Latest Industry News

2009 Ford Flex: Head Turning Crossover

We’ve seen the Ford Flex on numerous occasions over the past two years – auto shows, press events, etc and have been pretty impressed with the style and the package of Ford’s upcoming Crossover SUV. The Flex is a seven-passenger Crossover based on the Ford Taurus/Taurus X/Sable platform which itself is based on the Volvo S80. So, what makes the Flex different from the Taurus X that has the same DNA?


Flex Has Personality Taurus X Lacks
First, the Flex has style. It looks like a huge Mini Clubman and I don’t intend that as an insult. Rumor has it that the initial theme for the styling of the Flex was developed by the Land Rover studios in England and then Ford opted to use the concept as its Ford Fairlane concept vehicle that received positive reviews at its first viewing at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The interior is very well done and has excellent ingress/egress. The relatively stiff A-Pillar and gives a large front door with a generous opening. The rear doors are large making for very easy ingress/egress. Ford says the rear seat has five inches more knee room than an Expedition. The 3rd row seat folds flat into the floor, but it is not as slick as that on the Expedition and Navigator which has power assist. The seats are comfortable giving good support.
Flex is one of the first vehicles to benefit from Ford’s new DNA for door closing sounds, engine sound, material feel, etc. These minor touches give the Flex a very upscale feel even though it is tough to get its price over $40,000. Base price is under $30,000 and there is a logical walk upwards from the base (still well-equipped) vehicle to the range topping Limited.

Public Will Warm Up to Flex
Walking around the Flex display at Fabulous Fords Forever this past weekend at Knott’s Berry Farm, I kibitzed as folks crawled over the Flex. They seemed genuinely surprised at the interior roominess of the vehicle and the size of the rear seat. They appeared to like the styling even though it is a bit polarizing (love-hate). One woman wondered if this was the “next minivan”. Another thought it was bigger than her Suburban. In any event, Flex elicited mostly positive reactions and should sell very well when it is launched inlate summer.

1 Comment

  • Bob| April 23, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    —-I like the Mini Clubman, but hate the Flex. In the smaller iteration, the styling looks practical, no-nonsense, and simple. But inflated and overstuffed as the Flex is, it screams “Blunt Weapon”. It’s the car for someone who needs to compensate for some inadequacy by strapping on some secondary male sex characteristics, but who wants to look up-to-date while doing so.
    —-Another SUV at a time when their appeal is plummeting (for anyone with a mind). Good timing, Ford. When gas hits $4 a gallon, SUV drivers are going to feel and look foolish, but the drivers of the old ones will at least have the justification of being stuck with the payments for vehicle with plummeting resale value. These Flexes are going to look like the late-model Taurus I saw that someone had customized with a vinyl roof: way too much effort to participate in a long-stale fad. The very style of the Flex will make it seem all the more laughable.
    —-This one will also continue the great SUV tradition of obstructing the vision of all drivers behind it, like rude people who wear big hats in the movies. Where’s my Bazooka?

Back to top