Downshift Already! - 2009 Ford Flex Long-Term Road Test

2009 Ford Flex Long Term Road Test

2009 Ford Flex: Downshift Already!

April 13, 2009

Ford Flex Shifter

The Ford Flex can be frustrating to drive in a congested, fast-moving city. Quite often this weekend, I found myself trying to merge into a slot onto the freeway or into a quicker moving surface street lane only to have the Flex utterly refuse to downshift. It would usually take a full foot-to-the-floor and then a good two seconds before it would oblige with a two-gear drop. It would've only needed a one-gear drop, but it lost so much momentum with its stubbornness that more effort, noise and fuel had to be exerted. After a while, I started second guessing merges that I normally wouldn't second guess in such a powerful vehicle -- but its downshifting negligence would cause me to second guess and just wait patiently for a bigger hole in traffic. The fact that the Flex feels 29 feet long doesn't help things.

Normally, I'd agree that an automanual shifting override would be useless in a vehicle that offers no driving fun. But if the transmission is going to be so stubborn in its adoration for sixth gear, it would be nice for a better override than simply L.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 21,300 miles

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