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.

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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.

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