Oregon Day 1, Identity Crisis? - 2009 Ford Flex Long-Term Road Test

2009 Ford Flex: Oregon Day 1, Identity Crisis?

December 26, 2008

555 Oregon Day 1 Easy Fuel.jpg

'What car are you driving up this year?' asked my dad as we called to report our progress from the road.

'It's a 2009 Ford Flex,' I replied.

'A what?'

'A Ford Flex. It's new.'

'Never heard of it. Does it run on ethanol?'

'No, it won't run on E85.'

'Why do they call it Flex, then?'

Good question. I have no answer to that one.

Dad wasn't the only one to make the incorrect flex-fuel assupmtion, either. Two or three other relatives I saw over the last two days made the same deduction. It's such an easy conclusion to draw, apparently, that Ford felt the need to emblazon the Easy Fuel filler neck with 'no E85' icons. I don't remember seeing anything like it on any other car that won't run on E85. But, then again, none of them are called 'Flex,' either.

This misconception seems so pervasive that I have to wonder if the Flex is being dismissed as a vehicle choice by those who either don't have E85 in their area or don't believe in the stuff. That'd be a shame, because this is one nice ride.

As for the Easy Fuel itself, I'm still not used to the lack of a cap. I have to wonder if those who have a two-car stable, one with Easy Fuel and one without, ever get used to it.

All that aside, we burned two tanks totalling 30.06 gallons of regular unleaded today over 682.8 miles of mostly high speed freeway driving, for an average fuel economy of 22.7 mpg. The in-car gauge apparently reads a bit high; it reported the day's average as 23.6 mpg.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 13, 743 miles

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