2010 Ford Flex Review and Prices
The 2010 Ford Flex is the best car for you if you want a distinctive looking seven-passenger crossover SUV with a roomy interior, good overall performance. and the latest convenience features.
The 2010 Ford Flex shares platforms and powertrains with the Lincoln MKT crossover, though their appearances are sharply different, with the Flex affecting retro-boxy styling and the MKT a curvaceous exterior. A 262-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 is standard. Ford’s twin-turbocharged 355-horsepower 3.5- liter “EcoBoost” V-6 alternately available. A six-speed automatic is the sole transmission. SEL, SEL, and Limited models are offered. Front-wheel drive is standard; SEL and Limited are available with all-wheel-drive (AWD). The 2010 Ford Flex SE is a competitive value, but prices escalate quickly for the higher trim levels, especially when you pack them with options and the EcoBoost V-6.
Should you buy a 2010 Ford Flex or wait for the 2011 Ford Flex? Buy whichever you can get the best deal on for the example with the equipment you want. Flex debuted for model-year 2009 and received the EcoBoost V-6 for 2010, so any alterations for the 2011 model year are likely to be minimal.
2010 Ford Flex Test Drive back to top
Interior: The 2010 Ford Flex’s strongest selling point is its spacious and nicely designed interior. Six- and seven-passenger configurations are offered and both can be fitted with an array of road-trip-friendly accoutrements. These include a compressor-driven refrigerator mounted between the second-row captain’s chairs; it keeps up to seven 12-ounce cans or four half-liter bottles chilled. First-class-cabin-style footrests are available for the second-row seats, though curiously, neither the second-row bench nor buckets offer a center armrest. Though gimmicky, an available seven-color programmable ambient “mood” lighting feature affords a degree of customization for the passenger compartment.
The 2010 Ford Flex offers a number of optional high-tech devices for gadget lovers. These include Ford’s Microsoft-developed Sync voice-activated control system for audio, Bluetooth hands-free cell phone interface, and other functions. Those owning an Apple iPod can connect via USB and use Sync to call up playlists, artists, albums, and songs. Sync also integrates with a navigation system array and with Sirius Travel Link. For road warriors who can justify its $6.99 monthly charge (on top of the standard $12.95/month Sirius satellite radio subscription), Travel Link provides detailed weather and traffic information, sports scores, movie listings for the nearest theaters, even local fuel prices.
As with most three-row vehicles, legroom in the rearmost row is at a premium. The third row works best for the kiddies or folded flat for an expanded cargo area.
Exterior: While the automaker’s signature triple-blade bright grille resides up front, there’s little else that visually links the Flex to any other vehicle on a Ford dealer’s lot. With its long flat roof and slab-sided design, the Ford Flex is instantly recognizable in a parking lot. In another era, it would be called a station wagon and come with faux wood exterior trim. The roof can be specified in either white or silver paint and caps a “greenhouse” of black window pillars and deep-tinted glass.
Panoramic sunroofs are relatively commonplace these days, but the Flex takes the concept a step further by affording an expansive view of the sky above though its four-panel Vista Roof. Optional on SEL and Limited models, the three rearmost panels stay in place while the front section operates as a conventional moonroof to provide added ventilation.
Driving: The 2010 Ford Flex’s standard engine is a 262-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 that affords acceptable acceleration. The V-6 automatically shuts off its fuel supply during aggressive deceleration to help recover about 1 mpg. It’s mated to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. Newly offered for 2010 is the twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter “EcoBoost” V-6 that generates a V-8-like 355 horses. Offered only in the SEL and Limited versions, this engine makes Flex feel fleet with only a minor penalty in fuel economy. The EcoBoost comes mated to a six-speed automatic that includes a manual-shift-select mode, plus upgrades to steering and suspension.
Flex rides fairly low to the ground on 18-inch wheels and tires, with 19- and 20-inch rims and rubber optional. Its handling is reasonably car-like, though it’s only with the EcoBoost modifications does it approach feeling sporty. An “intelligent” all-wheel drive system is standard with EcoBoost and available on the SEL and Limited models for added grip on wet or dry pavement. It can send up to 100 percent of the engine’s torque to the front or rear wheels as needed. Ford’s AdvanceTrac stability control with Roll Stability Control is standard.
2010 Ford Flex Prices back to top
The 2010 Ford Flex price range is $29,325-$42,840 (prices in this review include the manufacturer’s destination fee; Ford’s fee for the 2010 Flex is $775).
The 2010 Flex SE is the most affordable entry and starts at $29,325.
The 2010 Ford Flex SEL is priced from $32,100, and the Limited starts at $37,995. All-wheel-drive adds $1,850. The EcoBoost V-6 costs an additional $2,999.
2010 Ford Flex Fuel Economy back to top
The front-drive Ford Flex with the standard V-6 is rated at 17/24 mpg (city/highway). With all-wheel drive, SEL and Limited rate 16/22 mpg with either the standard engine or the EcoBoost version. All models run on regular-grade gasoline.
2010 Ford Flex Safety and Reliability back to top
In government crash testing, the 2010 Ford Flex rates the maximum five stars for driver and passenger protection in both frontal and side impacts; it gets four out of five stars in rollover protection.
The 2010 Ford Flex received a “below average” rating for initial quality and an “about average” rating for expected reliability by J.D. Power and Associates, the leading automotive consumer survey firm.
2010 Ford Flex Competition back to top
Chevrolet Traverse/Buick Enclave/GMC Acacia: General Motors’ seven-passenger crossover SUVs are nicely styled with just enough differentiation between brands to set them apart. A 288-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission produce strong and smooth acceleration. Their ride and handling qualities are superb, though the vehicles do feel a bit heavy around town. All are sufficiently roomy and comfortable. Base price range is roughly $30,000-$44,000.
Hyundai Veracruz: This handsomely styled seven-passenger crossover SUV is a solid overall performer for family use, with a 260-horsepower 3.8-liter V-6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission affording solid performance, even with a full load of people and/or cargo. It delivers luxury-car-like road manners with a smooth ride and predictable handling, with six airbags and myriad features included. Base price range is roughly $28,500-$36,000.
Mazda CX-9: Mazda’s largest crossover SUV drives like a smaller vehicle, with light and nimble handling. A 273-horsepower 3.7-liter V-6 engine and six-speed automatic gearbox produce good acceleration. The CX-9’s interior accommodations are adequate, though the third-row is strictly for children. Base price range is roughly $27,000-$23,500.