2017 Ford Flex Limited Review

 
 

The Ford Flex is a vehicle you either hate or love with it's unique styling. Many cut this from their shopping list just based on how the vehicle looks. I'm one of the rare people who actually kind of likes the exterior design. If you can get past how the car looks it actually handles, accelerates and brakes well for something this large and heavy. 

Disclosure: Ford Canada provided me with the 2017 Flex Limited for a week to test drive, and photograph. All photos in this blog post was taken by me.


ACCELERATION: 10/10

  • 3.5L EcoBoost engine has 365 HP and 350 lb-ft @ 1500-5500 RPM
  • The amount of power in this vehicle is insane and far more powerful than many competitors' engines

BRAKING: 8.5/10

  • I had no problems coming back to a stop quickly. This is probably because the brakes are designed to stop when hauling a lot of weight and I only ever had 1 other passengers in the car.

HANDLING: 8.25/10

  • Around turns, it is composed and body roll is relatively minimal.
  • Steering is much more responsive which I usually like but because the car is so much heavier than the vehicles I'm use to driving, it actually takes much more effort to turn the steering wheel. I felt my arms get tired.

EXTERIOR: 8/10

  • The design is a hate it or love it kind of deal. While most people I know do not like it's styling, I actually like it's unique and boxy look. This one will all be subjective to personal taste!

RIDE: 6/10

  • Interesting that I read many say this is a smooth ride. Maybe because the seats are soft? But I felt the suspension is on the stiffer side. When going over rougher road conditions all passengers can feel everything. For a vehicle that is used for large families I would expect it to have softer suspensions.

CABIN NOISE: 7.5/10

  • The engine is so powerful that with normal city driving it rarely needs to rev high enough to make much noise in the cabin
  • The road and wind noise is OK but not as quiet as other SUVs in the class

INTERIOR FOR DRIVER: 6/10

  • Boxy shape makes it easy to check your blind spots when lane changing. There is also lane change warnings in the side mirrors if there is a vehicle there.
  • The "Limited" trim comes with a Sony interface system. It looks modern but I'm not a fan of buttonless interface. It makes it incredible hard to make changes while driving.
  • Parking this vehicle downtown is difficult due to it's size. Even with the cameras and sensors the tight spots downtown really limit the parking options.
  • Lots of hard plastics. Personally I would have liked to see more soft touch plastics used in the front
  • The USB ports are inside the arm rest.  If the front passenger wants to charge and use their phone at the same time the arm rest would have to be open making the driver unable to rest their arm on it.

INTERIOR FOR PASSENGERS: 7.5/10

  • Fit 7 people. Great for those with a big family
  • Front 2 rows have plenty of head and leg room
  • Back row is a bit tight on leg room for adults but should be okay for kids
  • Seating in the 3rd row will require lowering the seats each time. Unfortunately no quick release to lower and put back the seat
  • Interior uses a lot of plastic in the back too. While it looks cheap, it could make it easier to clean compared to soft materials if you're driving kids. I still think the front should have more soft touch plastics for the driver and front passenger
  • Multiple sunroofs in the back per seat to bring in more light to rear and feel less claustrophobic

INTERIOR STORAGE: 7.5/10

  • "Limited" Trim has electronic methods of putting down the seat. It was fun to see the seats transform to it's different forms!  It even has a way to flip the seats for passengers to sit in the trunk looking out while the car is parked. However the base version does not have this feature. I watched videos on how to put down the seats and its like a jigsaw puzzle. I can see it pretty annoying having to constantly putting down the back row seat
  • While this vehicle is large, the interior is not designed well. It is not able to store as much their competitors which produce smaller size vehicles. That being said, the Flex still can store bulky items with its boxy shape

INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM: 8.8/10

  • Sync 3 system is very responsive in the Limited Trim. It also supports Android Auto and Apple Car Play
  • I've read the base model infotainment is not responsive but I have not gotten a chance to test it myself. I can only judge this based off the system in the Limited trim.
  • Sirius XM Satellite Radio

ECONOMY: 3/10

  • Not surprising a car with so much power has such low fuel economy ratings compared to it's competitors. 15 mpg in city and 21 mpg on highway.

TECH AIDS: 7/10

  • Child safety rear door locks
  • Front Passenger Sensing System
  • Seat Belt Reminder System
  • Safety Canopy System
  • Back up cameras & sensors
  • Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  • Lower Anchors ad Tether Anchors for Children

OVERALL IMPRESSION OF THE 2017 Ford flex limited:

The 2017 Ford Flex Limited is a heavy duty hauler for those who have a large family and want a vehicle with plenty of power to tow extra storage. The trade off of the high power engine is it's intense use of gas. If fuel economy isn't important to you and you always transport 6 or more passengers this may be a vehicle you'd want to test drive. 

 
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