Ford Flex

October 14, 2013
By

Ford Flex is a full-size crossover utility vehicle(CUV) manufactured by the Ford Motor Company.

Its styling is based on the Ford Fairlane concept unveiled at the 2005 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI.

The production vehicle made its debut at the 2007 New York International Auto Show Sales of the Ford Flex began in summer of 2008 as a 2009 model.

Ford Flex
2010 Ford Flex Limited 2 -- 11-25-2009.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Production June 3, 2008–present
Model years 2009–present
Assembly Oakville, Ontario, Canada (Oakville Assembly)
Designer Peter Horbury
Body and chassis
Class Full-size Crossover SUV
Body style 5-door wagon
Layout Front engine, front wheel drive / all wheel drive
Platform D4 platform
Related Ford Explorer (2011-present)sixth generation Ford Taurusfifth generation Ford TaurusFord Five HundredFord Taurus XLincoln MKSLincoln MKT
Powertrain
Engine 3.5 L Duratec V-63.5 L EcoBoost V-6
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 117.9 in (299 cm)
Length 201.8 in (513 cm)
Width 2009-2012: 80.1 in (203 cm)2015-: 75.9 in (193 cm)
Height 68 in (170 cm)
Chronology
Predecessor Ford FreestyleFord Taurus X

The Flex is produced on the same assembly line as the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKXmid-size CUVs at the Oakville Assembly plant in Oakville, Ontario, where the first Ford Flex was driven off the line at the beginning of June 2008.[1] The Ford Flex replaced the Ford Freestar minivan and was the first CUV to feature both minivan andSUV properties, though it isn’t a proper minivan. In addition, the Flex also replaced the similar Ford Taurus X, the station wagon variant of the Ford Taurus that was discontinued. The Flex is sold only in the United States, in Canada and in the Middle East. The Ford Flex shares a platform with the 2011–present Ford Explorer and the Lincoln MKT. The Flex, Explorer, and MKT all have a seating capacity for seven persons.

Interior

Ford Flex drivers compartment

Ford Flex drivers compartment

 

The 2009 Ford Flex includes seven-passenger seating, including adjustable and removable footrests for second-row passengers. The second and third row seats fold flat into the floor. The vehicle includes a class-exclusive optional interior “mini-fridge” refrigerator in the middle console mounted between the second-row seats. A voice-activated communications and entertainment system, called Ford Sync, integrates the functions of cell phones, Sirius Satellite Radio,compact disc, DVD and other media players, navigation systems, and was developed in collaboration with Microsoft. The interior is lit with programmable “mood lighting” available in seven colors, along with a multi-panel Vista Roof, similar to that on the Ford Edge, for skylighting. The Navigation system has a built in hard drive for music and picture storage.

To order your new Ford Flex 2015 rival with a brand new Ford 3.5L V6 6-speed Automatic for only US$18,000

Exterior

The Ford Flex features a chrome, horizontal, three-bar grille design. The windows and pillars appear blacked out, and the roof is available as white, silver, or the same color as the rest of the body. The 2009MY SEL (optional) and Limited (standard) models offer LED tail lamps and BiXenon headlamps, and a “capless” fueling system without the traditional fuel door and cap, which provides better sealing to reduce evaporative emissions from the fuel tank. For 2010MY, theBiXenon headlamps and LED tail lamps were no longer available on the SEL and remained standard on the Limited. The standard wheels are 17-inch (430 mm) diameter (SE), 18-inch (460 mm) diameter (SEL), 19-inch (480 mm) diameter (Limited) and 20-inch (510 mm) diameter versions available on the Limited or SEL with EcoBoost.

The Ford Flex features a series of horizontal grooves on its side and rear panels, intended to evoke a Woodie look without using simulated wood. Car Design News said the styling references “a previous era without resorting to obvious retro styling cues.”

Safety and security

Ford Flex rear

Ford Flex rear

A backup camera, mounted just above the bumper, allows the driver to see obstructions behind the vehicle, displayed on the 8-inch (200 mm) navigation display screen, whenever reverse gear is engaged. The navigation display was optional on the SEL and Limited models for 2009MY, but was no longer available for 2010MY on the SEL and became standard on the Limited (but still remained an option in Canada). The Ford Flex comes with Ford’s AdvanceTrac traction control system with roll stability control which helps the driver maintain control on low traction surfaces and during emergency maneuvers. All-wheel-drive is available as an option.

Powertrain

The Ford Flex is powered by two different V6 engines.

The Ford Flex‘s 3.5 L (213 cu in) Duratec V6 engine produces 262 hp (195 kW) and 248 lb·ft (336 N·m), and is paired with the 6-speed 6F automatic transmission.

A direct-injected twin-turbocharged EcoBoost version is available for the 2010 model. The EcoBoost produces 355 hp (265 kW) and 350 lb·ft (470 N·m) of torque. According to Ford, the turbochargers in the engine are designed to last 150,000 miles (240,000 km) or 10 years. AWD is required with the EcoBoost engine option. Towing capacity is 4,500 lb (2,000 kg). The all-wheel drive system is capable of transferring up to 100% of torque to the front or rear axle as needed.

Chassis

The Ford Flex includes an independent rear suspension system. It is built on the Ford D4 platform, a reengineered and enlarged version of the Ford D3 platform which underpins the 2005-2007 Five Hundred/Freestyle, 2008-2009 Taurus/Taurus X, 2009 Lincoln MKS and 2010 Ford Taurus. This chassis was in turn based on the Volvo P2 platform. The Ford Flex shares the same chassis as the 2011/12 Ford Explorer.

Active Park Assist

2015 Ford Flex

2015 Ford Flex

Offered on the Flex is Ford’s Active Park Assist system, which finds and measures a suitable parking space, then operates the steering wheel to accomplish the parallel parking task. This feature uses software control of the Electric Power Steering (EPS) system in response to inputs provided by ultrasonic sensors. A competing camera-based system from Lexus takes three times as long. As of the 2012 model, the park assist is only available with models that come equipped with the Ecoboost engine.

2015 refresh

The 2015 Ford Flex made its world debut at the 2011 LA Auto Show. For its fifth year on the market, Ford changed the front and rear of the Ford Flex while leaving the roofline intact. A single-bar grille replaced the three-bar grille, spreading into the headlight clusters. Instead of the blue-oval Ford logo, “F-L-E-X” was added to the front edge of the hood (this was also present in the pre-facelift Titanium trim). In the rear, the tailgate was redesigned; the Ford logo was moved from the center to bottom right with trim level to bottom left instead of top left. Inside, the Ford Flex received the SYNC/MyFord Touch electronic dashboard and driver interface seen in the Focus, Edge, and Explorer. A 3-spoke steering wheel was added along with manual-shifting capability for its 6-speed automatic transmission. Under the hood, the naturally aspirated 3.5L V6 increases in output to 285 hp.

2015 Model Year Changes

Given the major updates in 2015, the changes for 2015 are minor. The 4-way headrests are standard on the SE model, And a Monochromatic roof is optional on the titanium package.

Marketing

As part of the ‘electrifying the night’ campaign, Ford partnered with Esquire magazine in the magazine’s first issue with a cover using E Ink technology.

Sales in the United States

Year Sales Increased/decreased by
2008 14,457
2009 38,717
24,250
2010 34,227
4,490
2011 27,428
6,799
2012 28,224
796

Reception

As of October 2010, the Ford Flex is listed as the number 3 affordable mid-sized SUVs in US News behind the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse. The Ford Flex Ecoboost is also the first ranked large affordable SUV according to Consumer Reports. It is also ranked the most reliable large sized SUV and Ford’s most reliable vehicle as ranked by Consumer Reports. Ford Flex AWD was ranked highest of large SUVs by the percentage of owners who would definitely purchase that same vehicle again.

However, the Ford Flex has not been as successful as original ambitions expected, with sales of less than half the target of 100,000 vehicles that Ford had expected to sell each year. Ford Flex sold 38,717 cars in 2009 compared to three larger competitors sales of 43,150 for the Buick Enclave, 91,074 for the Chevrolet Traverse and 83,118 for the Toyota Highlander in the same year.

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