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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 175 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

New family truckster

By on Thursday, July 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,700

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I have put over 37k on this car in 19 months. I drive the 20" tires (Eagle RS-As) off this thing for the daily commute and for family vacations. It keeps the young 'un occupied with the built in DVDs, satellite radio, and spacious interior to keep all the stuff within reach. It has all the performance most will ever need with the 355hp EB and AWD. Gets 17-19 on daily commute and will see 21-23 on the long trips depending on the speed. Funny, it gets better mileage closer to 80 than 70-must be where the power curve is most efficient. Taken myself, my wife, my 8 year old, wife's sister and husband and daugher in an infant seat more than 200 miles for a funeral in the snow and no complaints for room or temperature with dual zone climate control. Been dead nuts reliable except for a sheet metal screw in a tire during the polar vortex. Did not get the MyFord Touch in it but enjoy the Sync set up for the iPod or iPhone. With 12 and 120 volt power outlets you can power or recharge anything. I've driven Fords since 1986 and this is one that I recommend over and over and is my favorite of all."

Comfortable and reliable. No headaches.

By on Friday, July 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"I have taken trips to Tennesse, Florida, Maryland, etc. Fuel mileage has been slightly lower than anticipated. However, the comfort and room this vehicles provides more than makes up for it. Low maintenance, efficient, plan for new one to be the replacement for it."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

10k ON THE ODOMETER AND ITS BEEN FLAWLESS.

By on Monday, July 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,857

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "practical, solid, dependable, affordable"

Cons: "noisy drive with windows down at Hwy speeds"

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

"People always ask what it is and if I like it, some mistake it for a Range Rover Mileage is a solid 25 MPG on the highwas at 70 mph or less, mixed around town is about 22 mpg Adaptive cruise control make highway driving a pleasure. It's a must have Self parallel parking system is cool but never used Didn't think I'd like the auto hydrolic rear hatch but find it very convenient. Same for the AC in the front seats thought it was odd at first but after the first 90 degree day I was a convert. Low compression engine with front wheel drive has more than enough torque and pickup for most unless you want to spend $1500 for twin turbo which uses premium gas and get lower mileage Handling and ride is great with tow package/ anti-sway no - SUV/minivan porpoising, not quite my BMW 7 but close. Drives smaller than it looks Interior is clean and functional, rear passenger's luv the 2 buckets which have heat and seporate climate control for the back row and skylights above all rows Driver seating is very comfortable for 6'3" but vertical and transverse engine limits stretchout legroom Sunroof / Panoramic roof makes the whole truck light and airy front to back.... this should be offered with lower trim levels, can only add if you have virtuall evey other option. Active road sensing technology is very helpful and gets you spoiled when you drive acar without it Synch is solid technology but can be quircky intermittantly Lots of airbags and very good safety rating... spend the $190 for the rear passenger seatbelt airbags"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Love this car!

By on Sunday, July 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great car all around"

Cons: "Seats might be a little more "cushy""

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

"I have owned over 80 vehicles in my life and this is one of the most adaptable cars I have ever owned. It has about everything. Handles reasonably, comfortable to drive, can carry just about anything up to a small horse and gets pretty fair mileage to boot. We have towed small trailers with it and have used the Flex as a dinghy behind our motorhome. It has more electronics than the Space Shuttle and they all work very well. I have people walk up to me in parking lots and ask lots of questions about it. How many other production cars get that? I'd buy another in a minute."

comfy and roomy seats but not much else

By on Tuesday, June 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,200

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "comfy, spacious, flexible seating"

Cons: "small gas tank, touch controls, DVD, poor keypad"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"This offered, I thought better gas mileage than the old van but, NO. I only avg 19MPG. In fact, took a 3000 mile trip and only averaged 19 MPG all highway miles, driving at 72MPH with my cruise on. My 2007 van got better than this. Ford should be ashamed for not getting better gas mileage for a similar sized vehicle 7 years newer! Also, I have to stop every 300 miles to gas up - the tank is ridiculously small for a mom's taxi. I'm always on empty and looking for the next gas station, I feel. Lots of wind noise. Touch controls are a pain - a lot of touching and scrolling (while driving) to do a simple adjustment of the temperature or radio. The navigation won't allow setting when driving so even the passenger can't enter a destination while the car's in drive. It won't even work when stopped, it has to be in park! The only way to do it while driving is by voice command which is never able to hear me correctly and takes an agonizing amount of time and yelling to do. The technology is old - it's like using the first generation GPS units we had 5 years ago. The Built-in DVD player which was a $2000 option, doesn't even play sound through the car's speakers! The kids have to use headphones. The keyless entry pad malfunctioned within 14 days of purchasing the car and I had to call a tow truck to break into my new car. Ford acknowledges they have a problem with these pads. The dealer kept my car for 5 days to replace it. It's still a pain - the keys are very insensitive and I have to hold them for longer than should be necessary. Also, if you try and leave your keys in the car, which is why I have the keyless pad option to begin with, it UNLOCKS after you walk away from the car. It took me a month to realize that I had to lock it, wait for it to unlock and lock it again anytime I want to leave my keys in the car. The car doesn't handle well - it floats and responds slowly. It doesn't accelerate very fast either. I regret this purchase and I've only had it 3 months."

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Amazing Vehicle

By on Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "THEY RIDE SO SMOOTH AND THEY SIT AMAZING"

Cons: "N/A"

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

"CAR RIDES LIKE A DREAM. WE NEEDED A CAR DUE TO BACK PROBLEMS THIS IS THE ONLY VEHICLE WE SAT IN THAT GIVES U THE RIGHT SUPPORT. HEATED SEATS ARE WONDERFUL IN THE WINTER. REAL FAMILY CAR!!!! DEFINITELY WOULD BUY ANOTHER FLEX. MY DAUGHTER AND SON-INLAW JUST WENT OUT AN BOUGHT A NEW ONE THEY LIKED OURS SO WELL. GREAT VEHICLE."

7 people out of 12 found this review helpful

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