2013 Ford Flex Keeps Its Utility, Gets Uglier

2013 Ford Flex, front

The Ford Flex is one of the few vehicles I hate but would own in a second.

It’s an internal struggle that I’m glad I can’t afford, because if I had 40 grand sitting in an account somewhere, I’d be tempted to sign it over to Ford so I could haul my family in the utilitarian-yet-super-comfortable confines of the Flex’s homeliness. I wouldn’t be proud of myself, but at least I could look my friends in the face and say, yes, I have a family but no, I absolutely did not buy a minivan. I could then offer them a Diet Coke straight from the Flex’s built-in fridge.

I love that the Flex offers a grand cruising experience, extreme versatility and a driving demeanor that outshines that of a minivan or SUV. I don’t know, though, if I could wake up every morning and look at it as a fair replacement for my hard-earned money. Essentially the Flex is a scaled-up MINI Cooper on the outside, but without the retro cool-because-it’s-small factor.

2013 Ford Flex, rear quarter

There’s a reason no one has gone and made a giant-size Volkswagen Beetle.

The Flex hasn’t been a sales hit for Ford, but has done just well enough to earn a slight redesign for the 2013 model year. The new design, though, hints that even Ford isn’t thrilled to be associated with the Flex.

In an odd move, the company has removed its iconic blue oval logo from the grille and replaced it with a fat chrome bar and the word FLEX spread across the squared-off front end. I don’t know what type of look Ford was going for here, but the lack of the logo seems to me like an apology. Like Ford said, “I know, we don’t like it much either, sorry, but it is a great vehicle. You’ll love it. Sorry.”

Aside from the design, not much has changed on the Flex. It got a slight bump in horsepower and some interior changes. For 2013, though, the Flex remains a well-executed exercise in desirable repulsiveness.

Would you buy a Ford Flex over a minivan or SUV?

-tgriffith

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8 Comments

  1. i own a 355hp eccoboost Flex and i can tell you, not only is it quick, but i have yet to drive a more comfortable, versatile, and classy family hauler.

    that said, one of the main complaints of the Ford flex community (at least for the group who like to modify things) was the ford logo in the grill. especially considering that nearly EVERY show version of the Flex that Ford had at SEMA had a clean badge-less grill with either FLEX or FORD running across the lip of the hood like the old trucks used to.

    guys are doing all types of crazy mods, to include making their own grill entirely, to eliminate the Ford badge from the front. then Ford goes and does the very same thing with the Titanium, and now the 2013 Flex!

    so i guess they were just listening to the customer base with the badge.

    now if they would sell the Titanium grill over the counter for less that 750 dollars, i won’t have to make my own grill as well.

  2. I just drove the Flex today for the first time and loved it… We have a larger gass sucking SUV with 4 growing kids and found the size, power and overall comfort features very enticing. It was hard not to take it home. The look might not be for everyone and that’s Ok, the Flex fans will know they have something different and the neighbors will learn to love it like we do. Stay the course Ford your products are getting better every year…

  3. I love the Flex. It’s willfully practical, because squares hold more stuff than circles. And I disagree with your opinion, I think it’s a looker. Every other crossover (LR2 and Evoque included) uses vertical lines to emphasize height and appear taller; the Flex uses horizontal lines to look longer and sleeker. It’s not pretending to be an off-roader like its competitors. For that, I love it.

  4. that’s what I thought. Why buy an ersatz land rover when you can get the real thing?

  5. please.. this is an american attempt to copy land rover. gone bad. horribly. now even with the ford logo removed and the name written across the bonnet in land rover like letters. coincidence? yeah…

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