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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.
Favorite Features

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

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?

2011 Ford Flex Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 164 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

Great road car, wonderful looks.

By on Monday, April 21, 2014

I own this car

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Stlye roomly, great ride and fun to drive."

Cons: "Not the best gas milege, Climate needs work."

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

"My 2013 Flex is my second car of this series and I love it. This car brings back memories of my parents station Wagon of the 70's. It has a lot of room and can be used in many settings. I can wear my cowboy hat with room to spare. When all seats are lowered I can fit an queen size air mag in it. You can drive it across the nation with out being tired out as in smaller cars. I love the shape and it is loaded with wonderful features that are safe and useful. I recommend this car to anyone. I hope that Ford keep building this wonderful car."

Awesome vehicle

By on Saturday, April 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 82,000

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
7/10

Pros: "Drives great, lots of room, good on gas"

Cons: "Food pedals a little close together"

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

"Love my ford flex. Drives good, rides good lots of room! Unique styling stands out from norm which I love!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Awesome vehicle

By on Saturday, April 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 82,000

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
7/10

Pros: "Drives great, lots of room, good on gas"

Cons: "Food pedals a little close together"

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

"Love my ford flex. Drives good, rides good lots of room! Unique styling stands out from norm which I love!"

Can't Ask For More

By on Thursday, April 10, 2014

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

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: "Love everything about my Ford Flex Limited!"

Cons: "20" tire prices"

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

"I purchased my 2009 Ford Flex Limited after looking at several other luxury model SUVs. This car feels very safe. Low enough to the ground that i don't have to lift my small children into it. It has four heated bucket seats, two tv's, two DVD players, a fridge/freezer, remote start, dual moon roofs, AWD....the feature are endless. No mechanical issues. Only complaint is the cost to replace the 20" wheels. Couldn't ask for a better vehicle. I am already saving up to buy another Flex."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great car, until the engine died

By on Saturday, March 29, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Engine Blown

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Awesome to drive, feels sturdy and safe."

Cons: "Get the water pump checked regularly."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I bought a 2009 Limited with 53000 miles on it. I was able to drive it for 55000 then the water pump went out and it cracked the block. I will say, those were the best 55000 miles I've ever driven. Completely comfortable, quiet, smooth driving. What I liked most about it was the room, the features and the originality. It feels good to own and drive. It also feels safe when you have your family in it. The blown engine symptoms were a slow chugging and then eventually a loss of all engine power and a sputter out. I'd recommend getting the water pump checked at 90-100k to help avoid this happening to you. I'll miss it, but I was able to sell it and buy a 2014. We'll see how the new one matches up. I'll also be making the just in case appointment when I reach 90k."

9 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Great car but awful on tires and brakes

By on Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Size, comfortable, smooth ride"

Cons: "gas mileage, wear of tires and brakes"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Overall I have enjoyed my FLEX. It is great for large groups of people and lots of luggage. However, I am on my 3rd set of tires and 3rd set of brakes. I did have a problem about a year ago whereby I had to replace spark plug and coils because the car was "kicking" and not shifting properly. It ended I actually had to replace phazers in the powertrain too. I am having a similar problem right now, but the dealer could not feel it. Besides those issues the car has been great and ideal for a hockey/horse back riding family. Gas mileage is a little disappointing as well.It averages around 19mpg."

3 people out of 6 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

Buying this car?