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#12

in 2010 Affordable Midsize SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $14,877 - $23,725
Original MSRP: $28,950 - $42,465
MPG: 17 City / 24 Hwy
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2010 Ford Flex Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The Ford Flex's six-seat (seven-seat-available) interior boasts spacious theater-style seating and plenty of cargo versatility. Though most reviewers were impressed with the quality and look of the cabin, a few still said there are too many hard plastics.

  • "For the first time in years, we are actually impressed with a Ford vehicle's interior materials, such as the nice seat fabrics, decent leather, lots of padded surfaces, and the tasteful splashes of shiny chrome." -- Car and Driver
  • "The 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." -- Edmunds
  • "The Flex is one of the more quiet vehicles we have tested in a longtime, which is amazing considering the last time we drove a boxy vehicle down a highway, it whistled like a teapot at full boil. Not so with the Flex." -- Left Lane News
  • "While the primary dash surfaces are covered in decent plastic, secondary surfaces on the transmission tunnel are very low rent. Worst of all, start feeling around and sharp plastic edges abound." -- Jalopnik
  • "Cabin quality is good, but the Flex isn't Ford's best effort. Padded materials with attractive finishes line the dash and doors, but they overlap a number of cheaper, grainier plastics from Ford's not-so-halcyon days of interior quality." -- Cars.com

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Front-Row Seats

Interestingly enough, the Flex's front-row seats didn't get as much praise as its second and third rows -- largely because more than one tester had trouble finding a good driving position. On base models, manual cloth seats are standard – and leather seating wasn’t available. SEL and Limited models get power heated front seats, while the Limited gets standard leather upholstery in the first and second rows.

  • "Ironically, for me, the Flex's least comfortable seat was the left front, thanks to an aggressively raked (per federal mandate) passive head restraint that forced my noggin too far forward. The only alternative is an active headrest, which Ford needs to find the budget to offer." -- Motor Trend
  • "Even with power-adjustable pedals, the driving position for our six-foot two-inch frame wasn't optimal. The steering column adjusts for rake, but does not telescope. To get the legroom we needed, our arms were forced awkwardly outstretched. The headrests, oversized to limit head and neck injury in a crash, rested uncomfortably close to our heads even after we tweaked them." -- Autoblog
  • "Ample space for the largest drivers on firm supportive seats. Large door openings and a relatively low step-in make for easy entry and exit." -- Consumer Guide

Second- and Third-Row Seats

The Flex seats six with captain's chairs in the second row, or seven with a second-row bench. Reviewers generally found the seats to be comfortable, but the biggest surprise was that the two-person third row is big enough for adults. That’s quite a compliment for a midsize SUV.

Another plus is that you can fit three car seats in the Flex. It provides the LATCH System (Lower Anchors and Tether Anchors for Children) at the second-row outboard positions and at the third-row passenger side.

  • "Adults will occupy the third row without protest, and still remain on speaking terms with the others. With above-average legroom, and skylights overhead in our Limited model, it is far from claustrophobic sitting in the 'way-back.'" -- Autoblog
  • "Access to the third-row seat is as easy as pressing a single button on the C-pillar that electrically folds and dumps the middle seat. Once back there, moderately sized adults can easily tolerate a cross-town commute, enjoying reasonable legroom and stadium-seat forward visibility that can be further improved with the headroom-expanding $1495 Vista Roof option. ..." -- Motor Trend
  • "Another deal maker is the standard two-butt third row that is quite comfortable for average-size adults -- knees and toes included -- and getting back there is a snap, thanks to a single-motion second-row release and huge, tall rear doors." -- Car and Driver
  • "The second row offers more legroom than the front (43 inches compared with 41 inches) and it's here that the Flex really stands out. If you choose the optional captain chairs over the standard bench seat, you may loose space for one passenger but did you really need it? You feel like Capt. Kirk in the second row of the Flex." -- The Detroit News

Interior Features

The Flex has easy-to-use controls and plenty of hi-tech features. Standard equipment for the base model includes front and rear climate control, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls and an audio input jack. Plenty of family-friendly options were available when it was new. Highlights include a dual-headrest DVD entertainment system, Ford’s SYNC infotainment system and a voice-activated navigation system.

A multi-panel vista roof consists of four skylights covering all three rows of occupants. The coolest feature is a refrigerated rear console that can chill up to seven 12-ounce cans, four half-liter bottles or two 20-ounce bottles. It even has a freeze mode. It's only available on top-of-the-line Limited models.

  • "The Flex also comes with Sync, an infotainment system that I have probably raved too much over. But it's just that good. Sync, when incorporated with the navigation system, has the best touch screen set up in the automotive world. It's easy to use manually and just as easy through voice commands. Of course, Sync doesn't punish you if you don't get the navigation system, because it will still work easily without it. It's nice to have those choices." -- The Detroit News
  • "Although we've used Sync's voice command in other cars over the last couple of years, it is still phenomenal how well it recognizes even the most difficult artist names. Similarly, Sync let us dial people in our paired phone's contact list just by saying their names." -- CNET
  • "Typical Ford controls occupy places in the center stack, and they are all logically placed and easily identifiable." -- Left Lane News

Cargo

Reviewers loved the Ford Flex’s cargo versatility. In fact, every seat except the driver's folds flat for optimum capacity. The Flex comes with a lockable glove box, 10 cup and bottle holders, second-row coat hooks and grocery bag hooks in the cargo area. A power liftgate was optional on SEL models and standard on Limited models.

As far as cargo capacity goes, the Flex will carry plenty if you fold down the second and third rows. But if you have a full house, reviewers said the Flex’s remaining cargo area isn’t too useful. The Flex provides 20 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats in use, 43.2 with the third row folded down and a maximum of 83.2 with the second row folded down.

  • "The Flex will carry almost everything for sale at the home improvement store, thanks to its 10-ft. cargo-length capacity (from instrument panel to liftgate)." -- AutoMedia.com
  • "As in most other vehicles with three rows, there's not a whole lot of room for luggage when the third row is in use. The Flex does have additional room in a well under the third row when the seats are up. With one or two third-row seats folded flat, there's lots of room for stuff but obviously less for people. With all seats folded flat, the Flex can swallow just about anything." -- AutoWeek
  • "The cargo-area width is a full four feet, so go crazy at Best Buy -- it's going to fit." -- Car and Driver
  • "A grocery net fills in the very back, and the auto-opening rear door allows easy entry to the rear cargo areas. It also comes in handy during frequent rain showers that are so prevalent here in South Florida." -- Left Lane News
  • "The lack of cargo space in the rear when the third-row seats are in use could be a problem for large families." -- CNET