The 2014 Ford Flex is not your typical 7-passenger family vehicle, as you can tell just by looking at it. The silhouette – long, flat-sided, squared off – suggests the big station wagons of the 1960s and 1970s, and it sits lower and sleeker than a typical SUV. Competitors like the Honda Pilot, Dodge Durango and Chevrolet Tahoe can tout maximum tow ratings and off-road capability, but the Flex chooses to focus on transporting people over 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 what you'd really like is a modern interpretation of the classic American station wagon theme, the 2014 Ford Flex could be the one. It offers seating for six or seven, a range of trim levels 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 bounding over rugged, unpaved terrain, the 2014 Ford Flex is not your best choice. A big V8-powered SUV such as the Dodge Durango or Ford's own Expedition is better geared to those tasks.
After a thorough facelift and some mechanical and equipment upgrades last year, the 2014 Ford Flex gets minimal changes in package contents.
Driving the Flex
The 2014 Ford Flex manages to feel maneuverable and responsive despite its wide body and long wheelbase. Through tight turns, especially, it shows good poise, and its smooth ride and...
... quiet interior help make for a pleasant driving experience. Sway and body roll are minimal thanks to taut suspension, big wheel and tire packages and the Flex's low-to-the-ground stance. Electric power steering often comes up short on feel, but this system works well. Despite its 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 option is clearly stronger (365 horsepower) and adds an element of sportiness to the drive. An available all-wheel-drive system adds another level of assurance on slippery roads.
REAR-CONSOLE REFRIGERATOR Pick the middle-row captain's chairs rather than the standard bench seat and the console in between can contain 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 continually evolving 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.
2014 Ford Flex Details
Ford worked hard to make the 2014 Flex a special place to be. The inviting interior is functional, elegantly appointed and meticulously assembled. The new-last-year instrument panel is clean and functional, with the three screens for the new MyFord Touch system. A massive 4-panel Vista skylight is one of the noteworthy features. The 2nd-row and 3rd-row seats fold flat, and so does the right-front passenger seat, creating what feels like acres of cargo space. For hauling people, the front and middle rows provide spacious and comfortable accommodations for four, or five in a pinch. Third-row occupants will find legroom a little tight.
The 2014 Ford Flex looks functional and quirky, a little edgy but still timeless. Think Ford Country Squire station wagon meets Mini Cooper. It's a box, for sure, but an elegantly detailed box, with aero-friendly contours and soft edges. The new-last-year face is quite modernistic, with a strong horizontal character and some unconventional treatments in the relatively subtle headlights and prominent Flex name in chrome across the nose. A liftgate clad in brushed aluminum and the optional contrasting-color roof are also strong visual elements. This "flying brick" shape may not appeal to everyone, but it's a distinctive and functional way to build a family hauler.
The 2014 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. Specifying the Limited trim adds heated front seats, a 10-way power driver's seat with memory, Sony Premium audio with Ford SYNC communications system, voice-activated navigation, leather upholstery, a power-folding 3rd-row seat, and 19-inch alloy wheels. Standard safety equipment includes 3-row side-curtain airbags and inflatable 2nd-row safety belts.
Options for the 2014 Ford Flex vary by trim and include the 365-horsepower EcoBoost V6 (Limited only), all-wheel drive (SEL and Limited), a rearview camera, a power rear liftgate, heated 2nd-row seats with power Autofold mode, 2nd-row captain's chairs with a center-console refrigerator, a 4-panel Vista roof, a contrasting-color painted top panel, remote start, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, and the Park Assist active parallel-parking aid.
Under the Hood
Across its trim levels, the 2014 Ford Flex offers a choice of two V6 engines (both with a 6-speed automatic transmission) and either front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). The standard engine is a smooth and efficient 3.5-liter V6 with variable valve timing. It makes 287 horsepower and is certainly adequate if not class-leading. Fuel economy is quite good for the vehicle's size with an estimated 17 mpg city and 24 highway. All-wheel-drive models earn slightly lower estimates. The Limited trim offers the option of the EcoBoost V6, which has twin turbochargers and direct injection to produce an impressive 365 horsepower. This EcoBoost engine is offered only with AWD.
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for a 2014 front-wheel-drive Ford Flex SE starts just under $32,000. For the mid-level SEL, prices start around $34,400 (FWD) or $36,400 (AWD). A top-of-the-line Limited begins at about $40,300 with the base engine and FWD and bumps up against $45,400 with the EcoBoost V6 and AWD. Heavily optioned, a Flex Limited can easily exceed $50,000. That pricing is in line with such competitors as the Chevrolet Traverse and Honda Pilot. To make your best deal, be sure to check our Fair Purchase Price and see what typical Flex transaction prices are in your area. Considering resale value, Kelley Blue Book expects the Flex to hold a good portion of its original purchase price, on par with the Chevy Traverse, but falling slightly behind the Honda Pilot.
"This is the second Flex I have leased. It is the most comfortable crossover that fits a large family comfortably with all their sports gear and friends!. Rides smooth and is very car-like in handling, easy to park and maneuver. We do a lot of parallel parking in NYC !- space is tight and I can still wedge this easily into a just right space with little difficulty. Gas mileage is not the greatest but that is the same with any large SUV. It has all the bells and whistles including very impressive glass paneled roof sections (with shades). Kids love to look up at night and see the stars!
I like that this truck does not drive like a truck and its design makes it very easy to see all around when driving."
"I had this vehicle since 2013 and all I can tell is that we LOVE IT!!!!!
Very spacious, very comfortable, very GOOD with gas, very nice looking every time we're driving people's eyes are on us.
I do the regular check up and since I first bought it never had any mechanical problems.
All I can say is that we make the right decision buying this vehicle for my family.
I'm a father of three little girls and we travel a lot, we live in Salt Lake City Utah and during wintertime we have lots of snow so my wife doesn't like to drive during this time of the year but this vehicle gives her the confidence that the girls and her are very safe, the car feels solid and strong, but at the same time drives nice and smooth.
No car like this and I mean it!!!"
Pros: "Roomy, comfortable and ecoboost provides power."
Cons: "Fuel economy not fabulous but it is a big vehicle."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Only negative I would make about the Flex has to do with the windshield. It may only be my car because most of the driving time has been highway use between Phoenix and our cabin. As such, probably more pebbles/stones being flung from other vehicles on the mountain highway than typical freeways. I've had 7 replacements, it doesn't take much to crack these."