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Ford Flex Prices Paid and Buying Experience

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  • Was going to test drive one yesterday except the weather had another idea. Thinking I will test drive one this week though. With the incentives and financing packages, I think it will be worth it. Although I know once I buy the 2009 version, the 2010 will come out with something that the 09 didn't have. Same thing happened when I bought the 06 Fusion, and then the 07 came out with some better standard equipment.
  • We are going to be test driving a 2009 Ford Flex AWD Limited today. I was just wondering what people are actually paying for this car Fully Loaded. We want these options:

    -Heated Leather Seats
    -Navigation
    -DVD Player
    -Backup Camerca
    -AWD

    The prices on the dealers sites are about $41,000 with some saying $39,000. Do you think we could get them lower? Mid $30,000? Maybe like $34,000 to $35,000?

    Oh and we are in WA Stat :)

    Thanks everyone!
  • JTOJTO Posts: 28
    I swung by the Ford dealer in Woodbury NJ, and had a look at the Flex. My current car is a Scion Xb... sort of a mini Flex. Anyway, other then the shape, they have little in common!

    My question is: does anyone have good/bad things to say about this dealership? After 15 minutes of looking at several vehicles no one 'approached' me. Maybe they were closed, but it seemed odd in this economy and weather.
  • anonymousanonymous Posts: 314
    Was at a dealer in the Seattle area. They had four Flexes on the lot, with varying options/trims. All of them were marked $10K over list. A Flex for $50K? No thanks.
  • I am seeing a few low mileage used vehicles showing up on the internet. However, the prices are not much different than what I see the new vehicles listed for. Anyone have any idea what to offer for a low model used SEL or Limited. I know that there will be some deviation here based off of mileage, options, etc. but I was wondering if these should be priced similar to the Taurus X or are they holding their value a little better.
  • ajaysajays Posts: 2
    Silicon Valley/San Jose/Sunnyvale

    Jan/23 Black/silver LTD AWD (stone interior) with nav, entertainment, vista roof and tow options, higher $37K out of the door. Did not need the tow but car had it, could have shaved another 500-600 off it otherwise! Think dealer still made money off the deal. But then thats the best I could find here. Others checked in @ $35.5K - $36K range.

    Hate the shape, love it inside. Ford cut weird corners - put on heated side mirrors but cut on auto dimming them, duh!
  • Karen@EdmundsKaren@Edmunds Posts: 5,028
    A reporter would like to talk with owners of the Ford Flex. Please respond to jfallon@edmunds.com by March 18, 2009 noting your daytime contact info and a word about why you bought your Flex.

    Karen-Edmunds Community Manager

  • madmantamadmanta Posts: 1
    I have a quote for $600 over invoice (not including any incentives) for a LTD. Basic LTD, no additions. Do people think at some point in the next few months prices will start to come under invoice? When the 2010s come out?

    Thanks
  • perrin75perrin75 Posts: 7
    For those who are interested I recently purchased a '09 Cinammon LTD from Cloninger Ford in North Carolina for 10K off the MSRP. This price included $3,000 in Ford Rebates and $1,000 for Owning the car of a competitor.

    They still have two on their website that are around 9K off the MSRP. Easy dealership to work with. I did everything over the phone, they picked me up from the airport in Charlotte and was on the road in my new car in about an hour.

    I live in the Columbus area and no one could come within 3K of their price, so it was worth the price of an airline ticket and the time to drive it home for me.
  • madlockmadlock Posts: 39
    Wow. That's amazing. The closest I could figure for the LTD was an invoice price of about $35,500. Even with the $3,000 rebate and a $1K conquer incentive, the price is still about $1,500 below that. It looks like they're even willing to give-up their hold back to unload it.
  • madlockmadlock Posts: 39
    I take possession tomorrow of my new, Sterling Grey Limited with AWD and Light Stone interior.

    Finding this bugger was a long, arduous process. It seems that virtually every dealer that received one with the minimum feature compliment I wanted immediately made it an owner demo. With as many as 16K miles on, I was shocked at how little all but one were willing to offer in consideration for the mileage already on the odometer. I thought I had closed on one with 11K when the dealer agreed to cede $3,500 from invoice and include a 4/48 PremiumCare warranty, but it was sold out from under me between Saturday afternoon and Monday noon.

    They then offered to locate one for invoice +$500. Instead, I gave myself an evening of uber-searching through dealer inventories until I found one within 150 miles. Miracle of miracles, it wasn't even a demo. It has a couple extra options, but the included towing package (a rarity with this combination) meant saving about $500 from having to have it installed later. At the end of the day, I probably spent about $1,500 more than my ideal, but you have to just take a leap at some point.

    The sticker price was $45,190 and included:

    Two-tone roof
    Vista roof
    Navigation
    Towing Package
    40/40 2nd Row
    2nd Row Console
    Floor Mats
    PowerCode Remote

    (Extras that I wouldn't have ideally ordered)

    Refrigerator
    Family Overhead DVD

    Dealer Invoice: $41,984 (less $3,000 agreed to before I discovered X-Plan eligibility)
    Final Price: $38,984

    X-Plan Pricing: $41,891 (less $3,250 Cash Back and X-Plan incentive)
    Final Price: $38,641

    I obviously went for the X-Plan pricing (and the dealer was good enough to honor it despite having already signed a purchase order based on an "at invoice" purchase)

    I also added a 7/100,00 PremiumCare warranty with $0 deductible which the dealer offered at a VERY reasonable price after I showed that other dealers were advertising tremendous prices about $600 below their first offer.
  • kirkmomkirkmom Posts: 2
    What a great price! We're shopping for a Flex now too (in CA) - comparing the Acadia/Traverse/Outlook vs. Flex. Like the styling of the Flex - but roominess of the other.

    QUESTION: What's "X-Plan pricing"?
    Sounds like you really did your homework and got a great deal.

    ALSO: What's the cost of the 7/100,00 Premium Care?

    Thanks!
  • madlockmadlock Posts: 39
    Though I'm obviously biased and my buying decision speaks for itself, I'd be careful when comparing the cargo volume of the vehicles based upon published dimensional capacities alone. I found that much of the additional volume the GM interiors manage is the result of a higher relative roof line and a "bowing" of the sides which doesn't necessarily yield any more usable space. While GM publishes an astonishing 30 cu ft more cargo space, I had a hard time engineering circumstances that would have provided me with any more than a marginal increase in practical hauling.

    Furthermore, if it's passenger space you're interested in, while the Lambdas' 3rd rows have eked out a third place from its additional 7-8" of shoulder room and are marginally more "conventional" from a passenger perspective, you're going to have to search far and wide to find cabin space or seat comfort that matches what first and second row Flex passengers enjoy. They're luxurious chiropractic marvels of engineering. Also, be sure to compare the environmental and entertainment controls the two provide for the second row. Flex passengers get their own little climate-controlled home theaters.

    If you want a great "ceiling" price list for ESP, you should visit www.fordwarrantys.com. Because you can buy an ESP from ANY dealer without regard for where you bought your vehicle, there's absolutely no advantage to buying it from your vehicle-sale dealer unless you want to finance the warranty too; and it gives you the leverage of being foolish for paying any more than you can buy it for elsewhere while putting business on the table that's there for the taking.

    The warranty price varies by state, so you should plug-in your own variables to the link I provided. However, you should also negotiate them to include first-day rental which entitles you to a rental vehicle upon dropping-off your covered vehicle for service regardless of the type of service or length. You never have to worry about getting to and from the dealer or having to miss work. It's only a few dollars, but its benefit can be invaluable. It also frees you from the threat of being "inconvenienced" into letting any nagging or tough to recreate issues slide, as you always have the option of just dropping-off your vehicle and the rental is on them/Ford. Ballpark maximums for a 7/100 CA warranty is $1,500 with $100 deductible and $1,950 with no deductible.

    X-Plan pricing is a fixed-price scheme offered to certain Ford affiliates and business partners. It's a "friends and family" program once-removed. If you don't qualify through your employer or other professional organization (buying club, credit union, etc.), just go and buy yourself a share of Ford stock as all shareholders qualify. There's a protocol that includes obtaining an X-Plan code and PIN, but Ford will provide them to you; and there's more available by Googling "X-Plan" than I could ever hope to know or share. From my comparisons, Flex X-Plan prices are, for all intents and purposes, $100 below dealer invoice and may provide further rebates and incentives that don't come out of the dealer's pocket so they remain on the table available for further bargaining if you time your visit to fall at the end of the month/quarter.

    Best of luck.
  • fippsfipps Posts: 2
    I'm looking to purchase a Flex Limited (w/ Vista Roof, 40/40 autofold and two-tone roof).

    Here's what the best that I've been offered so far:

    MSRP: $38,165
    Dealer Invoice: $35,832
    X-Plan Price: $35,764
    Incentives ($3,000, plus $1,000 Ford Motor Credit): $4,000
    No Dealer fees (per X-Plan).


    I've had a difficult time getting any dealer to offer me anything below the X-Plan price. Would it be better to not mention X-Plan to see if they offer something better? Any insight anyone could share would be appreciated.

    Thank you!
  • madlockmadlock Posts: 39
    Well, with X-Plan pricing, you at least know the maximum you should consider paying. You may also qualify for an additional $250.00 in rebates if Ford offers them in your area under the X-Plan.

    On that particular vehicle, there's about $1,200 in holdback to the dealer, so you've got that much negotiating room until you hit the theoretical best conceivable deal. However, those usually only occur when you find the combination of a motivated dealer at the end of a sales period and they're willing to let the vehicle go for the sake of "moving a unit".

    You may also consider purchasing an ESP from them, using the guide at www.fordwarrantys.com as a guide to your maximum there too. There are incentives for dealers that make selling warranties worthwhile for them, and your interest in purchasing one may compel a dealer to reduce the sale price further if they otherwise might not. In this day and age, it should take a hard soul to not allow a dealer any profit whatsoever, so you have to decide for yourself what a reasonable profit might be, keeping in mind that both Ford and its dealers are going to be subject to competing with manufacturer's who didn't have the forbearance to make the kind of tough choices and investments Ford did, who also (thanks to our government) don't have to trouble themselves with paying them back either. This may be a time when driving the dealer as close to the wall as possible may have unintended consequences down the road. And no, one purchase won't make the difference; but, like choosing to vote, if nobody chooses to exercise his right first as an individual, there's never a chance of positively influencing the outcome.

    You may be able to compel them to cede another $500 off of their otherwise-best deal with a commitment to a "then and there" purchase, checkbook in hand which caters to both parties' needs and interests. You can also go the "other way" of feigning interest in waiting for a 2010 model, or custom ordering one from a dealer who will give you the same terms on a 2010 configured exactly as you want, including the features that aren't available on the 2009. Some people are reporting deals closer to the "dealer net"; but without special circumstances, I suspect they might be for particular vehicles the dealership might suspect to be harder to move. At the end of the day, you're going to have to weigh how much of that difference is worth your continued time and effort and, of course, getting the specific vehicle you want.

    Best of luck!
  • fippsfipps Posts: 2
    Thanks, Madlock.

    About your point regarding the 2010 models. Do you have any idea what the price on those will be? Also, what are some of the options coming out on the 2010 model that '09 models don't have?

    Thanks!
  • madlockmadlock Posts: 39
    You're welcome.

    Nothing in particular, but I think it might be reasonable to expect any price changes would be in the customer's favor.

    As for features, there will be an option for the 3.5L Eco Boost engine, and advance photos seem to indicate the 2010 may be equipped for the sensors that make possible Parking Assist, BLIS, and/or Adaptive Cruise. Those are features that will be available in the MKT, so it's not entirely unreasonable to suspect they'll be part of the 2010. BLIS would likely be included with the Limited and maybe the SEL, but the other's would probably be options similarly priced to the 2010 Taurus and MKT. At least that's my know-nothing best guess. It could sure use a telescopic steering column, but I have no idea if that's in the works or not.

    It would be nice if the hardware and smarts for those electronic features could be up-fitted to the 2009. I sure plan to find out eventually.
  • madlockmadlock Posts: 39
    Here are some quick notes that may be useful to those shopping for a new Flex.

    To determine the vehicle's "dealer invoice" price, multiply the base price by 92.5% and any options by 85%. Add $700 (or $775 depending upon the date of manufacture) in Destination Charges and $700 for the dealer's regional marketing and advertising fee, and you've nailed "invoice" within a few dollars for any vehicle on the lot without having to resort to the web and any of the many available vehicle cost calculators.

    Dealer "holdback" (or the amount the dealer receives from Ford after selling the vehicle" is 3.5% of MSRP. If you purchased a $40,000 vehicle "at invoice", an additional $1,400 of "haggling room" exists to the point beyond which the dealer would be selling the vehicle at a loss.

    While it's not unheard, buying a vehicle at "dealer net", is the holy grail haggling and highly unlikely unless you happen to find a dealer that's cash tight with excess aging inventory or it happens to be near the end of an incentivized sales period "moving a unit" may mean more to the dealer than cash profit.

    Ford offers several fixed-price "plans" for eligible customers. "X-Plan" is a discounted price for eligible employees of Ford business affiliates (or Ford shareholders) that is 93% of (or a 7% discount from) MSRP. For all but a very few vehicle combinations, the X-Plan price is approximately $100 below "invoice"; and because it's so easily qualified for, it should be the maximum any buyer should consider paying as the dealer simply plugs in the X-Plan price and that's that.

    A and Z-Plan pricing is for Ford employees, families, and retirees and constitutes an 11% discount from (or 89% of) the sticker price. (So start chatting up that attractive parts clerk) While relatively few people qualify for either of these, it's also the price that's offered during "employee pricing" promotions. It pretty-much equates to buying the vehicle at the "dealer net", plus .5%, a tremendous deal by anyone's standards if you can get it.

    Rebates and incentives are also tremendously important, especially when they're as large as Ford has been offering for the Flex. Most people are eligible for at least $3,000 in customer cash OR 0% APR financing, but some states (Michigan) are offering as much as $4,500 AND 0% financing through Ford (to qualified buyers). The key is knowing which rebates and incentives apply to the location where the vehicle will first be registered.

    In addition to "customer cash back" rebates, Ford also offers certain "affinity" rebates to members of particular organizations like military service members, recent graduates, and left-handed cocker spaniel breeders. Ford also offers "Conquer" rebates for those trading vehicles of a certain make and/or vintage.

    Finally, each "Plan" type can have its own additional incentives. For example, X-Plan buyers in PA are eligible for an additional $250 in cash back. These too vary from state to state, and it's essential to know which, if any, are being offered where the vehicle will be registered to ensure you know the best possible price you qualify to obtain.

    ESP warranties can also be easily negotiated. Because dealer's don't have to keep them in inventory or outlay money to stock them, warranties can be a tremendous profit center for dealers. Also, because you can buy a Ford ESP warranty from any dealer, regardless of where you purchased your vehicle, they're much easier to negotiate, even though they don't have a traditional window sticker to look at to know what the "maximum" should be.

    Fortunately, some dealers have taken to offering ESP warranties for sale on the internet, and they're even publishing their prices. Unlike the "we'll beat any other offer" game where no dealer will be willing to actually put their deal in writing, you can walk right in to the F&I office and lay out the price you can pay to buy the warranty elsewhere and give him a chance to beat it. Even the strictest dealers would be foolish to let the opportunity pass, as they know they've got the option of making a few extra dollars or not. Incredibly, some won't; but that's just as fine, unless you want to finance the cost of your warranty too. You can just go to another dealer who is willing to make the few dollars the other dealer doesn't want.

    A great place to obtain warranty prices is www.fordwarrantys.com. Of course, you could just decide to buy from them, as they've been good enough to go out on the limb of committing themselves to offering a very fair and reasonable price. Even if your vehicle dealer won't beat the warranty price, you can negotiate VERY worthwhile extras like a first-day rental option if they'll only match the competitor's offer. Because you can buy a warranty from any dealer, and redeem any unused portion of the ESP at any point, there's really no disadvantage to locking in the best deal when you know you've found it, or holding-off until you're sure you have.

    Of course, there are a thousand other useful and helpful hints and tips to buying a car, but these are what I've discovered in my long search for a Flex; and they managed to serve me pretty well. I hope they prove just as useful to someone else; and, of course, your mileage may vary. :)

    Happy Flexing.
  • idmdidmd Posts: 23
    Currently looking at an AWD '09 Flex Limited in Silver w/o two tone roof. Options include: 1) Vista Moonroof; 2) Family Entertainment DVD; 3) 6-passenger; 4) Nav; and 5) Remote start.

    I'm going through USAA and they give me quote of $37,500.00 with the $3000 incentive program. MSRP on the car is $43,345.00 and invoice is $40,443.00. Sales tax in CT is 6% or ~ $2400.00 and there are also the other assortment of fees.

    This is a cash transaction and I'm thinking of saying if we can do it for $40K or less (with all fees and taxes included) we have a deal.

    What does everyone think about that deal - good or do you think I could leverage the cash transaction part for a bit more off the price?
  • madlockmadlock Posts: 39
    If you intend to purchase the vehicle through USAA or any other fixed-price buying plan, negotiating is pretty-much irrelevant, as that's the purpose of the plans to begin with. Regardless of what the taxes and fees happen to be, the USAA price seems to be invoice plus $50.

    The "cash" portion of the transaction means nothing. If anything, it would serve to make the proposition less attractive to the dealer given that they profit from the financing they offer too. And without knowing what the "assortment of other fees" happen to be, it's impossible to know what kind of deal you're proposing.
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