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Ford Flex New Owner Reports

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Comments

  • bytesbytes Posts: 1
    I love flex, too. I just got the Flex, SE, to replace my 10 years old Villager few days ago. Of course, I love this new car more than the 10 yars old Villager. Flex has a smoother drive, roomy, quieter engine and temp indication panel is great. However, one thing I wish Ford keep the function of mini van. There is no place to put junks in the front row to easy access big items., like purse, folder or bags of snack especially great for a long trip. I also went to Detroit auto show to see if other similar cars provided the same function as mini-van. From what I saw, only Town and Country, another mini van, provides it.

    One more issue for this Flex is that I have to choose either a model with sun-roof or with 7-seater, not both. I was bump by this, too. At the end, I choose 7-seater for practical. Overall, it is a great car.
  • JTOJTO Posts: 28
    In January I test drove a Flex limited 2WD. It really was comfortable, and didn't feel nearly as big as it is. I was very impressed with the quality of this Ford... past Fords (and GM's) were a disappointment! I'm currently overseas, and I'll probably replace my Scion Xb with a bigger box (Flex) in Aug. Surprisingly the mileage isn't to far from the Xb (if people are being honest). The duratech 3.5l felt pretty good even considering the weight, but I like the sound of the ecoboost for 2010. Not so sure I want to buy the first year for this 'new' technology, though. Does anyone have any idea how much the Ecoboost will be over the NA AWD Limited?
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,210
    This link tells you all you need to know. Note that AWD is required and it will only be available on "well equipped SEL and Limited models" according to this PR.

    No official pricing has been released yet but my guess is an AWD Limited with EB is going to start somewhere between $39K and $40K.
  • JTOJTO Posts: 28
    That's probably about right. I was sent a quote for a Limited AWD, with Nav for $32k and change. I believe sticker was $39+-. I was very tempted, but why have it sit for 6 months until I returned? For me I'm hoping the dealers will be just as desperate to get these of the lots (not just Flex, but anything!). I'm an easy sell (high credit score, and a big deposit), but I'm greedy ;-) lol... you can make money on the next chump Mr salesman. I'll just get you out of the interest payments to Ford! LOL

    Thanks for the site. It has a lot of good PR info! :shades:
  • fmichaelfmichael Posts: 95
    My wife, & I are expecting our 2nd child in October so we'll soon be in the market for a larger family vehicle. Our wonderful Edge is a tad too small when ya consider all the "extras" that you need when traveling (Edge has limited cargo room).

    Does anyone out there own, or know someone who owns a Flex that has a few kids requiring child seats? If so how's the ease of access/getting in, & out along with the cargo room?

    As much of a Ford guy that I am - I question the usefulness/value the Flex would offer; that is why my wife, & I are looking into an Odyssey, or a Sienna...Any info would be appreciated.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,020
    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.

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    I own a Freestyle, which is pretty identical in interior size to the Flex and for 2 kids it works our fine; however, if one of the adults wants to sit in the second row with the new baby, then you'll need to put the other kid in the 3rd row, which will cut down on your cargo space, even with the split. We have 2 kids now and looking back I'd rather have had a minivan for some of our long road trips, but for the day-to-day driving our Freestyle is better.

    Now if you're taking more than 4 on a regular basis, then get a minivan
  • big_guybig_guy Posts: 372
    JTO, you're joking about gas mileage between the xB and the Flex ... right? unless you are refering to the Gen2 xB. Even then, there is a significant difference in mileage. I drive a Gen1 xB and average 32 mpg in mixed driving ... that is probably double what you'd expect to get in a Flex.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,020
    A reporter is looking to speak to consumers who purchased a Ford Flex and decide to drive versus fly when vacationing. Please send your daytime phone number and the vehicle you own to ctalati@edmunds.com by Friday, April 10, 2009.

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • basswoodbasswood Posts: 6
    I like my new Flex. It has all the stuff I need and then some. I wish it had a telescoping wheel, but I have learned to drive with the bottom of the steering wheel.(I've had to on every car I've owned since 1966) Lots of leg room for tall people, and the head rests are not a problem for me.
    I like the quiet ride (mostly; on my street the tires rumble quite a bit) and it corners very well, tracks around curves nicely. It has good pickup too. I'm still trying to get the Synch figured out so I can use it reliably, but I don't make a lot of phone calls so it will take a while.
    Mileage could be better; I average just over 20 in and around town, with little hwy travel.
    We didn't pay extra for a radio, but the standard issue sounds just fine to me and has plenty of adjustments for treble-bass, etc. Talk radio sounds fine.
    Dealership people were friendly and competent and I got a good deal with the $4,000 rebate on my SE. I traded in a 14 yr. old Pontiac GP. I have seen only 1 other Flex- a Saleen Special with special paint and wheels and big decal all over the windshield. I have gotten a couple of favorable coments from others about mine.
    After 800 miles, so far, so good.
  • fmichaelfmichael Posts: 95
    Thanks for the reply bobw3; just recently checked out the Flex when I had the oil changed on my Edge...There's little to no comparison to an Odyssey, or Sienna when looking for extra cargo room - the Flex is considerably smaller in that dept.
  • JTOJTO Posts: 28
    Hi,

    Is the AWD really needed in NJ? Most of my cars have been FWD, but in something this big is it needed... is it worth the expense in purchase, fuel, maintenance? I like it on a fast car, and my 4X4 truck, but how does the FWD Flex do in normal weather of the mid atlantic?

    I realize the Eco Boost can only be had with AWD, but I'm not so sure I want to buy the first year of any new engine that complicated.
  • madlockmadlock Posts: 39
    And this would be a new owner report in what way?
  • madlockmadlock Posts: 39
    I'm sure the FWD would do just fine in NJ, especially with as much weight as the Flex manages to put over the drive wheels. However, there's no question that AWD offers a considerable additional amount of "surefootedness", especially on wet, snowy, or icy roads.

    With respect to fuel, the numbers are out there. AWD adds about 180lbs of hardware, so fuel burn is affected accordingly and not enough to matter IMO. With respect to maintenance, given that I've chosen to extend my warranty to 7 years with no deductible, it makes absolutely no difference to me whatsoever. It may have added another $1,800 to the purchase price, but I'm more than happy to to have paid it for the additional road confidence it offers, and I certainly expect to receive a large portion of that back at resale through additional value, ease of sale, or both.

    Unless you live in a dry snowless climate and/or are stretching to afford the trim level you want, I think FWD would be one of the last ways I'd choose to economize.
  • basswoodbasswood Posts: 6
    Hey,
    I live in Michigan, where we get plenty of snow. I have NEVER found 4wheel drive to be an advantage that I needed. If the snow is so bad that 4 wheel drive is required, I just stay home(And so does anyone else with any sense.) FWD works just fine in 98% of the winter driving situations you will ever encounter. Save your money both for gas and for the extra expense initially. Stopping is the BIG problem in winter driving situations, and you already have 4 wheel brakes for that!
  • dano72dano72 Posts: 5
    Hello JTO, I just purchased my 09 Flex last week and I was given the same choice. Like one of the other posters I also live in Michigan. However, I have had 4WD vehicles in the past and I see their value in the winter and heavy rain conditions. While I agree you could stay home and not drive, but the what-ifs are too many in my mind (what-if it starts snowing when you are already away from home).

    I test drove both FWD and AWD that were loaded to nearly identical MSRP's. The FWD had more options than the AWD. In the end I opted for the AWD. In my opinion it was one option that was a requirement. Good luck. dano
  • edf4edf4 Posts: 65
    For winter driving primarily in NJ, FWD is fine, unless you live in a particular hilly area or the roads are not mainitained well in winter. Otherwise, save the AWD money and get yourself a full (four) set of snow tires, as they will provide a much greater advantage than AWD, (puls your regular tires will last twice as long). AWD and snow tires will help you get going, but snow tires will also help you turn and stop, which AWD will not. Plus, to maximize the gas mileage on the Flex, Ford most likley fitted the car with hard rubber, which does poorly in winter, so dedicated snow tires on a FWD Flex will most likely outperform a stock tire'd AWD Flex in winter conditions.
  • I am largely writing here as payback as this site and others helped me greatly with my car buying experience, so I will pay it forward.

    We are a small family but often have extended family along so we wanted the third row seat. I also wanted leather as this would be more durable long term (and comfortable). My son wanted the DVD. We also needed AWD (northern NJ) and a tow package to haul our pop-up camper. These items became the criteria for our search.

    We first started to look at the Flex because it fit the bill. I had never heard of it or really never saw one on the road before our first trip to the dealer (a dealer I never intended to buy from for no reason other than they were out of my way). This helped reduce the pressure of the salesman. Fortunately the salesman was new (former GM guy and that was something we would hear a lot of), and he left us alone for the test drive. Overall it was a good experience but the sticker shock and somewhat sluggish feel left us wanting to look around.

    We next looked at the Honda. The new Pilot was roomy, somewhat cool looking with off-road tendencies, and had all of our criteria. The price was good and the Pilot felt like it had more power. This would stay on our list.

    We next visited Toyota (dealer I bought my last Toyota from) and looked at the Highlander Limited. Must admit the bells and whistles were great but the sticker shock was brutal. The dealer was very pushy, nearly hostile in the negotiations and seemed only to care about making his monthly numbers. At every turn it was only in the dealers advantage and I was in a position to comprimise on what I wanted (features, colors, etc.). I had enough and walked.

    I went back to Honda mostly because they handle Internet pricing well and I had a bidding war going on (definately shop via Internet office if possible). We came within minutes of making a deal but in the end they refused to honor a deal we agreed to over the Internet (mainly holding the price for one week while I got my dead presidents in order). "Nope, gotta take it tomorrow or no deal, pricing all changes". This was clearly not what we communicated with over the net and the fact they pressured me to take possession right away (when a couple days and new month would really do nothing to hurt them). I said "you are gonna let me walk over this? really? Seriously, this is only going to get better for me the longer I wait, you can take my deposit and lock this in, and I'll be back next week". "Sorry" was there answer. We walked.

    We planned to go back to a Ford dealer on our way to another Chevy dealer. Why not give the Ford another look and they also had Nissan there so we might as well have a gander at the Pathfinder. Well the Pathfinder was simply hideous. Didn't like anything so we spent about..oh 3 minutes looking at it. We then asked to see the Flex again. By now it started to grow on us. We went for a nice ride and it was very roomy in comparison to the Highlander and Pilot, yet arguably more sluggish (well it is mammoth). The salesman was great, no pressure, take it easy kind of attitude. He gave us some numbers to consider but understood we had other dealers to visit and even offered to help us get there (really...wow). In the end we decided with the closing of some GM dealers, the closest one was simply too far and we just didn't get a warm fuzzy feeling so we never did try the Traverse.

    We went back to the Ford dealer only after some negotiations over the phone (great way as this is far easier as you can simply hang-up). Man, the numbers were great...no bull no baggage, just slightly over invoice, very slightly. Ok, we need to take a much closer look at Ford.

    We agreed to head back for a closer look only after they found the exact model we were looking for (and they found one somewhere else, brought it over, cleaned it up, and we had no firm committment yet). We looked, again stressing we are looking, and they said "ok, take your time". Wow, no pressure. So we took a good long time looking and agreed this was it. A few more minutes of some paperwork prep and we were on with our weekend. We agreed to come back the following week. This gave us plenty of time to get the money together but perhaps more importantly do more research to be very clear we are prepared to make the best decision.

    After negotiating the price I then studied the Finance and Insurance side of the business (which is often where the real money is made). Bottom line we agreed not to buy anything extra and the only thing in play would be the rebates and APR. I did all the math and figured if they could beat 5% APR we could easily take the rebates over the 0% and be ahead of the game. And that is exactly what happended. Great APR and $4500 in rebates. We had a good deal. The dealer made a few bucks on the car (not much) and perhaps a couple bucks on the APR and we had a great monthly price. We closed the deal in less than an hour (and I stressed this point before the Finance sit down - in and out in an hour or less or lose the deal). The finance guy knew he was beat and really didn't try too hard to push products.

    Ok here is the main take-aways:

    Always shop around, Internet is best as you avoid the sales cubicle and might fall victim to the BS session on confusing numbers.

    Always shop for the car price - never monthly. You will get a much better deal by shopping the car price and doing your own homework to figure out the monthly. If you must go on a monthly figure, go 50 to 75 bucks less than your ideal payment to give YOU some room, but again go for the car price.

    Know your credit and what you can realistically afford. Do this all on your own and if needed secure your own financing. The dealer can run your report and give you a subject finding and an inflated APR (based on your unfortunate credit - blah).

    Know what you want in the car, including service agreements or warranties. Shop around as other dealers can also sell these products. I say this because the finance and insurance guy (the closer) will pressure you to tack on some bills to give you coverage, coverage you likely never need.

    Shop around, take drives. I would test drive at dealers you never intend to buy and then also try to avoid going inside the office where they can temp your emotions. This gives you neutral territory to shop. Then circle back to a local dealer you can trust (maybe) and try them out.

    Good luck

    2009 Ford Flex SEL w/ AWD. Silver with two tone white top, convienience package, lighting package, tow package, Sync, Roof rails, Rear DVD system. $36200 minus $4500 in rebates.$31700. Not bad!
  • cmunizcmuniz Posts: 604
    Good process....good advise.
  • jontyreesjontyrees Posts: 159
    I have had a flex as a rental for the last few days since my '08 Taurus went in for minor body repairs. I like almost everything about the Flex - handles well, love the transmission, decent performance for a heavy vehicle with a 6-cyl, very comfortable seats, good Sony stereo (though strangely not as good as the Ford Premium stereo in the Taurus), third row is easy to put up and down. On the minus side are the intrusive headrests, which also make the poor rear/side visibility worse, minimal cargo space behind the 3rd row (it's not remotely close in carrying capacity to the 21 cu ft trunk in my Taurus no matter what the stats say, and the same no-telescoping steering wheel as the Taurus. But the absolute deal killer for me would be this - a set of golf clubs does not fit across the cargo area because of the plastic bins on either side. It sounds petty, but you have the choice of having your longest club support the weight of the whole bag while flexed against one of the bins, or if you put the 3rd row down, placing the clubs lengthwise in the bed. Reaching forward and picking up the clubs in this position is guaranteed to give you a back injury. Surely one of the most common items carried in the back of a car should be one of the first items allowed for when planning the dimensions. It's just so dumb.
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