Starting Price: $31,090 | Price yours

Above Average: Striking design, interior room, engine options

Below Average: Fuel economy, lack of some advanced safety features

Consensus: A three-row hot rod hauler


A Rare Alternative to Rugged

The pitch for the Ford Flex goes something like this: Deep down, you know you're not actually going to be off-roading in whatever SUV you're eyeing, so why pretend? Is it really either that or a minivan? The Flex is essentially a modern SUV that found a way to drop the pretense in favor of car-like manners and a bit of cool. It's kind of a big, modern station wagon with reasonably engaging handling, seating for seven and an assortment of modern amenities all wrapped in a decidedly distinctive, fun package. Because of its vague categorization and polarizing looks, however, the Flex gets overlooked by buyers who'd likely love it.

Driving Champion

Whether you're more interested in ride or handling, the Ford Flex is one of the best-driving 3-row vehicles you can buy. In our full review of the 2018 Ford Flex we commented that it "has a plush ride that belies its car-as-rectangle appearance. It’s quite maneuverable in the city, though you'll definitely want to use the mirrors, standard rearview camera and good sense when backing up. We found the steering precise and the suspension supple in both higher-speed cornering and highway cruising."

This SUV Hauls

Cementing its status as the driver's choice in mainstream 3-row transportation, the 2018 Ford Flex is available with a 365-horsepower turbocharged V6 that transforms the people mover into a legitimate hauler. The standard 287-horsepower V6 is strong, too, offering power and efficiency in line with more traditionally styled 3-row crossover SUVs like the Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse and Ford's own Explorer.

Style and Substance

When you get right down to it, the Flex rides on its style and design. The "station wagon of tomorrow" exterior and distinctly modern interior environment strike a careful balance between functional family hauler and edgy hipster-box. Available highlights include a massive, four-panel Vista skylight up top and Ford's Sync 3 touch-screen-based entertainment and communications system. Standard on SEL and Limited models, Sync 3 has improved voice recognition and is easier to use than the previous system.

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Flex That Wallet

The 2018 Ford Flex starts just above $31,000 and offers enough upgrades to stretch all the way into the $48,000 range. Build and price your own 2018 Ford Flex to see how much yours would cost.

Owners' Opinions

Buccaneer, visitor and Flex owner, had this to say about Ford's 3-row crossover: "The interior is tastefully finished resembling a high line German sedan instead of the transformers on steroids look that most cars have nowadays. The ride is silky smooth while the handling is surprisingly tight for a vehicle this large. One concern was the gas mileage rating but on a recent 800 mile trip the computer indicated 28 mpg average for the trip. The trick is to avoid the temptation of stepping on it as this thing has gobs of horsepower and torques in reserve." Read more Ford Flex consumer reviews.

More Midsize SUVs

The Ford Flex is a staff favorite, but that doesn't mean it's the best choice for everyone. Check out our Midsize SUV Buyer's Guide to learn all about your midsize SUV options.

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