2009 Ford Flex Review

Pros & Cons

  • Genuine seven-passenger accommodations, high-quality interior materials, unique styling, optional all-wheel drive, availability of Sync multimedia interface.
  • Steering wheel doesn't telescope, less cargo volume than a minivan and several larger crossovers.
List Price Range
$7,900 - $12,995

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2009 Ford Flex is a thoughtfully designed and cool-looking alternative to minivans and seven-passenger crossover SUVs.

Vehicle overview

It wasn't too long ago that minivans reigned supreme as the go-to choice of growing families across the country. In recent years, however, minivan sales have declined due to the arrival of seven-passenger crossover SUVs, which allow moms and dads to look and feel a little more stylish while transporting their broods. These crossovers don't offer as much utility, however. So what if an automaker attempted to marry the "cool factor" of a crossover SUV and the unbeatable practicality of a minivan's shoebox-like shape? The result would probably end up something like the 2009 Ford Flex.

With styling inspired by vintage vacuum cleaners and an overall shape that resembles a super-sized cross between a first-generation Scion xB and a Mini Cooper Clubman, it's safe to say there's nothing else quite like the Ford Flex on the road today. Though the Flex shares its underpinnings and powertrain with the capable but anonymously styled Taurus X, its daring design sets it apart from the legions of look-alike crossovers roaming our roads. Fortunately for Ford, the Flex's appeal is much more than skin-deep. For example, it offers one of the highest-quality interiors we've seen from Ford in a long time, replete with plentiful soft-touch surfaces and an expensive-looking design. Ford's innovative Sync MP3 player and phone interface system is also available, as is a Vista sunroof, which consists of four fixed glass panels that brighten up the cabin for second- and third-row occupants. Add a reasonably powerful 3.5-liter V6 to the mix, along with available all-wheel drive, and you've got all the ingredients of a crowd-pleasing people mover.

Featuring conventional rear doors instead of the maximally convenient sliding variety, the Flex nonetheless constitutes a compelling package for families who just can't stomach the idea of rolling in a blatantly utilitarian conveyance. Seven adults can fit comfortably inside its elongated cabin, and access to the third row is a cinch with the optional power-folding second-row seats, though a bit of a pain without them. The second-row seats also slide fore and aft, while an optional refrigerator inside the rear console keeps perishables cool while driving. With the rear seats flipped down and the second row flipped forward, the Flex offers a large cargo area, though minivans are still considerably more capacious.

It's hard to predict whether the new Ford Flex will be a success, but Ford deserves credit for boldly bringing such an unconventional yet well-thought-out offering into the marketplace. In theory, the Flex should appeal to any family looking for a winning combination of panache and practicality. We suggest that consumers looking at either a minivan or a large crossover SUV give it strong consideration.

2009 Ford Flex models

The 2009 Ford Flex crossover wagon is offered in three different trim levels. The base SE is only available with front-wheel drive and comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, rear park assist, a 60/40-split second-row bench, a 50/50-split third-row bench that folds into the floor, rear climate controls, a power driver seat and a six-speaker CD stereo with an auxiliary audio jack. The midlevel SEL, available with either front- or all-wheel drive, adds upgraded exterior trim and 18-inch wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, power heated front seats, leather upholstery (vinyl for the third row) and a 10-speaker stereo with satellite radio. The top-of-the-line Flex Limited, also available with either front- or all-wheel drive, boasts 19-inch wheels, xenon headlights, a power liftgate, power-adjustable pedals, a memory function for the driver seat, perforated leather upholstery and Ford's exclusive Microsoft-developed Sync multimedia interface.

Many of the Limited's features are available as options on the SEL, and the Sync system is also optional on the SE. Additional options include second-row captain's chairs (heated on the Limited), the four-panel Vista sunroof, a towing package, keyless ignition/entry and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system. The Limited can be equipped with a touchscreen navigation system featuring voice recognition, an integrated back-up camera and Sirius Travel Link, which provides real-time traffic, weather and other information. A white- or silver-painted roof is also available.

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2009 Highlights

Making its debut for 2009, the Ford Flex crossover wagon boasts eye-catching styling and room for seven full-size adults.

Performance & mpg

The Flex is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that churns out 262 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic is the only available transmission. The Flex is either front- or all-wheel drive, although the latter is available only on the SEL and Limited. We managed a respectable 8.8-second 0-60 gallop in the AWD Flex. EPA fuel economy for the front-wheel-drive Flex is 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined, which is on par with GM's full-size crossovers. Opting for AWD drops those numbers by about 1 mpg.

Safety

Standard safety features on the 2009 Ford Flex include antilock brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.

Driving

On the road, the 2009 Ford Flex gets the job done in a competent if uninvolving way. Though its prodigious length is always apparent, the Flex handles securely for such a large vehicle, albeit with a fair amount of play in the steering. The suspension provides a forgiving ride, cushioning impacts with impressive refinement. While acceleration is adequate overall, the 3.5-liter V6 feels rather soft off the line. The long-travel brake pedal doesn't necessarily inspire confidence, but our AWD test vehicle stopped from 60 mph in a satisfactory 128 feet.

Read our 2009 Ford Flex Long-Term 70,000-Mile Test

Interior

The 2009 Ford Flex's interior quality is top-notch, with abundant soft-touch materials and an attractive, upscale design. The spacious layout affords true seven-passenger seating -- even the third row is hospitable for full-size adults, offering surprisingly generous leg- and headroom, although the second-row seat tracks impinge on third-row foot room, and the third-row armrests aren't padded like the others. The available Microsoft Sync system imbues the Flex with a high-tech character, offering trick features like advanced voice-recognition software for MP3 players as well as cell phones. Other intriguing options such as the Vista roof, Sirius Travel Link and rear-console refrigerator extend the Flex's appeal.

One notable misstep, however, is the Flex's lack of a telescoping steering column -- an inexcusable omission at this price point. Our longer-legged editors found that they had to adopt a straight-armed driving position in order to reach the wheel. Also, the Flex's seats may be on the narrow side for larger folks. Moreover, the Flex's maximum cargo capacity of 83 cubic feet, which is more than adequate for most purposes, is smaller than GM's large crossovers and positively dwarfed by that of any minivan.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2009 Ford Flex.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Functional
Vicki Viloria,05/14/2017
Limited 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
The Flex is a reliable car. I've owned my Flex for over 9 years and had minimal problems.
awesome car
Troy d marriott,09/18/2017
SE 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I bought my flex in 2009 new. I have traveled all over the United States with it for work. It has never been wrecked. It has 335,600 miles on it. The only things I have done to it besides regular upkeep is a new fuel pump and water pump. I still drive it. I'm thinking it will go another 300,000 miles .. best ford I have ever driven.
2009 Flex Brake problems
bassguy,02/17/2012
SEL 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I was happy with the ride and feel until I hit 20K, and noticed a momentary grinding when I applied the brakes. Sometimes a gaslike smell was noticed after breaking. Quite a bit of black dust seemed to accumulate on the two rear wheels. At 25K a periodic squeal was noticed but the Ford dealer inspected and said the brakes were "good". At 29.5K the brakes made a grinding sound and were visably scored (rear left). My Ford Dealer said that "it wasn't a Ford problem because he didn't have a service bulletin that dealt with this problem!". Rather than have him repair with duplicate Ford parts, I took the car to a Goodrich dealer for new rear rotors and new upgraded pads.
Great at first, Then just plain aggervating.
big_d1,01/13/2011
SEL 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
Tons of room, decent power and very comfy. With about 100 miles the Sync system stopped working 4 trips back to the dealer until figured out. 8K The Rack & Pinion went bad and the car spent 3 days in the shop getting repaired. 10K terrible odor from under the dash (dealer couldn't replicate). 14K SMOKE from under the dash, took it straight to the dealer "we saw the smoke but couldn't find a problem" 16.5K Car lost all electrical power (incl PS/PB) with my wife driving So she pulled to the side of the road and it got towed to the dealer. If they tell me there is nothing wrong, I'm getting a Venza.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2009 Ford Flex

Used 2009 Ford Flex Overview

The Used 2009 Ford Flex is offered in the following submodels: Flex Wagon. Available styles include SEL 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SE 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SEL 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), and Limited 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A). Pre-owned Ford Flex models are available with a 3.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 262 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2009 Ford Flex comes with front wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed automatic. The Used 2009 Ford Flex comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2009 Ford Flex?

Price comparisons for Used 2009 Ford Flex trim styles:

  • The Used 2009 Ford Flex SEL is priced between $7,900 and$12,995 with odometer readings between 60652 and184325 miles.
  • The Used 2009 Ford Flex Limited is priced between $7,999 and$7,999 with odometer readings between 161164 and161164 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2009 Ford Flexes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2009 Ford Flex for sale near. There are currently 4 used and CPO 2009 Flexes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $7,900 and mileage as low as 60652 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2009 Ford Flex.

Can't find a used 2009 Ford Flexs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Ford Flex for sale - 5 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $8,311.

Find a used Ford for sale - 12 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $18,244.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford Flex for sale - 2 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $14,450.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford for sale - 12 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $19,391.

Should I lease or buy a 2009 Ford Flex?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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