A full list of available features and filters for the used 2017 Ford Flex inventory include but are not limited to: Edmunds Special Offers: Purchase Offers (35), Gas Card (34), Used Offers (16), Lease Offers (8). Model Type: Wagon (9).
Ford first introduced the Flex in 2009, and it hasn't changed much since. We can't blame Ford for leaving it alone, though. With a boxy body meant to recall station wagons of the '60s and '70s, the Flex doesn't look like any other SUV on the road. The competition has had time to copy it; no one has. The Flex's squared-off profile and spacious third-row seat might put you in the mind of a minivan. But its hinged rear doors and limited cargo space (with all seats in place) reveal that this is actually a big wagon or a crossover SUV, albeit an unusual one.
The Flex treats its passengers well, with adult-friendly seating in all three rows — something few other crossover SUVs can claim. But cargo space with all three rows in place is limited to 20 cubic feet, which really isn't much. Folding down the third row yields a much more useful 43.2 cubic feet. We have other complaints: The touch-sensitive climate and stereo controls on the center stack are a bit too sensitive, and it's easy to brush your hand against the panel and press a "button" you didn't want. We like the new Sync 3 touchscreen interface, but the confusing layout of the steering wheel buttons is decidedly old-school.
The base engine for the Flex is a 3.5-liter V6 that puts out 287 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. The EPA estimates its fuel economy for the front-wheel-drive Flex at 19 mpg combined (16 city/23 highway). Opting for all-wheel drive subtracts 1 mpg from the combined and highway figures.
With a full load of passengers and cargo on board, the base engine has to work its heart out to keep pace. Ford offers a solution in the form of an optional 3.5 liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6. Tuned for a V8-like 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, it turns the Flex into a three-row rocket ship. In Edmunds testing, it reached 60 mph in a brisk 6.2 seconds, and out on the open road, we found it eager to gallop at a license-losing pace. The turbo engine comes exclusively with all-wheel drive. Its EPA estimate is not far off that for the non-turbo engine: 17 mpg combined (15 city/21 highway). It is paired with a stiffer suspension, which adds a sporty edge to the Flex's comfort and stability, though both suspension setups show their age over rough pavement. They just don't absorb the bumps as well as newer designs.
The Ford Flex is available in three trim levels. The SE model comes equipped with the basics you'd expect in a modern family car, but we prefer the upgraded standard feature list (and available options) of the midlevel SEL. The top-of-the-line Limited is the only choice if you want the turbocharged engine or advanced-technology safety and driver aids. Edmunds can help find the perfect 2017 Ford Flex for you.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.