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Auto Review: 2010 Ford Flex July 27, 2010

Posted by shwaldman in Family, Technology.
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It is has now been seven months with our brand new 2010 Ford Flex. It is a “second” car since we have a 15K/yr vehicle on lease and we have been falling behind in putting miles that we are paying for on that car (Ford Escape). For that reason, we have only put about 6,500 miles on the Flex. But I think that is still enough to provide a good review of what I like and don’t like.

I will start by saying that there is not too much I do not like. The car was a little on the expensive side at 35K loaded with the mid-range SEL package. That does include a tow-hitch, but not a roof rack system. But the roof is actually two big windows; one is a sliding moonroof that works to vent and open wide to let the sun and sky in. The second window covers that back two thirds of the roof and provides two portal windows over the second row and one large window over the third row – all of which have nice screens that can be closed to dim the light coming through.

This model also is only front wheel drive which I decided on for the lower cost and better fuel economy, although it does not include the new EcoBoost engine system. I was also assured by the salesman that I would not have problems, even on my steep driveway. I have to say I have only regretted this decision about 5 times over the past winter. We have a steep (and curved) driveway and with any more than about 2 inches of snow or ice, I get stuck about two-thirds the way up. I suspect if the drive was straight, I would have less of a problem since I lose momentum once I make the turn. However, I feel like it is a small price to pay. I do not feel any other instability or loss of control when driving anywhere else. That being said, I know I should have taken my wife’s advice and paid the extra $2,000 to get the all-wheel drive. I am sure I will be paying for that each winter for the next ten years. You can bet I am hoping for a little more global warming!

And the only mechanical problem I have had with the car is the radio was defective. I had this happen (though less regularly) with another vehicle, but the problem was that the satellite channels would play in the back ground when the AUX line was in use. And since I routinely listen to my ipod, it is something I could not live with. Obviously, this was taken care of quite easily by the dealership by replacing the radio. Oh, and I also had a small squeak coming from up under the windshield which was also fixed by the dealership.

The best part of the car is its size. It is a big vehicle that has plenty of room for six adult passengers and then additional room for luggage behind the third row. I could not say the same thing about my Buick Rendezvous. And even though the car is big (and I have the smaller engine) I feel like the pickup more than sufficient and the ride is smooth – which is why I refer to it as a car. Thus far, I am averaging about 21 MPG total which is mostly work commute including lots of lights on a 55 MPH road. I really wish that number was higher, but when I compare it to my brother 16 MPG with his Expedition, I don’t complain too much. I look forward to hearing more about the 2011 Explorer which is supposed to get Camry like mileage in the mid to upper 20s. I like the Sync system in the radio. The Bluetooth works easily with my phones and even my iPod Touch – although I have not yet gotten them to work together at the same time. That will be a question for the dealership the next time I take it in (I could not find a definitive answer on the SyncMyRide website). I also really like the large windows described above and shown in the image at the top of this post.

The big leather seats in both the first and second row are super comfortable. And with heated front row, I could sleep in there. The A/C and heat both work well and the standard Sony sound system is quite good. I also like the push to open (and close) hatch, although I am not sure why you can not close the door with your hands. And if there was one thing I could change is the amount of “storage” space around the driver’s seat. The glove box is very small and while there is space in the arm rest, I feel like the designers could have made more room available around and under the center console.

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