2009 Ford Flex: Best Soccer Dad Battle Wagon - Flex or Odyssey?
October 28, 2010
Recently got some miles in the Flex. Wanted to see how it matched up on the Odyssey, as the Wife has been lobbying for something of the Odyssey/Pilot genus. I'm ambivalent. The Odyssey is great and all, no question. It'll haul the kids, the grandfolk, bikes and boards, tents and stoves. And at the end of its shelf life, when the kids are embarrassed by it, I can pull the seats and press it into service as a crusty beach wagon.
But it's a minivan. Not a van. Not like Jeff Spicoli's. Not like The Mystery Machine or the A-Team's Vandura. A van leaks oil and spits fire from its side pipes. It shoots rockets, hauls amps and drums, and features characters from Robert Plant lyrics airbrushed on the panels.
A minivan does...none of those things. It emits a polite hum from a tightly-sealed V6. Plays DVDs. Holds cups, not hookahs. The Flex, though, is something else. Great design, fine style. Soccer dad without the stigma (or not). But the trade-off for that great look is less headroom. Not enough clearance to freak out when 'Jungle Boogie' streams the airwaves. And definitely not enough canvas for painted tributes to Norse legends.
Readers, which is it: Flex? Or Odyssey? Or...(click on B.A. Baracus)
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor