With seating for up to seven passengers, uncommonly comfortable seats, and a reconfigurable cargo space, the Ford Flex is one of our favorite vehicles for families that travel long distances frequently. It's more accommodating than most other big crossovers, with better entry and exit playing a big part in its charm.
In the first and second rows of seats, the Flex has wide, well-cushioned chairs with an almost ideal mix of long-distance support and soft-touch padding. One of our few complaints--a long-running one--has been completely remedied now that the Flex has better headrests with a new four-position design.
In the second row, you'll feel regal, there's so much head and leg room. You can thank the Flex's Volvo roots and its emphasis on second-row comfort. Crossovers like the Traverse and Pilot have better third-row accommodations or overall interior space, the Flex is organized to make the front and middle seats as spacious as possible for everyone, not just the under-13 set. At 5 inches shorter overall than the 205-inch-long Chevy Traverse with a wheelbase just as long, the Flex is conversely 10 inches longer than the Honda Pilot.
The third-row seats are thinly padded, but it's impressive that even our 6'-6” editor fits acceptably in the third row, with a slight hunch and knees slightly elevated; it would be fine for a jaunt across town, and it's relatively easy to get back there thanks to the roofline.
With 83 cubic feet of space behind the front seats, the Flex has marginally less interior room than the Honda Pilot, and 20 cubic feet less than the Traverse. However, both its second- and third-row seats can be power-folded out of the way, and behind the third row, it can tote more cargo than the Pilot.
The Flex is much quieter inside now than it has been in the past. In 2013 Ford added more sound deadening and lining, to lower noise and harshness in the vehicle, and it works. Fit and finish look better than ever, too. Ford has done a good job in placing soft-touch materials up where the driver and front passenger most often put their hands, while upholstery and materials feel luxury-grade.