2011 Ford Flex Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Ford Flex Wagon

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Ford Flex Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 355 hp @ 5700 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/21 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Ford Flex

  • The 2011 Ford Flex is a thoughtfully designed and cool-looking alternative to minivans and seven-passenger crossover SUVs. We think most families would be well served by its diverse abilities.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    High-quality cabin; genuine three-row space; refined ride; excellent safety scores; high-tech features; turbocharged engine option; unique styling.

  • Cons

    Less maximum cargo space than competing minivans and some crossovers; second-row bench doesn't slide.

  • What's New for 2011

    A new range-topping trim level, the Titanium package, debuts as a cosmetic upgrade. Besides that, the 2011 Ford Flex only sees a few minor changes in colors and feature content.

Full 2011 Ford Flex Review

What's New for 2011

A new range-topping trim level, the Titanium package, debuts as a cosmetic upgrade. Besides that, the 2011 Ford Flex only sees a few minor changes in colors and feature content.


It's a rare car indeed that appeals to convenience-minded families and urban hipsters alike. But the 2011 Ford Flex does just that. Even though its boxy profile looks as though it was designed on an Etch-a-Sketch, this crossover wagon/SUV continues to impress us and shoppers with its artful blend of space, comfort, safety, utility and style.

As it enters the third year of production, the Flex sees only minor changes for 2011. Last year it received a turbocharged engine option, a telescoping steering wheel and a handful of other feature enhancements. The 2011 Ford Flex gets a new Titanium trim level, but it really amounts to little more than cosmetic changes added on top of the Limited model. Outside of the new trim level, an optional power-folding third-row seat feature debuts on Limited trim models, and HD radio is now included with the navigation system.

These 2011 enhancements are minor, but it's important to keep in mind that even if the Flex remained unchanged from last year, it would still rank as one of our favorite vehicles. Its comfortable seating in all three rows and smooth ride make it great for everyday commuting and long-distance road trips, while the Flex's optional turbocharged V6 makes it one of the quickest crossovers you'll find.

With as much praise as we heap on the Flex, it might still be worth your time to consider other vehicles. The 2011 Mazda CX-9 delivers a sportier drive, while the 2011 Honda Odyssey and 2011 Toyota Sienna minivans offer a more voluminous and versatile interior space. The 2011 Chevrolet Traverse and its Buick and GMC clones are also worth a look. But all things considered, the 2011 Ford Flex rises to the top of our list thanks to its well-rounded abilities, unique character and broad appeal.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Ford Flex is a seven-passenger crossover wagon; optional second-row captain's chairs reduce seating capacity to six. It is available in SE, SEL, Limited and Titanium trim levels.

The base SE comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglamps, rear parking sensors, keyless entry and an exterior access code pad, cruise control, automatic climate control, eight-way-driver and two-way-passenger power front seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split-folding second row (with power-operated 40 portion), a 50/50 split-folding third row, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a trip computer and a six-speaker stereo with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

The SEL adds 18-inch wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, driver power lumbar adjustment, a six-way power passenger seat, wood interior trim, the Sync electronics interface system (optional on SE, includes Bluetooth and iPod control), an in-dash six-CD changer and satellite radio. The last three items are optional on the SE. Options on the SEL include leather upholstery (third-row vinyl) and a 12-speaker Sony stereo. The SEL Convenience package adds a power tailgate, heated mirrors, driver memory functions, adjustable pedals and a 110-volt inverter jack.

The Limited adds those SEL options plus 19-inch wheels, HID headlights, satin aluminum tailgate trim, perforated leather upholstery, ambient lighting, a wood-trimmed steering wheel and a navigation system that includes real-time traffic and weather, a touchscreen interface, a single-CD/DVD player, HD Radio, digital music storage and a rearview camera.

The new Titanium package adds on top of the Limited's features 20-inch chrome wheels, unique interior and exterior styling accents, microfiber suede seat inserts and perforated leather trim for the steering wheel.

Options on every Flex include second-row reclining and sliding captain's chairs and contrasting roof colors. The SEL, Limited and Titanium can be equipped with the turbocharged V6, the Vista Moonroof (consisting of a power front sunroof and three fixed units over the two back rows), front parking sensors and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system. The Limited can be had with 20-inch wheels, power-folding third row seats and a refrigerated second-row center console.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2011 Ford Flex comes standard with a 3.5-liter V6 producing 262 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard with this engine and all-wheel drive is optional. In our performance testing, our best run from zero to 60 mph in an all-wheel-drive Flex required a class-average 8.8 seconds. EPA fuel economy estimates are 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined with front-wheel drive and 16/22/18 with all-wheel drive.

Optional on the SEL, Limited and Titanium is the turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6. It produces 355 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic with manual shift control are standard. Expect 60 mph to come up in a quick 6.6 seconds. Despite the added power and performance, the EcoBoost V6 manages to achieve the same fuel economy as the standard V6.


The 2011 Ford Flex comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and rear parking sensors. A rearview camera is optional. In brake testing, a Flex Limited with the standard 3.5-liter engine stopped from 60 mph in 131 feet -- average for the class -- and the EcoBoost wasn't significantly different. In government crash testing, the Flex achieved a perfect five stars in all front and side categories. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded it the best possible rating of "Good" in its frontal-offset and side-impact tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Ford Flex's interior quality is top-notch, with abundant soft-touch materials and an attractive, upscale design. The spacious layout affords seven-passenger seating -- even the third row is sufficient for adults. The optional reclining second-row captain's chairs shrink seating capacity to six, but comfort increases and their ability to slide forward expands third-row legroom. With either configuration, the standard power-folding mechanism in the second row makes getting into the third row a snap. With the rear seats lowered, the Flex can hold 83 cubic feet of stuff. This is less than minivans and several other large crossovers, but the Flex's conveniently boxy shape makes the most of it.

The available Microsoft-engineered Sync system lends the Flex a high-tech character, offering trick features like advanced voice-recognition software for iPods as well as cell phones. Other intriguing options such as the Vista Moonroof, Sirius Travel Link and rear-console refrigerator extend the Flex's appeal.

Driving Impressions

The 2011 Ford Flex isn't all that inspiring from behind the wheel, but it certainly is not disagreeable, either. The ride is always comfortable -- even with the bigger wheels -- soaking up bumps in the road with luxury car ease. The base V6 is adequate for a vehicle this size, motivating the Flex with enough gusto to keep up with competing crossovers. The six-speed automatic can be frustrating, though, often refusing to downshift unless you put your foot to the floor.

The twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 is a different story, giving the Flex a sport wagon flavor and offering direct control of the transmission via the standard shift paddles. The tighter suspension, quicker steering and lower ride height also allow the Flex to corner with more immediacy and confidence. Sporty, it's not, but the EcoBoost variants should supply enough excitement for the majority of drivers.

Read our Ford Flex Long-Term 70,000-Mile Test

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

No boost needed

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Vehicle: 2011 Ford Flex Limited 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

I want to mostly state that reviews generally speak of the Boost Engine and not the 3.5 v 6 . The 3.5 v6 is stated to have 262Hp, The 3.5 V6 Boost is at 355 Horse power. I wish to give some perspective .. A 1965 V8 Mustang had 277 Horse Power. That is FAST. My Flex has the standard ...It is FAST and quick. I traded my 2008 Ford Edge for the 2011 used Flex and LOOOVE it. I can not believe I did not buy one sooner. I paid 22K used and the sticker new was 37K. This is the way to go. I was sold on Ford because of the EDGE, solid and dependable. Is Ford Customer Service good? LOL I have no idea because I have never had a problem.. Quieter than my Edge or my Avalon.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

My flex

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Vehicle: 2011 Ford Flex SEL 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

Test drove the Durango, Pilot, Explorer, Edge, 4Runner,Highlander, MDX,Tahoe. Then there was the Flex. We loved the Flex but something was holding us back. It did everything better than everything we drove, is it the look? I kept telling my wife Form=Function, that is the beauty of the Flex. It is more than just skin deep. We still held back, looked at the competition but the Flex kept calling us back. Which of these has the luxury, space, utility, style, technology and performance we wanted. None. Back to the Flex. Found a used 2011 SEL, bought it and love it. Don't miss out the Flex is great.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

2011 ford flex california review

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Vehicle: 2011 Ford Flex SEL 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

With our 2001 Honda Odyssey mini van approaching 130K and on its third transmission, we set out to see what sort of new vehicle might fit our fancy. I have had my eye on the Flex for some time but we also looked hard at the Mazda CX9. For us, the Flex has the larger more comfortable cabin, a ridiculous amount of leg room in the second row, and the look of a poor man's Range Rover. The CX9 has super supportive seating as well as a sporty ride and engine. But the Flex has a uniqueness about it that nothing else compares to. And, if you can still secure a 2011 with the hefty rebates, you will have a vehicle that pound for pound surpasses anything else.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

My amazing flex se ingot

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Vehicle: 2011 Ford Flex SE 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

I decided to trade in my 2004 Jaguar XJ8. I went looking for an affordable crossover with comfort,room,standard features, and gas mileage. I have never owned a Ford. After driving the Flex I was sold instantly. It is comfortable, roomy,quiet,and great mileage. The list price was 32,000 but I was able to get it for 24,000. The options include second row club seats, sync, roof rails, and and tow package.

Great vehicle overall beware dealer

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Vehicle: 2011 Ford Flex SEL 4dr Wagon AWD w/EcoBoost (3.5L 6cyl Turbo 6A)

Overall the flex is great however I was disappointed with missing paint on bumper (where bumper meets sheet metal), some squeaks in ceiling air ducts and undisclosed minor hail damage to my vehicle. I will never do a inter dealer transfer in the future. Further my dealer (Maclin ford) also told me the vehicle had no break in period. After I received the vehicle I was disappointed to read that there is a 1000miles break in where the engine speed needs to be varied. Unfortunately the dealer tranfer involved a drive of almost 1000m. Seems to me like ford sales either does not know the product they are selling or they were dishonest in order to fininsh the sale.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Better than what i had

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Vehicle: 2011 Ford Flex Titanium 4dr Wagon AWD w/EcoBoost (3.5L 6cyl Turbo 6A)

I am in my mid 60's, & have driven muscle cars, subarus (lots of them), suburbans and pickups. I live in the foothills west of Denver @ 8000 feet. So far this fall we have had about 20" of snow between two different snowfalls. Although our new flex (purchased in early september) is not a high profile car, and it does not have dedicated 4 wheel drive, it has handled what nature has thrown at it. (we have an avalanche for the deep snow). I LOVE this car, which is beyond my feelings about the many other cars I have owned. It has great torque, and acceleration. It has good gas mileage for its size (19 / 24 so far). And, it is much cooler than I expected (gets lots of thumbs up)

Talk About The 2011 Flex

2011 Ford Flex Discussions See all Started By

I own a 2011 Ford Flex AWD with Ecoboost and trailer package. I am thinking about buying an airstream travel trailer for a long road trip from the lower 48 to alaska and back. Does anyone have any e...

I bought Ford Flex 2011 Ecobost 3 days ago. My Experience with Cowles Ford in woodbridge VA is terrible!!! They deceitfully sold to me a car that I did not see!...

the noise a little louder. Sounds like something flexing when the engine torques back and forth. Took it to the dealer today and of course I could barely get it to make the noise there, but the guy d...

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 21
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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