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2012 Ford Flex

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2012 Ford Flex Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.9

The 2012 Ford Flex is not your typical 7-passenger CUV, at least not if looks count for anything. Where most CUVs attempt to mirror SUVs, the Flex takes a decidedly different approach. Its long and boxy silhouette is reminiscent of the big station wagons of the 1960s and 1970s, plus it's lower to the ground than an SUV. And, while competitors like the 2012 Honda Pilot, Dodge Durango and Chevrolet Tahoe may boast about their max towing or off-road ability, the Flex makes no such claims. Sure, the Ford Flex can tow a trailer or small boat (up to 4,500 pounds), but for the most part, the Flex is all about transporting people. There is no arguing that you can find these same attributes in a minivan, but none of the minivans we can think of have the Flex's cool factor. Then again, if you have teenagers you might find yourself wishing for a minivan because with such forward-thinking options as the voice-activated SYNC communication system, 12-speaker Sony audio, built-in refrigerator and huge Vista Roof glass moonroof, this rolling dorm room makes for the perfect Saturday night cruiser.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a family wagon that is the modern equivalent of the classic American wagon driven by your mom and dad, the 2012 Ford Flex fills the bill. It offers seating for seven, a wide range of models and prices and a turbocharged V6 EcoBoost engine. Oh, did we mention it looks pretty cool?

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you need a family vehicle that can also haul more than 4,500 pounds or go venturing down seldom traveled dirt paths, the 2012 Ford Flex is not the best choice. V8-powered SUVs such as the Dodge Durango or Ford Expedition are better geared to these tasks. Similarly constructed CUVs like the Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia offer more cargo space behind the third-row seat and more legroom for third-row passengers.

What's New for 2012

For 2012, the Ford Flex now offers roof-rack side rails with the Vista Roof sunroof, repositions the rear wiper arm for better coverage, and adds a folding armrest with cup holders to the second-row bench on the Limited and Titanium models.

Driving the Flex

Driving Impressions If you think the Flex's wide body and long wheelbase make it a bear to manipulate in tight spots, think again. The 2012 Ford Flex's ability to maneuver through tight...

turns is really quite impressive, and its smooth ride and whisper-quiet interior further an already pleasant driving experience. Sway and body roll are kept in check by a taut suspension, big wheel and tire packages and the Flex's low-to-the-ground stance. Despite is boxy appearance, the Flex glides effortless at freeway speeds, slipping through the air with little buffeting or wind noise. Of course, it's the Flex's generous helping of laminated glass that helps keep wind and road noise at bay. Pushing the Flex to its limits, we simulated a number of emergency maneuvers, all of which were adeptly handled by Ford's AdvanceTrac stability and traction-control system. And, although we were not able to test it in snow conditions, the 2012 Ford Flex's available all-wheel drive is sure to add another level of assurance when encountering slippery road conditions.

Rear-Console Refrigerator
The ideal option for long trips with the kids, the 2012 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.

2012 Ford Flex Details
2012 Ford Flex photo Interior

While a car's exterior may make its first impression on you, it's the interior where you'll spend 99 percent of your time. That's why Ford took extra pains to make the 2012 Ford Flex someplace special with an inviting interior that is not only highly functional, but elegantly appointed and meticulously assembled. There are the numerous technological edges – such as the available center-console refrigerator and massive 4-panel Vista skylight – that set the Flex apart from more common forms of transport. Further attention to detail can be seen in Ford's extensive use of interior lighting located in the foot wells and overhead, as well as in the fabric choices such as the diamond sew pattern on the Limited trim's leather seats. A comfortable driving position is made possible for drivers of all sizes thanks to the available power-adjustable pedals, 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. As for accommodations, the 2012 Ford Flex's first- and second-row seats provide adult-size comfort for four, five in a pinch. Unfortunately, the Flex's 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.

Exterior
2012 Ford Flex photo

The 2012 Ford Flex has a design that is both old and new at the same time. To those born before 1979, the Flex's long lines and paralleled side groves are vaguely reminiscent of the old Ford Country Squire wagons, which featured distinctive wood panels and bold colors. Younger buyers will probably appreciate the same design for its unique look and wow factor, especially the aluminum-plated rear hatch and optional contrasting roof paint. Some might even claim to see hints of Scion xB and MINI Cooper in the Flex's reflection, yet its boxy, upright sides and bold front end are pure Ford. And, while the Flex's big wheel and tire combo and low-to-the-ground stance won't win it any friends among weekend off-road adventurers, the folks who love a long and slow Saturday night cruise will likely give a big thumbs-up to this family-friendly ride.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Ford Flex comes in four trim levels: SE, SEL, Limited and Titanium. Standard equipment includes Ford's keypad keyless entry, a 6-way power driver's seat, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, Reverse Sensing System, fog lights, 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), rearview camera, power rear liftgate, heated second-row seats with power Autofold mode, second-row captain's-chair seating with rear-console refrigerator, 4-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 2012 Flex. The standard engine on all trims is a 3.5-liter V6 engine with variable valve timing attached to a 6-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. Flex models equipped with EcoBoost also feature all-wheel drive as standard equipment.

3.5-liter V6
262 horsepower @ 6,250 rpm
248 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (FWD), 16/23 (AWD)

3.5-liter V6, Twin-Turbocharged
355 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
350 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-5,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23

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2012 Ford Flex Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 230 Ratings for the 2009 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.3/10
  • Comfort
    9.5/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

Great car

By on Friday, January 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "high quality interior,easy to get in and out of"

Cons: "gas mileage,small gas tank"

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

"Ibought this car it was A lease vehicle.We have had no issues with it.awesome in the winter has been reliable very high quality interior and ext. Gas mileage is not very good needs a bigger gas tank and getting in and out of the 3rd row seats is A challenge but other than that it is an awesome vehicle."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

love this vehicle

By on Friday, December 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "once in, everyone loves this vehicle"

Cons: "repairs can be expensive"

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

"The vehicle came from Tennessee and has only see 1 Michigan winter. The vehicle is the turbo with Eco-boost and is so loaded it even has a second row refrigerator."

19 people out of 33 found this review helpful

Excellent crossover. Only lacks arm rests.

By on Tuesday, December 01, 2015

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

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "All positive items .fun..efficient...good value"

Cons: "No arm rests ..a bit of sway in rear"

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

"Great cabin. Second row would be better with arm rests..generous seats allow movement of passenger due to basic size of car . Huge cargo capacity. Excellent fit and finish. As personal matter I would prefer some upgraded sound systems ....like Bose. Got this early in the game and was surprised by the number of strangers who asked "what it was?" And "how do you like it?". Has now caught on in the South East because of quality/price value."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

2ND FLEX OWNED, LOOKING TO GET 3RD!

By on Saturday, November 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,400

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: "VERY ROOMY WITH LOTS OF CARGO SPACE"

Cons: "NOTHING"

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

"THIS IS MY SECOND FLEX, HAD A 2010, NOW 2013, AND LOOKING TO PURCHASES A 2015! RECENTLY FOUND OUT IT APPEARS FORD WILL STOP MAKING THESE AFTER 2015. LOVE THE ROOM THIS CAR HAS, LOW TO THE GROUND SO MY 81 YR OLD MOM HAS NO PROBLEM GETTING IN OR OUT.I CAN HAUL SO MUCH IN THIS VEHICLE. DRIVES AND HANDLES LIKA A DREAM.FITS THE GRANDKIDS WITH NO PROBLEMS.LOTS OF LEG ROOM. I HAVEN'T FOUND A SINGLE THING I DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT MY FLEX!"

9 people out of 18 found this review helpful

A Complete and Versatile Vehicle

By on Monday, November 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

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 all-around car"

Cons: "Expensive to by brand new"

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

"My 2013 Flex has to be one of the best vehicle purchases I've made. And here's why: >Interior. Roomy and comfortable for the driver and passengers. Third row seat is easily accessible and useable by adults. Materials are upscale and pleasant to look at and touch. Vista roof opens up the cabin. Controls are easy to use and ergonomically designed. Dials and guages are easy to read and adjustable. I actually like the Sync with MyFord Touch system. The touchscreen was a little sluggish, but a recent software upgrade fixed that. Technology that comes in handy:rear camera, rear back-up sensor, and adaptive cruise control. The collision warning and park assist are gimmicky, in my opinion. >Exterior. I find it to be a handsome car with nice lines. The 20" polished wheels and chrome exhaust tips are nice touch. You definitely will stand out and won't be mistaken for any other vehicle! >Powertrain. The twin-turbo V6 delivers big, smooth power. The AWD system inspires confidence. The transmission has an available "Sport" mode which gives quciker shifts and holds gears. At the stop light and on the highway, not many vehicles can match the Flex's performance. >Summary. The Flex has it all: it is a sports car, luxury car, and SUV all rolled into one."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Ford Flex delivers the "Goods" !

By on Friday, October 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great price , excellent family vehicle"

Cons: "Gas mileage"

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

Comfort and Style under one hood!

"We purchased this pre- owned vehicle as a "compromise" between our truck and car needs. My husband wanted a vehicle to make trips to Lowes/Home Depot, while I wanted a comfortable, luxury car for our family. This is an excellent vehicle that meets all of our criteria and more. It has a lot of cargo room to carry sheet rock, or drive a wedding party around on their special day! I have helped a stranger bring a chair to her house from Home Goods, after seeing her attempt to fit in her small coupe. I have helped a friend pick up a new twin bed and deliver to her home. We have taken family trips in our Flex. It is extremely comfortable and provides a quiet and smooth ride. It handles well on turns and/or on bumpy dirt roads when needed. We have used this as a commuter vehicle, so most of "our" miles are highway miles."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Comfort and Style under one hood!

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