well-stocked family wagon with a signature look, the Ford Flex was redesigned last year to accommodate a set of new features that keep it at the forefront of infotainment tech.
Almost all versions of the 2014 Flex--all but the base SE--come with the upgraded version of MyFord Touch, introduced into this crossover in the 2013 model year. This screen- and voice-based interface combines climate, infotainment, and navigation features, as well as other functions. The new iteration includes improved responsiveness, a less cluttered look, improved fonts, and a better design for on-screen buttons. 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 capacitive panel that houses supplemental audio and climate-control buttons. There's a physical button for the hazard lamps, but all else relies on touch.Across the lineup, the Flex has a comprehensive set of features. The base Flex SE comes standard with a power windows, mirrors and locks; three-row seating; capless fuel filling; an AM/FM/CD player; Bluetooth; 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.
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.
Plush fittings and some of the most connected infotainment features make the Ford Flex a luxury car in all but brand.