Maybe In Khaki - 2009 Ford Flex Long-Term Road Test

2009 Ford Flex Long Term Road Test

2009 Ford Flex: Maybe In Khaki

November 02, 2010

gaping maw of flex cargo.jpg

Two EZ-Ups. Two large tables. Seven chairs. Three coolers, cups, plates, multiple jugs of juice, tea and water. One doomed, burro-shaped pinata. And this was before several foil pans of hot food went in. Just another rager at the park for the Kid's birthday with all her five-year-old pals.

I was skeptical that the Flex could haul it all, but it did. At 83 cubic feet, the Flex's cargo hold approaches the volume of an Odyssey with just its third row folded flat (91 cubes). The Flex also felt confidently composed at speed with that load (and nope, I didn't leave the wooden folding table floating up there on the window).

So are the rumors of the Flex's death greatly exaggerated?

Hard to say.

Ford sales were up 46 percent in September, but the Flex didn't contribute much - just 2,204 units sold during the month, fewer than even the anemic Expedition. The automaker also announced net income of $1.7 billion during the third-quarter, but nary a mention of the Flex in the company line. Instead, models like the Edge, Focus, Taurus and Mustang shouldered much of the third-quarter success. Year to date, Flex sales are down 8 percent compared to 2009.

Maybe it's too expensive. Fuel economy underachieves. The polarizing design is too boxy, too different, too weird. Maybe if they offered it in khaki. Whatever. It's still a great car, as our record total of blog posts - and reader praise - can attest. All the dads at the toddler toga admired its style and utility, particularly the second-row chiller box and its contents, reserved to ease the burdens of my fellow weary travelers.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor

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