Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • Midsize SUV Buyer's Guide
  • 10 Most Fuel-Efficient SUVs
  • Compact SUV Buyer's Guide
  • 15 Best Family Cars of 2015
Go

2013 Ford Flex

Overview
Share this page
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?

2013 Ford Flex Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.8

The 2013 Ford Flex is not your typical 7-passenger family vehicle, at least not if looks count for anything. 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 Honda Pilot, Dodge Durango and Chevrolet Tahoe may tout their max towing or off-road ability, the Flex focusses on transporting people on paved surfaces. It's striking and stylish as well as functional and useful – a fine combination similar to minivans and SUVs in capabilities, but clearly different from both.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a family vehicle that is a modern equivalent of the classic American station wagon, the 2013 Ford Flex could be the one. It offers seating for six or seven, a range of models and prices, available all-wheel drive, and a turbocharged V6 EcoBoost engine.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you need to tow more than 4,500 pounds or go venturing over rugged dirt tracks, the 2013 Ford Flex is not the best choice. The big V8-powered SUVs such as the Dodge Durango or Ford Expedition are better geared to these tasks, and may also offer more space inside.

What's New for 2013

For 2013, the Ford Flex gets a significant facelift with restyled front end, instrument panel and seats. There is a little more power in the base engine, manual shifting for the 6-speed automatic, new MyFord Touch, and several new available systems including parallel-parking assist and adaptive cruise control.

Driving the Flex

Driving Impressions Despite its wide body and long wheelbase, the 2013 Ford Flex feels pleasingly maneuverable and responsive. Its poise through tight turns is really quite impressive, and its smooth ride and...

quiet interior add to the 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. The electric power steering has unusually good feel for such systems. Despite is boxy appearance, the Flex seems to slip through the air easily at freeway speeds, creating very little wind noise. The base 287-horsepower engine gives adequate acceleration but the EcoBoost's 365 horsepower is clearly quicker and adds an element of sportiness to the drive. And the 2013 Ford Flex's available all-wheel drive adds another level of assurance on slippery roads.

REAR-CONSOLE REFRIGERATOR
When fitted with the middle-row captain's chairs instead of the bench, the console between can be equipped with a built-in refrigerator that holds up to seven 12-ounce cans. And, with a low temperature of 23 degrees Fahrenheit, it can double as a mini ice cream cart.

SYNC COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM
Ford's SYNC communications system features a voice-activated command center that can access music from an attached MP3 player, answer and place calls from a Bluetooth-enabled cell phone, and even read aloud incoming text messages.

2013 Ford Flex Details
2013 Ford Flex photo Interior

Ford took pains to make the 2013 Flex someplace special. The inviting interior is functional, elegantly appointed and meticulously assembled. The restyle this year gives the instrument panel a clean and functional high-tech look, with the three screens for the new MyFord Touch system. Noteworthy features include the massive 4-panel Vista skylight. The 2nd-row and 3rd-row seats fold flat, but so does the right-front passenger seat, creating acres of cargo room. For hauling people, the front and middle rows provide spacious and comfy accommodations for four full-size adults, five in a pinch. Third-row occupants will find legroom snug.

Exterior
2013 Ford Flex photo

The 2013 Ford Flex looks both functional and quirky, both edgy and timeless: Ford Country Squire wagon meets Mini Cooper. It's a box, for sure, but an elegantly detailed box, with aero-friendly contours around the edges and lower body. The new-this-year face is quite modernistic, with a strong horizontal character and the unusual decisions to downplay the headlights and put the Flex name in chrome across the nose. The aluminum-clad liftgate and optional contrasting-color roof are also strong visual elements. The Flex's flat, brick-like contours won't thrill everyone, but it's a distinctive and functional way to build a family hauler.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2013 Ford Flex comes in three trim levels: SE, SEL and Limited. Standard equipment includes keyless entry, a 6-way power driver's seat, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, Reverse Sensing System, fog lights, front and rear air conditioning, an MP3-compatible CD player, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Moving up to the top-of-the-line Limited trim 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-folding 3rd-row seat, and 19-inch aluminum wheels. Standard safety equipment on all models includes inflatable 2nd-row safety belts and 3-row side-curtain airbags.

Optional Equipment

Options for the Ford Flex vary by trim and include a 365-horsepower EcoBoost V6 (Limited), all-wheel drive (SEL and Limited), rearview camera, power rear liftgate, heated 2nd-row seats with power Autofold mode, 2nd-row captain's-chair seating with center-console refrigerator, 4-panel Vista roof, a contrasting painted top, remote start, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, and Park Assist active parallel parking aid.

Under the Hood

Depending on trim, Ford offers two engines and the choice of front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) on the 2013 Flex. The standard engine on all trims is a smooth and efficient 3.5-liter V6 with variable valve timing. Its 287 horsepower (modestly increased for 2013) is certainly adequate if not class-leading. Fuel economy is quite good with an estimated 17 mpg city and 24 highway. All-wheel-drive models earn slightly lower estimates. Optional on the Limited trim is the EcoBoost V6, which uses gasoline direct injection and twin turbochargers to produce an impressive 365 horsepower. A 6-speed automatic transmission is used throughout, and the EcoBoost engine is offered only with AWD.

3.5-liter V6
287 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
254 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg (FWD), 17/23 mpg (AWD)

3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6
365 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
350 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500–5,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg

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?

2013 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."

7 people out of 11 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

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
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?