I just traded my 2013 Flex after buying it brand new in 2014. I hated to trade it, but knew I couldn't keep it--for several reasons. First and foremost, the climate control--in 40 degree and below weather, even with a warm engine, it would intermittently spew ice-cold air, particularly at idle. Despite taking it to the dealer on at least five occasions, it was never fixed. The first three times they told me there was nothing wrong because they were able to turn it up to "HI" and get warm air. The fourth time they blamed it on a low coolant level and added antifreeze. The fifth time they said there was a coolant leak and charged me to replace the hose, and it still blew out cold air when I needed it to be warm. I also had a problem with the door latch on the driver's side front door--the Flex thought the door was open even when it was closed, which resulted in annoying "door ajar" warning lights and interior lights that wouldn't turn off. When I started having trouble with the Flex, I grudgingly purchased the extended warranty I had refused at delivery. Sadly, it paid for itself quickly. The door latch alone would have cost me more than $400.00 to replace otherwise, but even with the warranty I had to fight with Ford to have them cover it. There was also the matter of the mysterious split battery, which resulted in wiring harness replacement. The latch on the seldom-used compartment between the front seats broke within a year, and I would rather have had the extra seating capacity than the refrigerator/freezer between the second row seats--but I knew that was there when I bought it. The gas mileage was horrible despite my efforts to keep my foot out of it, and it ate tires like a champion--by spring it would have been on its fourth set, and those wide 20" tires aren't cheap! Regardless, I'm going to miss it for more than one reason. First, the performance! More than one sports car owner was surprised when they tried to cut me off in traffic, and on the straight, it was tough to beat. For a vehicle that looks like a glorified lunch box to have such great performance took a lot of people aback. The Flex was comfortable--both to get in and out of, and to drive, the stereo was amazing, and it was a wonderful road car. I could fit all five grandchildren in it and still not leave my husband behind. The self-parking option was creepy, but much better at parallel parking than I was, and the headlights, even on low beam, were bright enough that people coming toward me would flash their lights to get me to dim them. It was always up to the challenge of our horrible, record-setting NW PA winters. If I could have afforded to replace it with another Flex, I would have, but you have to get the Limited to get the AWD and the EcoBoost, and almost $50K is just not in my getting-ready-to-retire budget.
Vehicles owned (personal and/or business), all bought used in the last 20 years, all run to death with hundreds of thousands of miles on each: '99 Honda Odyssey, '00 Odyssey, '04 Toyota Sienna, '96 Audi A6, '02 Audi S4 Avant, '00 BMW 528iT base and '00 528iT Sport, Porsche 911s ('74, '84, '05, '07, I kept the old ones!), Toyota '12 Prius V, '11 Prius, '04 Volvo V70, GMC box trucks, Dodge pick up truck, and sooo many more. I swore I'd never buy another minivan with electronic doors (all a freakin' nightmare of problems). Solutions for AWD 7 passenger vehicles with any left over cargo space are pretty limited with many decent performing SUVs offering very little cargo space when loaded with 6 or 7 passengers! By the numbers, Flex stomped all the competition (besides HUGE silliness like a Suburban) and it drove much like a quality euro wagon with well damped suspension and decent (actually, really good) handling without the higher center of gravity in vans and full SUVs. All sounds good, right? Until the rear door sensor started to insist a door was open (sometimes not allowing interior lights to go out)... OK, no biggie, fixed under "certified" warranty requiring both the sensor and the internal door part of the equation as well. 3 months later the other rear door did the same thing... woops, 1 month out of the EXTREMELY LAME 12 month certified warranty. Sorry pal, no help from the dealer. Still minor issues (though what happened to simple buttons for door switches???!!!). BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE... The stereo/audio, blue tooth (all sound) ceased to work! Integrated system with My Touch or whatever (which wasn't a great feature to begin with)... then it got worse! While my wife was driving 90 minutes away to the airport to pick up her sister, the stereo turned itself on at full screeching volume crackling and popping... and wouldn't respond to volume control or turn off! Not even when the car was turned off. She was hysterical and sort of screwed! From a distance, I called a Ford dealer near her location who referred me to a car audio shop (!) nearby. There they lifted the battery terminal, waited a few minutes and reconnected and the radio was off. There's a fuse for the audio but they didn't have time to find it (after closing hours). Tech (late for a parent/teacher conference) showed my wife what to do with the battery and even gave her the wrench (nice people)! Local dealer says? Oh, at least two hours labor to diagnose... ummm, nothing to diagnose, the entire infotainment unit has to be replaced. Ordered a used one (salvage yard) for $200. We'll see how that turns out. Between complicated drive trains, silly transmissions, automatic electronic doors, electronic "driving aids" (uh, learn how to drive!), connectivity, blah, blah, blah, you can't buy a late model vehicle that isn't plagued with non-stop issues, both minor and major. Sad state of advancing automotive electronic "growing pains" we live in. I'll stick to my '98 E36 M3 and '00 528iT wagon. Still not real major issues (engine, tranny and the like), but ("trust your instincts") I fear I may have purchased my first lemon in 45 years and even though I'm fixing these issues, she is totally turned off to the Flex and has severe stereo trauma being constantly afraid it will happen again. She's currently driving her old '04 Sienna with 210k miles on it (I kept it for awhile as a back up vehicle, no fool am I!) P.S. - The vehicles needing the least major/minor repairs? Our '12 Prius V (not a dime beyond tires, brakes and fluids in 150,000 miles), the Sienna (once I shut off the power doors). I'm a German car freak, but Hondas and Toyotas truly earned their reliabilty reputations. Unfortunately, from my research, the latest models and newer versions appear to be subject to the same technology "growing pains" and complicated system failures as every other manufacturer. Final thought - buy low mileage garage queen vehicles from the 90's and early, early 2000 years. Put a blue tooth to radio device in and motor on!
I wasn't sure at first that I liked the boxy look of the Flex, but then I drove it. It drives like a Cadillac with such a smooth ride. We have 3 kids and 2 dogs and we all fit comfortably. We even spent the night in it once on a road trip. I love that it has plenty of room, but is not a huge vehicle. We travel often and so we wanted something that was relaible, good on gas, yet roomy and we found it. We've had it for about 3 years now and have not had any issues.
Absolutely love this 2013 Flex!!Only sorry we didn't switch from a full sized truck sooner. Thought we needed the truck for its ability to haul, etc., but the Flex is satisfying that need. Gets better gas mileage, and the costs of operation aren't a stress to our budget.