Cool Crossover: Ford Flex a One-of-a-Kind Dinghy

2325853_ford_flex_ext.jpgWith a style that makes for a love/hate response from most, but gets long looks from all,
the quirky, yet quite capable Ford Flex can handle daily chores and be a respectable dinghy
when you’re on the road in a motorhome. The seven-passenger Flex provides gracious
amenities and comfortable accommodations with an interior designed to flip and fold into a
handful of seating and storage-space configurations.


Ford’s Sync hands-free communication
and entertainment system helps to keep the driver’s attention forward and on the road. Its
voice-activated GPS navigation system integrates destination entry, climate control and
Sirius satellite radio into a single 8-inch, easy-to-use touch-screen display. Comfortable
seating and easy-to-see and use controls also help make it a fun vehicle to drive, even on
long hauls. Our test model – the 2009 AWD Ford Flex Limited – came complete with an
optional reverse camera system that displays the area behind the vehicle on the
navigation-system screen when the Flex is shifted into reverse.


Passengers will delight in
the Flex’s use of pleasures, such as the optional compressor-style refrigerator built into
the second-row seat center console in lieu of a seventh passenger seat. The sunroof bathes
occupants of the entire vehicle in a warm glow, providing a wide-open view of the sky.


3.5-l V-6 Duratec 35 engine in the Flex is a four-valve-per-cylinder, intake variable
camshaft timing power plant with an aluminum block and heads. It puts out 262 hp at 6,250
rpm and 248 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. The spunky little V-6 is mated to a well-mannered
six-speed automatic transmission and can really get up and go when you put some pressure on
it. Fuel consumption can average as high as 22 mpg on the highway.


2325853_ford_flex_dash.jpgThe Flex’s steel unibody
platform rides on a fully independent four-wheel suspension design that incorporates
gas-pressurized MacPherson struts, rear-facing L-shaped lower control arms, an isolated
subframe and 32 mm stabilizer bar up front; and a multilink rear end with upper and lower
control arms, fully isolated subframe and 22 mm stabilizer bar. Its power rack-and-pinion
steering system is responsive and works well with the vehicle’ s flat-riding yet smooth
suspension, keeping the vehicle, its occupants and cargo secure and under control.




Engine: 3.5-l V-6 Duratec 35

Horsepower: 262 @ 6,250 rpm  

Torque: 248 lb-ft at 4,500

Transmission: 6-speed automatic  

Brakes: 4-wheel disc
with ABS  

Wheelbase: 117.9″

Length: 16′ 9.8″

Width: 6′ 4″

Height: 5′ 8″  

40′ 8.4″  

Curb Weight: 4,640 lbs  

18.6 gal

Fuel Economy: City/Highway, 16/22

Baseplates Available: Blue Ox, Demco, Roadmaster


Price as tested: $43,820  


Ford Motor Co.,
(800) 392-3673,  


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