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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 210 Ratings for the 2009 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    9.3/10
  • Comfort
    9.5/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

Madly in love with Charlie

By on Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000

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: "great ride, price great for luxury, space to spare"

Cons: "none"

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

"Charlie is my new flex. This truck is awesome. Fits my full grown Rottweiler and 2 boxers with lots of room to spare. I can comfortable fit 3 big dogs and 4 people in this thing. I refused to buy a minivan but, coming from an expedition, I didn't want to loose space. The only con is that they are very hard to find used. I have had 3 friends laugh at the boxy frame. One called it a hearse. Once they sat inside the story changed. It feels like complete luxury inside. The one that called it a hearse is now looking for her own and is mad because the limited is so hard to find. This truck has great power, rides better than my expedition on the highway. It is so smooth and comfortable. The sync works flawlessly. Every thing inside is easy to use and placement just makes since. Like when you think you need something it is right at your fingertips no reaching across. There are 12 cup holders throughout. It has 5 charging ports and 1 wall plug. There is not really anything that I could say I would add to this truck. It even has a refrigerator. I took 3 adults, 1 10 year old and 2 teenagers, 8 fishing rods, a cart, 2 tackle boxes and a folding chair to the lake recently and everyone was comfortable. I really could go on all day but summery is I live this truck and I am already determined that when it is time to get a new truck it absolutely MUST be a flex."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

great car overall

By on Monday, May 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 73,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great all around vehicle"

Cons: "turning radius,drivers left side foot rest,"

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

"steering radius could be a little sharper,don't like the foot rest on driver's side front as it prevents me from stretching out my left leg. head rests were leaned too far forward and forced me to bend my neck. i bent the rods back a little and made them a lot more comfy. really like the fold flat seats. i can really haul a lot of stuff.over all it's a great car and i would buy another."

8 people out of 16 found this review helpful

This is by far the best car/SUV I have ever owned

By on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"I have been impressed with the Ford Flex and I believe this is the best vehicle I have owned. Even better that the Lincoln's I leased and owned."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Most spacious car I've ever owned

By on Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,200

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "love the way it drives"

Cons: "less than 20 mpg (like most trucks I've owned)"

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

"This Ford Flex is so spacious that we can get several kids and surfboards inside. No need for roof racks. We've gone camping with all the equipment and a family of 4 for a week and had extra space leftover. We upgraded the exterior paint when purchased: it is the Pearl White. It sits is low enough to fit in the garage, unlike the Suburban, but high enough for a comfortable ride. It doesn't ride like a boat. It has a great turning radius and feels like your driving while sitting on a comfortable couch. InSync is great for hands-free phone calls. Stereo system has great sound all around."

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

A well-executed multi-mover

By on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

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
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Practical, well-made, QUIET, easy in/out"

Cons: "expensive,depreciates fast, no arm rests for rear"

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

"I'm very satisfied with this vehicle and would recommend it to anyone. My complaints are few. Probably the biggest are these: 1) The lack of arm rests on the rear passengers. You really miss something to rest your arm upon when you sit back there. 2) I can fault the Ford Sync system (thanks Microsoft) as well for being balky and clunky, but I rarely use Sync because the on-board navigation is all I need and it is independent of Sync. 3) I would rate the on-board navigation at 8 out of 10. I have seen better Nav systems that automatically detect traffic issues for example, and it can get confused trying to find locations within or around shopping malls, but all-in-all, it works very satisfactorily. I hear that Ford wants $150 for navigation map updates, though, which is absolutely ridiculous. 4) The center console is extremely awkward to open due to its position and length. The lid is so long that trying to open it while driving could very easily be a safety hazard. Other than those things, I am very happy with the vehicle. The fit/finish and materials quality are very good to excellent, and it is quiet on the road. I can depend on 21 mpg and occasionally get a tad more. The 285hp V6 is quite adequate. The controls have a quality feel to them. The display options for the dash are useful. I have had NO issues with the vehicle in 2 years and 50k miles. It is an expensive vehicle for what you get, compared to others like Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna, and Ford has traditionally had trouble with quality in their prior minivan products (notoriously, the Windstar), so I suppose that's the cause for the market resistance to the Flex and its high depreciation, but I think that they hit the mark this time, or at least got VERY close."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Would buy again.

By on Thursday, April 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"Basically love the vehicle.Very quiet.Easy handling.Great on the road.Has been very reliable. Only complaint is the unpredictable Sync system.Frustrating at times.Have heard similar complaints about other makes of autos. Would buy again."

15 people out of 30 found this review helpful

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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

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