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2011 Ford Flex

Overview
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2011 Ford Flex Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.8

The 2011 Flex is Ford's answer to rivals such as the GMC Acadia and Honda Pilot. Designed to carry seven passengers, yet achieve the same kind of fuel economy as a mid-size sedan, the Flex is part of a growing trend away from V8-powered leviathans and toward more space efficient vehicles, particularly when towing is not a high priority. If all you need is room for the family, a minivan or mid-size SUV could certainly do the trick, but neither have the cutting-edge cool the square-as-a-shoebox Flex seems to ooze. You might even have to wrestle your teenagers for driving privileges – and why not? With room for lots of their friends, an optional built-in refrigerator and the technology-friendly SYNC audio system, the Flex can easily transform itself from family transport to Friday-night cruiser with just a turn of the ignition.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you've outgrown the need for your minivan, or you're just getting to the point where you think you might need one, the 2011 Ford Flex offers much of the same versatility in a package you'll be proud to show off to friends and co-workers.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you need a vehicle that can tow more than 4,500 pounds, the Ford Flex takes a back seat to its larger, V8-powered siblings, the Explorer and Expedition. Functionally, the Flex's third-row seat is not as roomy or easy to access as that of the Chevrolet Traverse.

What's New for 2011

For 2011, a new Titanium trim on the Ford Flex joins the SE, SEL and Limited. The Titanium is easily identified by its blacked out tail lamps, black chrome grille, black roof, black mirror caps, unique interior and 20-inch painted luster nickel wheels. Other 2011 Edge improvements include the addition of HD radio to the optional navigation package, and an available power folding third-row seat with reversible tailgate feature that allows the seat to face outward from the rear hatch.

Driving the Flex

Driving Impressions The Flex's ability to maneuver through tight turns is matched only by its well-mannered ride and hushed interior. Despite its boxy SUV appearance, the Flex is surprisingly nimble, providing quick...

turn-in response with little sway or body roll. At highway speeds, the Flex slices through the air impervious to the commotion its boxy shape should be causing. A generous helping of laminated glass keeps wind and road noise at bay, and the superb front seats never left us feeling fatigued or unsupported. Running the Flex through a few simulated emergency maneuvers proved Ford's AdvanceTrac stability and traction control system more than capable of keeping the Flex under control, and although we were not able to test it, the optional all-wheel drive is sure to add peace of mind when encountering slippery road conditions.

Rear-Console Refrigerator
The ideal option for long trips with the kids, the Ford Flex's rear-console refrigerator can hold up to seven 12-ounce cans. And, with a low of 23-degrees Fahrenheit, it can double as a mini ice cream cart.

SYNC Communications System
One of the best audio options in the industry, Ford's SYNC communications system features a voice-activated command center that can access music from an attached MP3 player, pick up and place calls from a Bluetooth-enabled cell phone and even speak incoming text messages.

2011 Ford Flex Details
2011 Ford Flex photo Interior

The interior is where the 2011 Ford Flex really shines over the competition. From its innovative features, including an available center-console refrigerator and massive four-panel Vista skylight, to the high-quality look and feel of its interior parts, the Flex excites the senses. Ford's extensive use of interior lighting adds a rich ambience at night and is complemented by such lavish details as the diamond sew pattern on the Limited trim's leather seats. Accommodations for front and second-row passengers are quite generous, but the third-row seat is short on legroom and the second and third-row seatbacks are a bit low, requiring taller passengers to fully extend the head restraints. Available power-adjustable pedals help any size driver feel comfortable behind the wheel. And, when not carrying human cargo, the Flex's front-passenger, second and third-row seats can be folded flat to create a massive level load floor.

Exterior
2011 Ford Flex photo

The Flex's modern exterior strikes a chord with so many people because it seems both familiar and new at the same time. The parallel groves running down its sides are a variation on the old wood-paneled wagons of the 60s and 70s, a design element that works in conjunction with the aluminum-plated rear hatch and optional contrasting roof paint. You can see subtle hints of Scion xB and MINI Cooper in the Flex's reflection, yet its boxy, upright sides and bold front end are pure Ford. The large wheels and low ground clearance may not be well-suited for off-road adventures, but they combine to give the Flex a very agreeable driving experience – and a just plain cool look.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The Flex comes in four trim levels: SE, SEL, Titanium and Limited. Standard equipment includes Ford's keypad keyless entry, a six-way power driver's seat, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, Reverse Sensing System, fog lamps, Easy Fuel capless fuel system, front and rear air conditioning, an MP3-compatible CD player and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with controls for cruise control and audio. Moving up to the top-of-the-line Limited and Titanium trims brings heated front seats, a 10-way power driver's seat with memory, Sony Premium audio with Ford SYNC communications system, voice-activated navigation, leather interior, a power rear liftgate, power folding third-row seat, dual-zone automatic climate control and 19-inch polished aluminum wheels (20-inch on the Titanium trim). Standard safety equipment on all models includes three-row side-curtain airbags and AdvanceTrac electronic stability and traction control with Roll Stability Control.

Optional Equipment

Options for the Ford Flex vary by trim and include a 355-horsepower EcoBoost V6 (SEL and Limited), rear backup camera, power rear liftgate, heated second-row seats with power Autofold mode, second-row captain's-chair seating with rear-console refrigerator, four-panel Vista roof, all-wheel drive, a contrasting painted top, remote start, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and Park Assist active parallel parking aid.

Under the Hood

Ford currently offers two powertrain options for the Flex. The standard engine on all trims is a 3.5-liter V6 engine with variable valve timing attached to a six-speed automatic transmission. The smooth and efficient V6 generates a respectable 262 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque – not the best in class but certainly far from being tagged as anemic. Fuel economy, on the other hand, is near the top of its class, with an estimated 17 miles per gallon city and 24 highway. All-wheel-drive models earn slightly lower estimates. Optional on SEL, Titanium and Limited trims is the EcoBoost V6, which mates the 3.5-liter engine with gasoline direct injection and twin turbochargers to produce an impressive 355 horsepower. Ford claims the EcoBoost engine delivers V8-like performance with V6-like fuel economy, though at 16/21 mpg, the claim seems like a bit of a stretch. Flex's equipped with EcoBoost also feature all-wheel drive as standard equipment.

3.5-liter V6
262 horsepower @ 6250 rpm
248 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (FWD), 16/22 (AWD)

3.5-liter V6, Twin-Turbocharged
355 horsepower @ 5700 rpm
350 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1500-5250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/21

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2011 Ford Flex Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 182 Ratings for the 2009 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.4/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

They'll have to pry it from my dead hands! LOVE IT

By on Saturday, September 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 77,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Awesome family car!"

Cons: "Expensive BUT WORTH IT, as value has HELD!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This IS a SWEET RIDE! CLASSY! Interior with woodgrain dash and interior trims, Steel blue color with silver roof trim goes fabulously with chrome accents. Don't know why we never see our color out there! Family of 4 tall people (5'9" - 6'5") fit so comfortably for long (10+hrs) vacation travel, and there's room for a med. sized dog!! Reliability has been excellent mechanically but Sync has had some issues recently. She handles beautifully even in areas where a sharp U turn is needed to access highway. Just because she's big, does not make it scary to handle, as the turning radius is surprisingly smaller than you think AND manueverability is smooth. Tires don't last as long as on my van (prev. vehicle) but that's due to the type of tire (softer) that comes in the needed size. Visibility is exceptional. FLEXibility for use of interior is incredible and easy to do, even tho this yr didn't have electric flip option for 3rd seat. AC/heat in 3 zones easily keeps everyone happy. We especially like the ceiling vents to provide xtra air flow for dog and restrict it for passenger seats. I have had her for almost 5 years now, and I STILL SAY " I LOVE MY NEW CAR!" (not impressed with changes made on newer models esp 2014 = cheapened interior horribly)"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

LOVE IT

By on Friday, August 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "easy and fun to drive, peppy engine"

Cons: "fuel economy"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Its wonderful, dives like a car, but holds cargo like a minivan. We used to own a minivan and needed something we could tow with and the flex was perfect. The kids can get in and out easily even from the third row. The fuel economy is not impressive (i have heard it got better in later years). I would buy it all over again! Engine is peppy and towing does not make it feel under powered."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

I love this car!

By on Tuesday, August 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "comfort and safety"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car is the best car I have ever owned. It is roomy and very comfortable. It handles amazingly in the Ohio winters.It is pretty and handles like a dream!"

12 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Best car ever owned

By on Sunday, August 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfort and safety and room to spare."

Cons: "No cons"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This is the best car I've owned and I've owned 13 new Mercedes and better. Rides like a luxury car, lots of room ... videos for my grandkids... decent mileage... great look... plenty of leg and head room... nav system works well... music is like a concert hall... love this car."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Best family vehicle ever!

By on Monday, July 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, great looking, family friendly"

Cons: "Center console is smaller, 3rd row up = less trunk"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love my 2011 Ford Flex. It has approximately 60k miles on it and is a great vehicle. It is very reliable and comfortable, I'd love to drive it across the country if gas prices would go down. It gets 17 city/24 highway. Its been a great vehicle for my small family (my husband, my 2 year old and myself) but really comes in hand when we have others joining us. It has a 3rd row option that I can lay down and use as a HUGE trunk. It fits all of our baby stuff and she is entertained on long drives watching her Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the DVD system. It has a great stock sound system as well when I feel like bumping in my Flex. Ford has really stepped up their game with this vehicle. It beats owning a Minivan and has outdone any wagon on the market. My flex handles very well on both city streets and California highways. Its a smooth ride unlike most SUVs and trucks. If you are thinking of buying a Ford Flex I would say definitely do it. Its my favorite vehicle I've owned by far!"

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

this is the best vehile I have ever owned

By on Thursday, July 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "lots of room, great ride and love to drive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owed this vehicle for 5 years and still am in love with it. We use it a lot to travel. Very comfortable and lots of room. I even lay the back seats down and climb in the back to sleep. Everyone that gets in it loves it. From my friends in their early 40's to my elder grandfather whom is 83."

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?