2013 Ford Flex Carries Families or Coffins

2013 Ford Flex, rear

Ford has fitted out the new Flex nicely, and it has plenty of room inside. Some have called it a hearse, though we think that’s because of its looks. See it live at the L.A. Auto Show.

The Flex can carry 7 in three rows of seats, like the Explorer with which it competes. This car typifies the marketing confusion between SUVs, crossovers and vans, the profusion of offerings, and the delusion of providing something for everyone.

To date, the Flex hasn’t been selling well, though the Explorer has. Our old friend Mark Fields, Ford’s President of the Americas (no one else holds that title) explained its appeal:

Flex appeals to people who want to stand out from the crowd and has the highest retention rate of any vehicle in the Ford lineup.

The probable reason for its high retention rate is there aren’t that many buyers for used Flexes (check out DealFinder), and you can get used ones cheap. Besides, Ford is still most likely making big margins on the car.

2013 Ford Flex MyFord TouchOkay, enough bum-rapping. Ford has done two good things for its ugly duckling: It has given the truck a better powerplant, now up 20 hp to 285 from the standard 3.5-liter V6. (You can also get an EcoBoost with 355 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque.) And it has improved (see right) the dreaded MyFord Touch system, which owners slammed for its terrible user interface.

You can read about all the goodies the Flex has to offer here, on Ford’s blog. One special item is “an available second-row refrigerated console. That right there is a great conversation-starter.”

For folks who like to drink in their cars—or dispense sodas to the kiddies—that could be the deal-sealer. The Flex indeed provides something for everybody.

I once recommended the Ford Flex to my nephew as a possible replacement for his Volvo V70 wagon. Was that a mistake?

—jgoods

Find Used Cars in Your Area at CarGurus

Used Ford Flex
Used Ford Explorer
Used Volvo V70

1 Comment

  1. The Flex seems to have an identity crisis. It wants to be one of those huge Lincoln Navigators but not look like a chromed school bus. It wants to be loaded with useless but profitable gadgets to keep profit margins high. It wants to target the eurocrackerbox market of range rover buyers who hold their noses when an american SUV rolls by. Even around here in Fordland it’s not a very common vehicle. Perhaps that’s because of the price, size and uninspired styling. Hey, if you can get a coffin in it, it’s got to be perfect for Costco’s car program. They can park it next to the coffin display.

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