2015 Ford Flex Review

Flex

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2015 Ford Flex Overview

Some folks call it a wagon, some call it a large crossover, but no matter how you label it, Ford’s 2015 Flex brings a distinctive look to either segment. This 7-seat, 5-door, practicality-minded wagon/crossover shows, with its right-angle-dominated profile, unique oval-less front fascia and discreetly branded rear look, why it’s hip to be square. It’s also hip to be agile, comfortable and decently potent, and its flattop roofline means better-than-average headroom, even in the third-row seat, not to mention some 83 cubic feet of toting space with the second- and third-row seatbacks folded. Furthermore, the standard fold-flat front passenger seat adds even more acreage for those items that might otherwise need a red flag attached.

The box-shaped 2015 Flex stable sees no significant changes from 2014 and returns in 3 trims, the base SE, the midlevel SEL and the flagship Limited, all of which offer an unusually high-end cabin ambiance and plethora of creature comforts. Also returning is the standard front-wheel drivetrain (FWD) that can be swapped for available full-time all-wheel drive (AWD) in the SEL and Limited versions.

Once again, all Flex iterations are offered with the standard 3.5-liter V6 engine mated with a 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission. Look for 287 hp and 254 lb-ft of torque from this combo, while EPA-estimated mileage remains 18 mpg city/25 highway in FWD variants and 17/23 in SEL and Limited trims boasting AWD.

Should you decide to spring for the high-end Flex Limited, you may rejoice in the fact that this top-shelf trim can be delivered packing an available 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 EcoBoost mill that boasts 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, all of it again under the management of the 6-speed shiftable automatic sporting steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. As this forced-air powerplant comes only in the AWD configuration, expect mileage numbers to drop marginally to 16/23.

For 2015, the base Flex SE comes with standard 17-inch painted alloy wheels, cloth upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, full power accessories, reclining rear seats, cruise control and telescoping tilt-wheel steering. Additionally, this entry-level trim also comes with standard Bluetooth-interfaced SYNC directions and connections technology and rear parking sensors, as well as front and rear manual air conditioning and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror. Entertainment, meanwhile, remains a single-CD player boasting 6 speakers and an auxiliary audio input.

Moving up to the SE, look for standard 18-inch alloy wheels, heated power-adjustable front seats, a remote garage door opener, tri-zone auto climate control and simulated wood cabin accents. The stereo system, meanwhile, is upgraded to include satellite radio, a memory-card slot and a video monitor.

Selecting the Limited trim gets you such added bells and whistles as 19-inch alloy wheels, a power liftgate, premium leather upholstery, digital-keypad door locks, remote start, power-adjustable pedals, a rear-view camera and memory for driver's settings. Furthermore, techno-upgrades include a 390-watt Sony premium audio system boasting 12 speakers, as well as SYNC with MyFord Touch hands-free audio and communications integration via a 4.5-inch touchscreen.

Noteworthy options in select Flex trims for 2015 include a Class III towing package (4,500- pound max capacity), rear-seat DVD entertainment, a Vista Roof multipanel fixed sunroof, a refrigerated second-row console, upgraded and upsized wheels, and upgraded leather upholstery. Additionally, the available Equipment Group 301A returns sporting Active Park Assist, adaptive cruise control with forward-collision braking, a power-folding third-row seat and a power-adjustable steering wheel. Of course, lower trims also remain eligible for a number of items that are standard in higher trims as optional equipment.

Standard safety equipment aboard all 2015 Flex iterations includes 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), 3-row side curtain airbags, front side-mounted airbags, SYNC emergency telematics and Ford’s teen-taming MyKey programmable speed- and audio-governing technology. A post-collision safety system is also standard throughout the lineup, as is a remote antitheft alarm. The SEL and Limited, furthermore, also throw in standard inflatable second-row seatbelts and front fog/driving lights, while the Limited additionally boasts blind-spot alerts (BLIS) and high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights.

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Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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