2016 Ford Flex Review

Pros & Cons

  • The cabin is spacious and versatile, with genuine three-row space
  • ride quality is smooth and reassuring
  • plenty of easy-to use high-tech features
  • visibility is as good as it gets for a vehicle of its size
  • excellent turbocharged engine option has power to spare.
  • Third-row seat is limited to two passengers
  • the standard second-row bench doesn't slide.
List Price Range
$13,995 - $19,998

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Edmunds' Expert Review

If you have a lot of people and cargo to move, the 2016 Ford Flex has the space and versatility you need. Its unique design means you'll stand out from the crowd, while a steady flow of improvements over the years means it has the features your family craves. Keep reading to find out what makes this vehicle so family-friendly.

Vehicle overview

Since its introduction in 2009, the Ford Flex has defied definition. Is it a minivan, an SUV or a wagon? Whatever you label it, the Flex continues to deliver a ton of space, utility and comfort. For the most part, the 2016 Ford Flex returns unchanged, with one significant upgrade.

With its unabashedly boxy styling and two-tone exterior paint, the 2016 Ford Flex is as cool as it was at its debut seven years ago.

Pretty much since Day One, the MyFord Touch interface has been criticized for its complicated operation, unintuitive menus and slow reactions to inputs. All of that looks to be in the past with the introduction of the new Sync 3 interface this year. Gone is MyFord Touch's quirky, quadrant-based layout, replaced by a more conventional and responsive touchscreen with pinch-and-swipe capability like a smartphone. The 2016 Flex also features a rearview camera as standard equipment for all trim levels.

Thankfully, all that made the Flex a hit remains the same. Even though the Flex's cargo capacity trails some rivals on paper, the space itself is very usable, thanks to the car's boxy overall shape. Passenger space is also excellent, even for adults in the third row, and the high comfort levels allow for effortless long-distance road trips. Add to that the wealth of available features and a powerful turbocharged engine option and the Flex should easily make your short list.

Of course the Flex isn't alone in this class, and it's challenged by some very strong rivals. Mazda's CX-9 has been completely redesigned and promises the same driver engagement that made its predecessor so praiseworthy, plus a much-improved interior. The Toyota Highlander also gets high marks for its all-around goodness and an available hybrid model. The roomy GMC Acadia is another solid pick among high-capacity crossovers, though it hasn't aged as gracefully as the Ford. Whatever you decide to call it, the 2016 Ford Flex is worth a look if you need an excellent hauler of people and goods.

2016 Ford Flex models

The 2016 Ford Flex is a large crossover/wagon that can seat either six or seven passengers and is available in SE, SEL and Limited trim levels.

The SE trim standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, rear parking sensors, heated mirrors with integrated blind-spot sections, rear privacy glass, a keyless-entry keypad, remote keyless entry, cruise control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, air-conditioning, a leather-wrapped tilt/telescoping steering wheel, cloth upholstery, a six-way power driver seat with manual recline and lumbar, 60/40-split folding second-row seats with an auto-folding passenger side, 50/50-split folding third-row seats, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a 4.2-inch touchscreen, Sync voice activation and a six-speaker CD player with auxiliary and USB inputs.

The SEL trim dresses up the Flex with 18-inch wheels, upgraded brakes, foglights, chrome exterior trim, keyless entry and ignition, remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control with manual rear controls, wood interior trim, heated front seats, a 10-way power driver seat, a six-way power front passenger seat and the Sync 3 infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen, satellite radio and a second USB port.

The 2016 Ford Flex's available rear climate controls and power inputs help passengers enjoy themselves on long trips.

SEL models are eligible for the 201A option package that adds a 110-volt power outlet and a power liftgate. The 202A includes those items along with puddle lamps (integrated into the side mirrors), adjustable pedals, a blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, leather upholstery (vinyl for the third row), driver memory settings and an upgraded seven-speaker audio system.

At the top of the range, the Limited trim includes the 201A and 202A packages plus 19-inch wheels, xenon headlights, LED taillights, power-folding mirrors, automatic wipers, additional metallic exterior trim, a wood-trimmed steering wheel, upgraded wood interior trim, a navigation system with real-time traffic (optional on SEL) and a 12-speaker Sony audio system with HD radio.

Available Limited options include the 301A package (adding an automatic parallel parking system, adaptive cruise control, frontal collision alert, a power-adjustable heated steering wheel, a 10-way power front passenger seat, cooled front seats and power-folding third-row seats).

Additional options, depending on trim and configuration, include 20-inch wheels, roof rails, a tow package, a panoramic sunroof, a refrigerated second-row center console compartment, heated second-row captain's chairs, inflatable second-row outboard seatbelts and a rear entertainment system.

2016 Highlights

For 2016, the new Sync 3 infotainment system replaces the problematic MyFord Touch system, and a rearview camera is now standard for all trim levels.

Performance & mpg

The standard engine for all 2016 Ford Flex models is a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 287 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission sends power to the front wheels by default, but all-wheel drive is an option for SEL and Limited trims. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 19 mpg combined (16 city/23 highway) for the front-drive model and 18 mpg combined (16 city/22 highway) with all-wheel drive.

The Limited trim is eligible for the optional turbocharged EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 that increases output to a heady 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is standard with this engine, as are steering wheel-mounted shift paddles. In Edmunds testing, an all-wheel-drive EcoBoost Flex Limited accelerated to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, a sizzling performance for a mainstream three-row crossover. Remarkably, fuel economy is unchanged at 18 mpg combined (16 city/22 highway).

Properly equipped, the Flex can tow up to 4,500 pounds, regardless of engine choice.


Standard safety features for all 2016 Ford Flex models include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, integrated blind-spot mirrors, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, emergency telematics via paired cell phones and Ford's MyKey system that monitors the vehicle and allows owners to set certain limitations and alerts for valets and teen drivers.

Optional inflatable second-row seatbelts are available for all Flex trims. A blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alerts is available on SEL and standard on the Limited. Paired with the Limited's optional adaptive cruise control is a frontal collision warning system that pre-charges the brakes for maximum responsiveness, but does not brake automatically like some rival systems.

In crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Flex earned the top score of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset and side-impact categories, as well as the roof-strength and head-restraint tests. It received the second-best score of "Acceptable" in the small-overlap frontal-offset impact test.

In Edmunds brake testing, a Flex Limited came to a stop from 60 mph in 120 feet, which is shorter than average for the class.


For the majority of drivers, the base 3.5-liter V6 should be adequate, but a Flex loaded to the brim with passengers and cargo will tax that engine. The turbocharged EcoBoost engine certainly solves that problem, and it's downright fast on the open road, accelerating into arrest-me range with astonishing ease. In addition to the power bump, the EcoBoost adds a hint of athleticism with a slightly stiffer suspension. Of course, the hot-rod Flex commands a hefty price premium, but if you're looking for some excitement in your family hauler, it's well worth the stretch.

The 2016 Ford Flex is pleasant to drive in any form, but the Limited's optional turbocharged V6 transforms this family wagon into a fire-breather.

With such a strong focus on utility, it's no surprise that the Flex generally prioritizes comfort over responsive handling. That said, the Flex's steering is responsive, and this boxy bus is rock-solid stable on the highway. Even over rough roads, occupants are well-isolated from ruts and bumps. Whether you're tackling the morning carpool or a coast-to-coast trek, the 2016 Ford Flex makes for a rewarding companion.


The 2016 Flex's boxy shape translates to a wealth of interior space, including genuinely adult-friendly accommodations in all three rows — a rare achievement, even in this size class. Accessing the rearmost seats is made easier by the auto-folding second-row passenger seat, while opting for the reclining-and-sliding second-row captain's chairs adds a nice dose of luxury with available seat heaters. A middle-row center console refrigerator is also offered, though it can only hold a few beverage cans at a time. Front-seat occupants will be particularly impressed by the Flex's high-quality materials, which remain above-average for the segment and wouldn't look out of place in the Flex's Lincoln platform-mate.

Perhaps the biggest complaint about previous Flex models concerned the problematic MyFord Touch infotainment system. With the new Sync 3 interface, the layout is simpler and responses are quicker. Ford has arrayed the system's virtual buttons at the bottom of the 8-inch touchscreen, and they're pretty easy to decipher and operate from the driver seat. You can also pinch and swipe for certain functions, just as you would on your smartphone or tablet.

There's 20 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seatbacks, which may not seem like much for such a large vehicle. In real-world usage, however, a deep well and numerous carrying hooks make up for the modest dimensions. If you keep the third row folded flat when it's not in use, you'll have a much handier 43.2 cubes at your disposal, while folding down both rear rows opens up 83.2 cubes. That's smaller than some rival SUVs, to be sure, but still highly functional thanks to the tall roof, flat load floor and squared-off shape.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2016 Ford Flex.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

I'm in love with my Ford Flex
Limited 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
This is the first Ford car I have ever owned. I bought the 2016 Flex Unlimited. It has the feel of a luxury car. And the size is great for anyone with kids. Now my husband is also buying a Ford Flex Unlimited, I so happy we will be a two Flex family.
2016 Ford Flex Limited "My Superman!!!"
Samm Brandon,06/03/2017
Limited 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I have had numerous vehicles, (i.e.: Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, & Honda's). I have been dreaming about getting a Ford Flex because I love the size and when I first drove a vehicle at age 18, I took my drivers test with a 1975 Chevy Impala Wagon, and passed the test with 100%. I love the larger vehicles because I feel safe in them, and with my 2016 Ford Flex Limited, I love the ride, and it so far hasn't had any problems. When I bought the vehicle as being used with close to 18,000 miles in it, I looked into the VIN# to see if there were any "Recalls" in it after I had bought it, and yes it had maybe 1, and that was the Throttle issue, so I took it in to the Ford Dealership, but I bought the vehicle at a Chrysler Dealership within the same city, but, it was still in it's "3 Year/36,000 Mile" warranty, and FORD took care of the issue, and it only took about 1.5 hours to fix and replace with a new one. So, I was told by the FORD dealership, that they are suppose to take care of the vehicle no matter where you buy it previously if "USED" and they are responsible within the "3 Years/36,000 Miles" warranty, but if you bought the extended warranty, then the dealership where you bought it at for the extended warranty, they are then responsible for the issues that needs to be fixed after the "Original" warranty is over. But, I went to the state of Virginia for a visit this 2017 for 2 months and I drove there with my husband, and 2 dogs, and our luggage and then some, and the car didn't at all have any problems after I had the "Throttle Recall" fixed and replaced. I made sure that the recalls were all fixed and replace even before I went on our trip. When I bought the vehicle, days after, I went back to the dealership where I bought it at, and they told me as well, that Ford would take care of the recalls and issues within the first 3Years/36,000Miles original warranty, and when that's over, since I bought the extended warranty from a Chrysler dealership that they would then take over with repairs and issues with the vehicle. But, I had the Ford Dealership put "Full Synthetic Oil" in my vehicle because first, the engine oil lasts longer instead of going every 3,000 miles to get it replaced, I can actually go every 6,000-8,000 miles every time. I also use 89 as my gasoline in my vehicle so it performs better without the extra additives the 87 gasoline receives. So, I made sure before I left for my long haul across the United States that my vehicle is "Sound" and "Without Issues" during my drive. I have been back since and I am still loving my 2016 Ford Flex Limited, in the Magnetic color. For everybody, when you buy a vehicle, whether it's New or Used, you should check the VIN# for recalls after you have bought it so that it doesn't have any problems in the long run. I felt bad for the person who left the review that her Ford Flex wasn't new anymore after 6,000 miles. If her and her husband did their due diligence regarding the VIN# and Recalls, then they wouldn't have this issue. For all of the vehicles I've had in the past, I always look into the VIN# and reviews from other people from other websites and if the vehicle isn't as good, then I wouldn't buy it. Again, I have been dreaming about buying a Ford Flex since it first came out, and now I have one, and am loving every moment and drive with it. Although, I wish there was a used Ford Flex with the EcoBoost engine in it, because I love the speed and my vehicle only has the regular V6 but, I still do love it. Hope this review helps with future customers and with the FORD FLEX.
Best family car
M F,06/17/2016
SEL 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
This is my second Flex, I traded in my 2009 for a 2016. It is the best family mover. My husband's Ford Explorer doesn't have nearly the space or flexibility as my Flex. I can haul 6 kids and all their stuff. The cargo area is deep so you have a lot more space than some other cars. It has great leg and head room, even in the third row. The third row sits up, like stadium seating, so it is less claustrophobic. My SEL has a 120V plug and well as many charger locations which is definitely needed. The sync system works very well. I looked at Toyota, Nissan, Honda, GMC, Buick, Hyundai but the Flex was definitely the best.
My future ride!
Teresa Thomas,08/30/2016
SEL 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I know I know, it's not the coolest kid on the block but don't under estimate the Flex. It is a very nice ride. It handles like a dream and it is super comfortable! If you're not sure what you want definitely give the Flex a try.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2016 Ford Flex features & specs


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 2016 Ford Flex

Used 2016 Ford Flex Overview

The Used 2016 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), Limited 4dr Wagon AWD w/EcoBoost (3.5L 6cyl Turbo 6A), SE 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 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 2016 Ford Flex?

Price comparisons for Used 2016 Ford Flex trim styles:

  • The Used 2016 Ford Flex SEL is priced between $16,600 and$19,998 with odometer readings between 31808 and90916 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Ford Flex Limited is priced between $19,500 and$19,500 with odometer readings between 68631 and68631 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Ford Flex SE is priced between $13,995 and$13,995 with odometer readings between 68726 and68726 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 2016 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) 2016 Ford Flex for sale near. There are currently 8 used and CPO 2016 Flexes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $13,995 and mileage as low as 31808 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 2016 Ford Flex.

Can't find a used 2016 Ford Flexs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Ford Flex for sale - 4 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $22,309.

Find a used Ford for sale - 8 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $9,960.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford Flex for sale - 9 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $24,422.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford for sale - 6 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $14,588.

Should I lease or buy a 2016 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.

Check out Ford lease specials
Check out Ford Flex lease specials