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#9

in Affordable Midsize SUVs

MSRP: $29,015 - $42,375
Invoice: $27,346 - $39,515
MPG: 18 City / 25 Hwy
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Ford Flex Performance

The 2014 Ford Flex earns a good performance score thanks to its refined, comfortable ride, decent fuel economy and powerful engine choices.

  • "Other positives include optional all-wheel drive, a respectable driving experience, and an available twin-turbo engine." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The 2013 Ford Flex isn't all that inspiring from behind the wheel, but it certainly is not disagreeable, either." -- Edmunds (2013)
  • "Although the steering is as vague as a campaign promise, Ford's engineers have put new authority in the Flex's chassis and suspension. The result is surprising agility. Still smooth, still quiet, but also kind of fun to drive." -- Car and Driver (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The Flex is powered by a standard 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 287 horsepower. A turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that produces 365 horsepower is optional on all-wheel drive models. A six-speed automatic transmission is paired with both engines. According to the EPA, the base Flex achieves 18/25 mpg city/highway, while models with the turbocharged engine earn slightly lower ratings. The Flex's fuel economy is fairly good for the class.

Reviewers say that the base V6 engine has plenty of power for all driving situations and should be just fine for most drivers. Still, many test drivers note that the extra power from the optional turbocharged V6 adds a bit more excitement to the Flex's driving experience. The automatic transmission also earns praise for its smooth, timely shifts.

  • "The 2014 Ford Flex's base V6 is adequate for a vehicle this size, providing enough gusto to keep up with competing crossovers. The turbocharged V6, meanwhile, invigorates the Flex Limited with more of a sport wagon demeanor thanks to its extra power and the tighter suspension tuning that comes with it." -- Edmunds
  • "The base 287-horsepower engine gives adequate acceleration but the EcoBoost option is clearly stronger (365 horsepower) and adds an element of sportiness to the drive." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The optional twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 packs a 365-hp punch that necessitates all-wheel drive; while it's fun to drive, this engine costs buyers both in terms of sticker price and at the gas pump." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The six-speed automatic transmission also continues to be among the smoothest in the industry, with buttery shifts that exude quality and prompt kickdowns when summoned with appropriate throttle inputs." -- Autoblog (2013)

Handling and Braking

The 2014 Ford Flex is praised for its refined driving experience. Reviewers say it feels easily maneuverable, has a comfortable ride, is composed through tight turns with minimal body roll and has good steering feel. One test driver adds that the Flex's well-weighted steering makes it easy to pilot in tight areas like parking lots.

  • "Speaking of fun to drive, the Ford Flex handles much better than many three-row crossovers and minivans. Its electric power steering is well calibrated, and the 2013 update brought larger brakes that are reassuringly strong." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "No matter the model, the Flex provides a very pleasant, if not exactly exciting, driving experience. The ride is always comfortable -- even with the bigger wheels -- soaking up bumps in the road with luxury car ease. Uncharacteristically responsive steering adds to the Flex's well-rounded dynamics, as it makes parking easy and provides excellent stability on the open road." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2014 Ford Flex manages to feel maneuverable and responsive despite its wide body and long wheelbase. Through tight turns, especially, it shows good poise, and its smooth ride and quiet interior help make for a pleasant driving experience. Sway and body roll are minimal thanks to taut suspension, big wheel and tire packages and the Flex's low-to-the-ground stance." -- Kelley Blue Book
Review Last Updated: 5/13/14

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