2009 Ford Flex: Arrival in Oregon
December 27, 2009
OK, so Donna beat me to it. But I swear I took this photo of our 2009 Ford Flex with Christmas lights on Dec 24th, the day we arrived in Oregon. Dad and I only got the wireless network set up in his house this afternoon, you see.
Ironically, the electric Mini couldn't actually power the lights that were draped across its flanks. For all its electric subsystems, the Mini E has no 110V outlet to power accessories like a Wii gaming system, a laptop charge cord or a string of christmas lights. But the Flex has such an outlet and, after we wrested control from the kids and unplugged the Wii, we actually drove the final 5 rural miles with these extra 'clearance lights' attached to make our grand entrance.
For those of you concerned about the worn rear tires on the Flex, fear not. We replaced them before departure. Stokes charged $145 each for exact replacement Hankook Optimo H725 tires. After that we paid $10 (each) for freight, $60 for mounting and balancing and nearly 10% in taxes, and our total for two new rear tires rose to $406.28. An oil and filter change added another $57.56 to our final bill.
The front tires have at least three-fourths of the original tread left and we're carrying low-profile Z-spec cable chains with us should they become necessary. There's little danger of snow here on the coast, but we're headed inland to Bend, Oregon in a few days where the white stuff is much more likely.
I mentioned the iPhone app Road Trip in my last post. I'm liking it thus far.
OK, I admit that mpg calculations are very easy to do yourself; divide miles driven by gallons added and you're done. But this well-designed app makes those calculations instantly in the background after you enter your raw odometer reading and the number of gallons purchased. Add in the price paid per gallon and you get cost per mile, too. Better yet, you don't need to keep a logbook in the car, fish around for a pen that hasn't dried out and a pocket calculator that has juice. Your iPhone or iPod Touch becomes the data entry point, the logbook and the calculator, all in one shot.
And if that wasn't enough, Road Trip gives you a bunch of geeky graphs.
Yeah, I think my $4.99 was money well spent. Refer to the above photos for the Flex's current fuel economy performance.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 43,004 miles