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Avg. Price Paid:$19,071 - $30,273
Original MSRP: $29,465 - $43,105
MPG: 16 City / 23 Hwy
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2012 Ford Flex Interior

These scores and this review are from when the car was new.

Review Last Updated: 10/9/13

The Ford Flex’s seven-seat interior is one of the most spacious in its class, with third-row seating that’s actually fit for adults. Reviewers say that the interior comes well-equipped with standard features. Although the Flex’s fit and finish are better than many others in its class, Ford has upped the quality level even further in some of its more newly-redesigned vehicles, like the Edge and the Explorer.

  • "Though not quite as high end as Ford's new Explorer or refreshed Edge, the Flex's interior quality is quite good, with abundant soft-touch materials and an attractive, upscale design.” -- Edmunds
  • "The cabin presents well, with most hard-plastic surfaces hidden from view. Some testers find the mixture of textures and colors less than tasteful. The Titanium's specific trim doesn't do much to enhance the overall interior ambiance.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "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

Seating

The Ford Flex seats up to seven, unless you opt to switch out the second-row folding bench seat for two captain’s chairs and a center console, which brings the total down to six. It includes two child seat LATCH connectors in the second-row outboard seats, and one set in the third row on the passenger side.

All Flex models come standard with a third row, but if you want those back seats with a power-folding mechanism, you’ll have to add the $4,245 equipment group package to the already-expensive Flex Limited, for a total of about $39,900.

Reviewers say the Ford Flex’s seats are surprisingly comfortable. The front seats offer plenty of support, and visibility is good for most drivers. Most of all, the auto press can’t get over the spacious second- and third-row seats. They say that adults can fit comfortably in the third row, which is unusual for any crossover, and even for some minivans. Plus, they say that the third row is easily accessible, which is not always the case in three-row SUVs. If you need to seat three rows of adults and can’t bring yourself to buy a minivan, the Ford Flex is likely your best bet.

  • "When you opt for the second-row captain's chairs, the Flex is reduced to a six-person seating capacity (from seven), but the added sliding feature not only increases comfort in that row, but expands legroom in the third row. As such, the Flex is the rare crossover that allows 6-footers to comfortably fit (and reach) all three rows.” -- Edmunds
  • “[The front row seats are] A defining asset. Ample space for drivers of any size on very supportive seats. Large door openings and a low step-in height make for easy entry and exit. Narrow roof pillars allow for decent visibility in all directions.” -- Consumer Guide

Interior Features

Reviewers are happy with the Flex’s upscale interior and easy-to-use features. They say that the SYNC voice command system is easy to use, and they’re impressed with the quality of the cabin’s fit and finish.

Though checking options boxes will cause the Flex’s price tag to soar, it comes with a list of standard features that impresses reviewers. If you opt for the base model, you’ll get a tilt and telescoping, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, power windows, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a six-speaker AM/FM radio with CD player and audio input jack. The top-of-the-line Titanium model starts at about $38,000 but comes outfitted more like a luxury family-hauler. It includes dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, tinted windows, leather upholstery, a power-adjustable heated driver’s seat and a 12-speaker Sony audio system with Sirius satellite radio and SYNC.

Some of the Flex’s coolest features are available only as options. Buyers can opt for a dual-headrest DVD entertainment system on every model but the base SE for an extra $1,995. Limited and Titanium models offer a refrigerated second-row console that can hold up to seven 12-oz. cans or two 20-oz. bottles, but that will add $4,245 to your price tag, since it is only available by opting for the “Equipment Group 301A” package, which also includes a multi-panel moonroof, heated second-row bucket seats and power-folding third row seats.

  • "The cabin presents well, with most hard-plastic surfaces hidden from view. Some testers find the mixture of textures and colors less than tasteful. The Titanium's specific trim doesn't do much to enhance the overall interior ambiance.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "With either configuration, the standard power-folding mechanism in the second row makes getting into the third row a snap.” -- Edmunds
  • “One of the best audio options in the industry, Ford's SYNC communications system features a voice-activated command center that can access music from an attached MP3 player, pick up and place calls from a Bluetooth-enabled cell phone and even speak incoming text messages.” -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Typical Ford controls occupy places in the center stack, and they are all logically placed and easily identifiable." -- Left Lane News
  • "Remember the aforementioned options that come with the dreaded asterisk? The despicable star presents itself when opting for the $795 second row refrigerator, which also requires shelling out $750 for second-row bucket seats and another $100 for a floor console, bringing the total tab for refrigerated cans of Coke to $1,645. The comfort of the second row captain's chairs is first rate, but we're not sold on the costly fridge, which only holds six or seven cans of soda.” -- Autoblog

Cargo

Reviewers say the Ford Flex’s cavernous interior and boxy shape make it a great vehicle for hauling cargo. With all three rows in use, the Flex can carry 20 cubic feet of cargo. Stowing the third row will let you store 43.2 cubic feet of stuff, and folding the second row raises that number to 83.2.

Though the Flex’s cargo space is impressive for a midsize SUV, it’s dwarfed by the capacity in most minivans. The Chrysler Town & Country has a maximum of 143.8 cubic feet of space, and with all three seats in use it has 33 cubic feet. That’s about 75 percent more than the space (using all seven seats) the Flex has with only five seats in use. If you need more cargo space but still want to stay in the midsize SUV class, it doesn’t get much better than the Flex. Still, affordable large SUVs will combine increased capacity with more truck-like utility you’ll get from a crossover. For instance, the Chevrolet Suburban can hold up to 137.4 cubic feet of cargo and depending on the model you opt for, you’ll also get a seriously heavy-duty off-road machine with a two-speed transfer case and locking rear differential.

  • " One test model suffered from a malfunctioning power tailgate. It would power open without issue, but it could not be closed via the liftgate button; we would have to close it manually. Without power operation, collapsing the seats requires more steps and stretching than in most SUVs.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "The cargo-area width is a full four feet, so go crazy at Best Buy - it's going to fit." -- Car and Driver
  • “With the third row up, there's enough room in the cargo area for a weekly grocery run. When you fold down the third row, you get a flat floor in the cargo area. It's so roomy that I was able to stand my son's bike with training wheels back there.” -- Mother Proof
  • "With the rear seats lowered, the Flex can hold 83 cubic feet of stuff. This is less than minivans and several other large crossovers, but the Flex's conveniently boxy shape makes the most of what it has.” -- Edmunds
  • "The lack of cargo space in the rear when the third-row seats are in use could be a problem for large families." -- CNET

Next Steps: Ford Flex

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