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2011 Ford Flex

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2011 Ford Flex Review

With its unique look, solid performance, and roomy interior, the Ford Flex is a seven-passenger crossover SUV that should appeal to a wide variety of drivers.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

""If it's not broke, don't fix it"" could well be the slogan for the 2011 Ford Flex. Entering its third year of production, aside from the new Titanium trim level, the 2011 Flex offers only minor changes from the previous years...and that's a good thing.

The Ford Flex, with its distinctive boxy shape, is a seven-passenger crossover wagon offering a blend of features, styling, performance, and safety that should appeal to a broad range of customers. The 2011 Ford Flex comes in four trim variations, thanks to the high-end Titanium trim level. The other three are SE, SEL, and Limited.

The Range

Body Styles: crossover wagon
Engines: 3.5-liter 335-hp V-6, 3.5-liter 262-horsepower V-6
Transmissions: six-speed automatic
Models: Ford Flex SE, Ford Flex SEL, Ford Flex Limited, Ford Flex Titanium

What's New

New additions for 2011 are mainly limited to the introduction of the line-topping Titanium trim level.

Exterior

The 2011 Ford Flex SE comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels; the SEL includes 18-inch alloy wheels; the Limited adds 19-inch wheels; the all-new Titanium trim features 20-inch, five-spoke, painted, luster nickel wheels.

Additional features on the SE include exterior keypad entry, automatic headlights, and fog lights.

Interior

The interior of the 2011 Ford Flex can seat either seven or six, depending on whether it has a second-row bench or captain’s chairs. The SE comes with tweed fabric seats while the Limited gets leather-trimmed seats. There are also footrests available for the second row of seats. The second row can also fold and tumble in order to provide access to the third row. Additional interior features, depending on trim level, include simulated wood or metallic trim, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, air-conditioning with front and rear controls, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, a steering wheel with cruise and audio controls, an optional 12-speaker Sony sound system, and the Ford Sync system.

The SE comes standard with keyless entry, cruise control, automatic climate control, front power seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 60/40 split-folding second row, a 50/50 split-folding third row, a CD player, and an auxiliary audio jack.

The SEL includes standard dual-zone climate control, the Sync electronics interface system, heated front seats, satellite radio, and an in-dash six-CD changer. Leather upholstery on the first two rows of seats is an optional upgrade.

The Limited features standard navigation system with real-time traffic and weather, a touchscreen interface, a CD/DVD player, perforated leather upholstery, satin aluminum tailgate trim, and HID headlights. The Titanium features beltline molding and microfiber suede seat inserts.

The Convenience Package, second only to Ford's Sync package in popularity, includes adjustable pedals with memory, a memory driver's seat, power heated mirrors, a 110-volt inverter, and a power liftgate. The Convenience Package is included on the Limited and Titanium models.

Available on the Limited and Titanium is a refrigerated console, located between the second-row captain's chairs. Ford touts the compressor-driven refrigerator's efficiency, claiming it can cool up to seven 12-ounce cans, four half-liter bottles, or two 20-ounce bottles from room temperature to 41 degrees in a little more than 2.5 hours. That is 40 percent faster than the average home refrigerator.

Performance & Handling

First introduced in 2009, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 sports power comparable to a V-8, while maintaining the fuel efficiency of a V-6, thanks to its twin-turbocharged, direct-injection strategy. The EcoBoost engine pairs with a six-speed SelectShift Automatic transmission, offering the driver the choice of fully automatic or manual control. The EcoBoost engine delivers 355 hp, instead of the 262 hp of the base engine.

Front drive comes standard on the base engine, with all-wheel drive as an optional upgrade. On the EcoBoost, all-wheel drive comes standard. The all-wheel-drive option improves the Flex's performance in a variety of weather conditions and is fully automatic.

Safety

All models of the 2011 Ford Flex come standard with Ford's MyKey programmable vehicle key. This allows parents to set safety limits the vehicle will operate within. For example, top speed, audio volume, and speed alert chimes can all be programmed.

All Flex models come standard with Ford's AdvanceTrac with RSC (Roll Stability Control), anti-lock brakes, dual front and side-impact airbags, a second- and third-row Safety Canopy system, dual-stage front seat-mounted airbags and a front-passenger sensing system.

In government crash tests, the Flex achieves a five-out-of-five star rating in front and side categories.

EPA Fuel Economy

Ford Flex: 17/24 mpg city/highway
Ford Flex AWD: 16/22 mpg city/highway
Ford Flex EcoBoost: 16/21 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • High-quality interior
  • Three spacious rows of seating
  • Refined ride quality
  • Good crash test scores
  • Array of high-tech features
  • Option for turbo engine
  • Uniquely styled

You Won't Like

  • Less cargo capacity than many competing models
  • Second-row bench doesn’t slide

Sum Up

With its unique look, solid performance, and roomy interior, the Ford Flex is a seven-passenger crossover SUV that should appeal to a wide variety of drivers.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Chevrolet Traverse
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Toyota Sienna
  • Mazda CX-9

See the New 2014 Flex.

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