2015 Ford Flex Review

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious and versatile cabin with genuine three-row space
  • refined ride
  • high-tech features
  • outstanding visibility
  • excellent turbocharged engine option.
  • Tech interfaces can be difficult to use
  • two-person-only third-row seat
  • standard second-row bench doesn't slide.
List Price Range
$13,498 - $20,900

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2015 Ford Flex offers a desirable combination of space, versatility, features and solid driving dynamics. It's a top choice among large, seven-passenger family crossovers.

Vehicle overview

There are plenty of options these days for big families who need transportation. You can choose from crossovers, big SUVs and minivans to fit your brood and haul the road-trip gear. Somewhere among all those options though, the boxy, wagonlike 2015 Ford Flex seems to have gotten lost. It's a car we think goes overlooked far too often, especially since it offers plenty of versatility.

Since it is a box, it's able to easily swallow more cargo than its numerical specs would indicate. Its third row seat is also comfortable for adults (especially with the optional second-row captain's chairs slid forward), with its abundant headroom and large windows that eliminate the claustrophobic feeling indicative of many third rows. Very good visibility for the driver is another benefit from the Flex's shape.

Yet there is more to like here than just the Flex's utility. It's a bit more carlike to drive than some other crossovers, and offers a smooth ride for long family road trips. Ford also gives you two different engine options, which is rare for a large crossover. The base V6 is certainly capable, but there's also a turbocharged V6 available that can take the Flex from zero to 60 mph in just 6.1 seconds, which makes it far and away the quickest vehicle in the segment. Who says a family vehicle has to be boring?

That said, there are many competitors out there that may be a better match for your family. We like the 2015 Mazda CX-9, as it is engaging to drive and offers a bit more maximum space than the Flex does. The 2015 GMC Acadia is also very roomy and offers a comfortable, composed ride along with room for eight passengers. The 2015 Toyota Highlander is a well-rounded favorite of ours with an excellent ride quality, a quiet interior and an available hybrid powertrain. There's also the Flex's mechanically related sibling, the Ford Explorer, but in most respects (especially in terms of practicality), we prefer the Flex. Whatever you compare it to, the 2015 Ford Flex deserves a chance, as few vehicles on the road manage to combine style and practicality so well.

2015 Ford Flex models

The 2015 Ford Flex is a large crossover/wagon available in six- or seven-passenger configurations. There are three trim levels: SE, SEL and Limited.

The base SE comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, automatic headlights, rear privacy glass, integrated blind spot mirrors, rear parking sensors, cruise control, keypad entry, air-conditioning, a six-way power driver seat (manual recline and lumbar support), a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split second-row seat (with a passenger side auto-fold feature for easy access to the third row), a 50/50-split third-row seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 4.2-inch central display screen, the base version of Sync (voice controls for phone and audio and emergency assist), Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, a USB port and auxiliary audio jack.

The SEL adds 18-inch wheels, upgraded brakes, foglights, chrome door handles, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar), a six-way power front passenger seat (manual recline and lumbar support) and satellite radio. Also included is the MyFord Touch electronics interface, which includes an 8-inch central touchscreen, two multifunction secondary displays in the gauge cluster, enhanced Ford Sync features (turn-by-turn navigation and traffic reports), two USB ports, an SD card reader and an audio/video input jack.

Two option packages are available for the SEL: 201A and 202A. Equipment Group 201A adds a 110-volt power outlet, a rearview camera and a power liftgate. Equipment Group 202A has those features plus a remote ignition, a blind spot warning system, rear cross-traffic alerts, power-adjustable pedals, leather upholstery (vinyl in the third row), driver memory settings and an upgraded seven-speaker sound system.

The Limited comes standard with the features from the SEL's 202A package and further adds 19-inch wheels, power-folding mirrors, additional chrome/satin aluminum exterior accents, xenon headlights, LED taillights, rain-sensing wipers, a navigation system and a 12-speaker Sony sound system with HD radio. Stand-alone options for the Limited include 20-inch wheels, a refrigerated compartment in the optional second-row console, heated second-row captain's chairs and the Equipment Group 301A (or 303A) package that includes an automatic parallel-parking system, adaptive cruise control, a collision warning system with brake support, ventilated front seats, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column and a one-touch power-fold-and-tumble third row.

Optional on every trim level are roof side rails, second-row inflatable seatbelts, and sliding and reclining second-row captain's chairs.

The navigation system is optional for the SEL. The Appearance package (SEL and Limited) adds 20-inch wheels, a black or color-matched painted roof, different exterior and interior trim, and black-gray two-tone leather upholstery. The SEL and Limited can also be equipped with a multipanel rear sunroof (Vista Roof), a rear seat entertainment system (with dual displays) and a tow package.

2015 Highlights

The 2015 Ford Flex carries over unchanged.

Performance & mpg

The 2015 Ford Flex comes standard with a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 287 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission are also standard. All-wheel drive is optional on the SEL and Limited. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 20 mpg combined (18 city/25 highway) with front-wheel drive and 19 mpg combined (17 city/23 highway) with all-wheel drive.

Optional on the Flex Limited is a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 (dubbed EcoBoost) that produces 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired exclusively with all-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. During Edmunds performance testing, an EcoBoost-equipped Flex went from zero to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds, which is 2 seconds quicker than the class average. Fuel economy ratings drop to 18 mpg combined (16/23).

Properly equipped, both powertrains are rated to tow up to 4,500 pounds.


The 2015 Ford Flex comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, integrated blind spot mirrors and rear parking sensors. Also standard is a version of the Ford Sync system that includes an emergency crash notification feature that automatically dials 911 when paired with a compatible cell phone and Ford's MyKey, which can be used to set certain parameters for valets and teen drivers.

All trim levels can be equipped with optional second-row inflatable seatbelts. A rearview camera and a blind spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alerts are optional on the SEL and standard for the Limited. The Limited is also available with adaptive cruise control and a collision warning system with brake support.

In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) testing, the Flex earned a top rating of "Good" for its performance in moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests.

In Edmunds brake testing, a Flex Limited with front-wheel drive and the standard 3.5-liter engine stopped from 60 mph in 120 feet. An all-wheel drive Flex Limited with the EcoBoost engine stopped from 60 mph in 119 feet. Both are shorter than average for the class.


The 2015 Ford Flex's base V6 is adequate for a vehicle this size, providing enough gusto to keep up with competing crossovers. The turbocharged V6, meanwhile, is deceptively fast. It invigorates the Flex Limited with more of a sport wagon demeanor thanks to its extra power and the tighter suspension tuning that comes with it.

No matter the model, the Flex provides a very pleasant, if not exactly exciting, driving experience. The ride is always comfortable -- even with the bigger wheels -- soaking up bumps in the road with luxury car ease. Uncharacteristically responsive steering adds to the Flex's well-rounded dynamics, as it makes parking easy and provides excellent stability on the open road. Excellent outward visibility also makes the Flex easy to drive.


Overall, we like the Flex's interior because of its abundant soft-touch materials and attractive design. The spacious layout comfortably affords seven-passenger seating, although opting for the second-row captain's chairs reduces capacity to six. Rivals like the Toyota Highlander and Chevrolet Traverse go from eight to seven when so equipped. Nevertheless, the Flex's third row is easily accessible and big enough for adults, and those captain's chairs are quite nice since they recline, can be heated and slide forward to expand third-row legroom. The available center console increases comfort further and can even be equipped with a refrigerated compartment.

With either six- or seven-passenger configurations, the Flex can hold a maximum of 83 cubic feet of stuff with the second and third rows folded. That's less than many crossover competitors, but you can make the most out of the available space thanks to the Flex's conveniently boxy shape. The deep well behind the raised third row also makes the Flex a bit more useful when all seats are in place.

Unfortunately, both of the Flex's electronics interfaces leave something to be desired. The SE's MyFord system includes a display screen, but it's not especially intuitive and some buttons can be hard to reach. The MyFord Touch system that is standard on the SEL and Limited consists of configurable gauge cluster displays and a large main touchscreen. There are nice customization possibilities here, but the experience is soured by occasional glitches and the touchscreen's small virtual buttons that can be difficult to press on the move. You'll likely acclimate to MyFord Touch and its idiosyncrasies (and the Sync voice command system continues to be very useful), but in general, other systems are easier to use.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2015 Ford Flex.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

First Ford I have owned, LOVE it
SEL 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
We had twins and needed to upgrade in size of vehicle. We will not drive a mini van and SUVs can be too large. We traded in a smaller Mercedes SUV, and we find this FLEX to be more comfortable and more features than our Benz. The Flex is a tremendous option for those who dont want a van but still would like to have a large rear door opening. The Flex is by far the most comfortable driving car I have been in (including Audi, Cadillac and Benz). The seat is comfortable and the arm rests are in perfect spots. We have the adjustable pedals as well which are the icing on the cake. PROS: -size, amazing what you can fit in here. Back seat passengers have amazing leg room -the tech. The backup camera alone is the best camera on a vehicle I have seen. Bright, great field of view and clear. (Cadillac's by comparison are terrible!) the options on this with a simple package are amazing. The Germans are pros at nickle and diming you for every single option that will add $10k to the price of the car when you are done. -comfort - incredible how quiet a bigger vehicle like this is to drive. Steering is not too light, either. -looks. - I know it is subjective, but with the Platinum package with black roof, black 20" rims and black badging, it really looks great )I highly suggest taking a look at this, for the standard package looks a lot different and "cheaper" -features such as the adjustable pedals and power lift gate with the button on the side, rather than on the gate to have to reach up to hit, the folding rear seats that fold flat, and even when up, provide some trunk space (try that Suburbans) -drives smaller than it is. AMAZING turning radius, better than most cars, makes it easy to park and manuever -AWD system worked very well in the snow and with the traction control, provided a great winter driver -completely changed my view of Ford. The design is incredibly well thought out. Several little things you find and say "well that is clever!" (like the 120 standard outlet in the rear of the center console.) CONS: -Gas mileage is on par with a larger SUV which is to say is much less than a mini van -the memory seat and mirrors, cannot be used while not in park. Come on FORD! I know this is a "safety issue" but that just means i am scrambling to adjust my mirrors and seats as I am going down the road after my wife drives the vehicle (kinda annoying) -sacrifice of not having a minivan, third row access is only by lifting middle seats up (there is an auto button to flip the seat up which is really nice, but cannot operate with a child seat. I believe there is a "captains chair" option for the rear/mid seats, but we have standard bench style) All in all, we love the car and will be keeping this car. It is hard to beat in looks and comfort for the price with the amount of options it actually has.
2nd Flex but just leased a Buick Enclave
Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I have to tell you although I just leased another car it was only because we wanted to experience something different, any vehicle you get a little tired of. That being said I would purchase the flex again in the future. Getting different car helps you compare the benefits and features that you may have taken for granted. The positives: Great legroom in the rear and 3rd row. Good acceleration. Rear sunroof. Great sound system. Lots of space for a smaller SUV. Semi decent gas mileage. Unique color combonations. Rear seats adjust easy. Great for highway driving. Fits easy into the garage. The negative: Ford sync makes navigation and car controls too complicated (I heard they fixed this in the 2016) Navigation not accurate. Lane change warning is not audible only a light. Car storage is not a lot. No place to put you iPhone when driving. No car is perfect just my 2 cents.
Should I buy a Ford again
Scott Mueller,03/31/2015
SEL 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
Last year a trim piece flew off of my Ford Flex. Let me say that again. A trim piece flew off of my Ford Flex.(its a little plastic piece that goes from the body to the roof of the car by the window) I went to 32 Ford and they said it was the manufacture's fault so they would fix it for free. Then 5 days ago the same piece from the other side flew off. (WOW really pieces of cars just come flying off?) Since 32 ford closed down I went to Beechmont Ford and they charged me $269.29 to get it fixed. I'm confused. Should I ever buy another Ford, Should I ever go back to that dealership, or should I just go back to Toyota where car parts never flew off of my car before?
wheel alignment
A E Thompson,10/06/2015
Limited 4dr Wagon AWD w/EcoBoost (3.5L 6cyl Turbo 6A)
good car... first tires lasted 47000 miles. New tires at that time, had a four wheel alignment @ $79.95. One year later w/54444 miles we are told we need another rear wheel alignment...Is there a problem with the car (won't hold an alignment) or is someone looking for a free lunch? Having been an auto tech ( Ford and independent) for a number of years my experience has shown me there may be some cars with parts problems that would require the alignment be checked more often. Without this problem an alignment should hold longer than 7500 miles. Has anyone else had this same problem?


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover16.4%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2015 Ford Flex
More About This Model

Quick Summary
The 2015 Ford Flex Limited with EcoBoost is a stylish alternative to more traditional three-row SUVs. Some have described it as looking like a big Mini or a hearse, but no matter how you see it, the Flex is one of the most functional vehicles on the road.

It's also one of the older vehicles on the road, having been around largely unchanged since 2009. That's the main reason why the interior feels dated, there's more road noise than you'd expect and the ride isn't as refined as the current crop of three-row crossovers.

What Is It?
The 2015 Ford Flex is a three-row crossover with seating for up to seven. It's available in either front- or all-wheel drive with a choice of two engines: a base 3.5-liter V6 with 287 horsepower and a turbocharged version of the same engine with 365 hp. The only available transmission is a six-speed automatic.

There are three trim levels: SE, SEL and Limited. The base SE has 17-inch wheels, manual-folding second- and third-row seats and Bluetooth connectivity among other features. Midgrade SEL versions get 18-inch wheels, an eight-way power driver seat, and an 8-inch touchscreen interface with MyFord Touch. A rearview camera and power liftgate are optional.

Topping out the range is the Limited tested here. Keyless entry and ignition, a power liftgate, rearview camera, 12-speaker stereo, 19-inch wheels and more are standard. Collision warning, automatic parallel parking, adaptive cruise and power-fold-and-tumble third-row seats are optional.

How Does It Drive?
The 365-hp EcoBoost V6 is the power plant the Flex should have had since Day One. It gives this big crossover the ability to accelerate effortlessly in nearly any situation. The EcoBoost V6 has the passing, merging and hill-climbing prowess that the non-turbocharged motor simply doesn't. This is no small task considering that the Flex tipped our scales at 4,967 pounds.

We measured a 0-60 time of 6.2 seconds. That's pretty quick for a vehicle of its size. For comparison, that's on par with the V6-powered Honda Accord sedan.

As powerful as the turbocharged V6 feels, the engine lacks refinement. Even at part throttle there's an unpleasant coarseness that only gets worse as speeds increase. This is something we didn't notice in the newer Ford Explorer that uses the same engine.

Fuel economy is also an issue compared to some other vehicles in the class. The EPA rates this powertrain at 18 mpg in combined driving (16 city/23 highway). We averaged 15.3 mpg, with a best tank of 20.3 mpg. The EPA estimates are within the realm of possibility, but you need to drive with a very light foot to achieve them.

On the plus side, the Flex drives smaller than it is. The seating position is lower than that of more mainstream crossovers and the center of gravity doesn't feel as high. This means that the Flex drives more like a large car than a large car on stilts. There's not a lot of body roll, and thanks to all-wheel drive, all of its power gets to the ground without any drama. Few vehicles of this size are as much fun.

What's the Interior Like?
As you might expect from a vehicle of this vintage, everything feels a little dated. The materials are a little coarse, the sunroof a little squeaky and the cabin's a little light on cup/small item storage. There's also more wind noise than we remember.

It's also saddled with the nearly buttonless haptic-touch center console that's frustrating to use. There's a reason Ford has changed this setup on some of its newer models like the Explorer and the Edge.

Though the front seats lack some lateral arm space, the seat cushions are generous and comfortable. Second-row passengers have leg-, head- and hiproom to spare. And unlike the "only-on-rare-occasions-and-only-with-someone-else's-kid" third rows in some other crossovers, the back-backseat in the Flex is usable by adults.

What About Cargo?
The second and third rows fold flat, and the liftover height is low enough that loading even heavy stuff is a breeze. Maximum cargo capacity is listed at 83.2 cubic feet, which is just a tick more than the Explorer. And thanks to the squared-off shape of the Flex, all of that space is very usable.

With all seats in their locked and upright position, there are a full 20 cubic feet of space behind the third row. This thing will swallow bikes, surfboards, an entire home's worth of Ikea stuff and, if you equip it right, tow 4,500 pounds, too.

What Features Does It Have?
If you want plenty of features, the Flex Limited has them. It comes standard with leather seats, rain-sensing wipers, HID headlamps, dual-zone climate control, Ford's Sync with navigation, a rearview camera, parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring.

Optional equipment on our tester included active park assist, adaptive cruise, 20-inch wheels, a multipanel vista roof, a white two-tone roof and inflatable seatbelts in the rear.

How Much Does It Cost?
The 2015 Ford Flex starts at $29,995 for a base FWD SE model. The Limited starts at $38,595 and climbs to $43,295 with the EcoBoost V6 and all-wheel drive. With options, our tester had a sticker price of $49,945.

What Competing Models Should You Also Consider?
Chevrolet Traverse: Like the Flex, the Traverse has been around awhile, but it's still a great three-row crossover thanks to its spacious cabin, abundant features and solid performance.

Ford Explorer: Though visibility isn't as good as it is from the Flex, the new Explorer is a solid crossover that's quiet, comfortable and equally as capable.

Honda Pilot: Honda's latest three-row crossover is a triumph of packaging with tons of usable space and a long list of available features.

Why Should You Consider This Car?
Because you audibly groaned each time you thought about owning one of the cars listed above. The Flex is cool! Sure, it's got some issues, but it's got power and it doesn't look like everything else at soccer practice. Third-row access and room are also very good.

Also, it's available with green paint and a white roof. How cool is that?

Why Should You Think Twice About This Car?
Unless you absolutely love the look of the Flex or plan to shove adults in the third row frequently, the 2016 Ford Explorer is simply a better, more modern package.

The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.

Used 2015 Ford Flex Overview

The Used 2015 Ford Flex is offered in the following submodels: Flex Wagon. Available styles include SEL 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SEL 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SE 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A), Limited 4dr Wagon AWD w/EcoBoost (3.5L 6cyl Turbo 6A), Limited 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A), and Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2015 Ford Flex?

Price comparisons for Used 2015 Ford Flex trim styles:

  • The Used 2015 Ford Flex Limited is priced between $13,900 and$20,071 with odometer readings between 44474 and109053 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Ford Flex SEL is priced between $17,498 and$20,900 with odometer readings between 29720 and63157 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Ford Flex SE is priced between $13,498 and$13,498 with odometer readings between 48440 and48440 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 2015 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) 2015 Ford Flex for sale near. There are currently 5 used and CPO 2015 Flexes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $13,498 and mileage as low as 29720 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 2015 Ford Flex.

Can't find a used 2015 Ford Flexs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Ford Flex for sale - 5 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $8,043.

Find a used Ford for sale - 1 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $22,433.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford Flex for sale - 9 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $16,111.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford for sale - 7 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $14,942.

Should I lease or buy a 2015 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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