2013 Ford Flex Review
Automotive critics say the 2013 Ford Flex is a great choice because of its smooth ride, extensive list of standard and available features and roomy third row.
Test drivers say the Ford Flex’s performance is more comfortable than sporty in base models, and the standard V6 engine is plenty powerful for most drivers. The top-of-the-line Limited trim can be equipped with a turbocharged V6 Ecoboost engine that adds almost 80 horsepower with a very small penalty in fuel economy. The 2013 Flex’s fuel economy is good for the class in base trims, with an EPA rating of 18/25 mpg city/highway, though all-wheel drive will lower that number. Test drivers agree the Flex handles well for a three-row SUV, with a comfortable ride and without much of the body roll that plagues many other large crossovers. The Flex also stands out with above-average safety scores for the class. However, its reliability rating is well below the class average.
Reviewers write that the Flex’s cabin is well-made, with high-quality materials, and it offers a long list of standard features like Sync voice controls and rear parking sensors. The Ford Flex can be equipped with unique features like an inflatable second-row seatbelt, a refrigerated center console and rear cross-traffic sensors that most other affordable crossovers don’t offer. Reviewers say it’s one of the most spacious SUVs available, with a third row that’s easier to access than most and that can fit adults more comfortably than many rivals. However, most testers still don’t like the MyFord Touch touch-screen infotainment controls. They say the system continues to be confusing to learn and can be buggy at times.
- "The Ford Flex is a compelling alternative to a minivan or large SUV because it offers smart styling, generous interior room, and a pleasant driving experience.” -- Automobile Magazine
- "Regardless of which model suits your fancy, Flex delivers good handling and refined overall behavior. This is a large, comfortable people mover that merits attention in its class.” -- Consumer Guide
- "The 2013 Ford Flex has the space, the versatility, the features and the driving dynamics to make it a top choice among large family crossovers.” -- Edmunds
- “We still enjoy the Flex for its unique looks and plush ride, and we accept it for what it isn't - a sales success.” -- Autoblog
Other SUVs to Consider
If you need more cargo space than the Flex can offer, consider the Chevrolet Traverse. It has the largest cargo capacity in its class, and reviewers say its third row can fit adults, though they may not be quite as comfortable as in the Flex. It doesn’t offer as many unique features as the Flex does, like power-folding seats or a refrigerated console, but test drivers say its controls are simple and easy to use. That could be a benefit for shoppers turned off by the Flex’s MyFord Touch system.
Reviewers say the Mazda CX-9 is one of the best-handling SUVs on the market, and they praise its upscale, attractive interior. Keep in mind that its safety scores are almost at the bottom of its class, but those looking for a fun-to-drive SUV that can haul the whole family would do well to consider the CX-9.
Details: 2013 Ford Flex
The 2013 Ford Flex is available in SE, SEL and Limited trims, and can be equipped with either front- or all-wheel drive, depending on the trim level and which of the two V6 engines you choose. Base models come with reverse parking sensors, Sync infotainment voice controls and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, while the top-tier Limited trim has standard MyFord Touch and offers a power-folding third row and a refrigerated second-row center console as options. The Ford Flex was introduced in 2009. Because it hasn’t received many significant changes, this review uses research from 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, as well as 2013.