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Ford Flex New Owner Reports

2

Comments

  • 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.
  • We finally bought a Flex and the decision was in no small part due to the great long term review provided by Edmunds.com. Ours is a Red, AWD Limited with a white roof (Tow Pkg, Vista, Family DVD, 40/40 2nd row). I admit that we discussed the looks quite a bit, but once we bought it, all the concern went away. Not only that, but it has become a magnet. Friends, lots of friends, come by just to check it out. When they climb inside, they get this big grin and talk about how much they like it.

    Favorite Elements - The looks (especially with the white roof), the space, Sync, split-fold seats in every row, the pass through to the third row is a good size, great visibility, the recess behind the 3rd row is just the right size and height for groceries.

    Least Favorite - The mileage is great on the highway, but in the teens around town, the often noted gap in the ceiling liner, the 2nd row seats don't lock as easily as they should, the white roof is marginally executed. You see feathering when you look through the sunroof.

    Final thoughts - We are absolutely loving the car and its looks (You get a lot of looks). However, if you buy one be sure to check the roof liner in the front. You may find that it is not securely fastened and is hanging more than an inch lower than it should. If you have a sunroof, open it and look at the gap between the liner and the roof.
  • I had an opportunity to rent a Ford Flex sel for 10 days. Enterprise Rental offered it for $5 a day over the cost of a compact.

    My vacation was in Maui. My speeds averaged 40 mph since the highest posted speed limit on the island is 55 mph. The flex had 4000 miles on the odmeter.

    Overall I was very impressed with the Flex. The ride was smooth. Very good steering response. Easy to drive. The seat comfort was good. Lots of space, especially with the rear seats down. Liked the backup warning beep.

    Minor gripes was the base Sony stereo, which was just average. I loved the blue instrument panel at night for its looks but found them hard to quickly identify which button to push while driving. I wished the headlights were brighter at night. And I averaged 20 mpg (I thought it would be better with the speeds I drove).

    Definitely still on my list to purchase. But I will wait to see what the Ford C-Max offers when it comes out next year.
  • Does this vehicle have a quiet ride or at interstate speeds is there a lot of road noise?
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,213
    Very quiet on the highway and virtually no road noise is heard at all. I have an '09 Limited which has laminated front side and windshield glass but the SE and SEL trims, sans the laminated glass, are nearly as quiet from what I've read.
  • Hey everyone or anyone:

    We've had our 2010 Cinnamon Flex for about 90 days now and with me the jury's still out. The wife loved it the moment she saw it and was sold the moment her hini hit the front seat. My brother actually builds them and it's unanimous even with the guys on the line " they grow on you" Our mileage is rock steady @ 9lt / 100km indicated digitally on the dash as are many useful & useless stats. It really is a dream to drive and feels absolutely enormous inside. I should point out that we haven't had the finances to purchase new in some time, so anything is a dream at first.
    I still contend that the second row of seats should move or slide back and forward to adjust foot space. It literally feels like your riding in a limo back there but with the ability to slide it forward a tad even the third rowers would feel important. Everything we looked at with third row seating, which aren't that many in this price range unless you include mini-vans lacked any substantial space way way back in the third row. They all do a good job of hiding or stowing the rear seats but none that we could find were much better seating wise than for the grand kiddies.

    In honesty I wanted the Edge, Mama wanted the Flex and the third row was important if only for the grandkids. * Note how she selects a vehicle with the grand kids in mind but makes certain there as far back from her as possible when driving. The headrests are a nuisance at first but you do get used to them. I only just heard on the forums here about a 180 degree adjustment and I'm not quite sold on that just yet. The wifes put 12000 km on in just 3 months which really is high for her but maybe an indication? We also bought a 2008 Dodge Caliber with very low mileage around the same time for our teen-age daughters and for the most part thats what I drive. The wife just cringed both times she had to drive the Caliber and yet she was all " this is the one" when we decided on it. Another indication of her affection for the Flex?

    All in all I have no real issues or even complaints with the wifes, ooops, I mean our Flex. It will always look a little odd or different to me, but when Mama's happy, well then I'm happy.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,011
    New Flex owners, please stop by this discussion and tell us what you think of the head restraints on your Flex.

    New Head Restraints – Safety, Torture, or Both?

    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.

  • ttwebttweb Posts: 17
    Well I bought a new Flex Ecoboost (AWD Limited) and I absolutely love it. Delivered with 209 miles on it and now after 1 week I am at about 1900 miles!!! Much of that was a long drive from Minnesota to Wisconsin and back home to Arkansas.
    The Flex handles great, drives quiet but after that many miles I have discover one unusual problem that I am having difficulty trouble shooting. I was driving the interstate system at average speeds of 75-80mph. Both Saturday and Sunday through Missouri I noticed what can best be described as a rolling vibration. Kind of like the waves washing up on the shore. Every 4-5 seconds there would be this silent, strong vibration that I could feel both through the steering wheel and the seat. Then it would fade for a few seconds and then return.
    I tried the following tests to see if I could control it:
    - I sped up to 100mph twice to see if it would intensify greatly with higher speed (tire related). It did not. But it was more noticeable at 80 than at 75.
    - I turned off the climate system to see if it was related to the A/C compression. It did not go away.
    - I turned off the cruise control. No change.

    I thought it might be related to wind hitting the car and just the right frequency or something but I experienced it both in a crosswind (Driving West with a wind from the North) and a tail wind (driving south with a wind from the North.).
    There seemed to be some relief from it when turning along a shallow corner in the freeway.

    My guess would be that it has something to do with the drive train or the the anti-sway feature applying the engine management and/or brakes at a certain frequency.

    Any guesses, thoughts, additional trouble shooting recommendations before I take it to the dealer. I just know this is going to be one of those difficult to diagnose problems by a dealer, especially in a small town with very few Flex's around. Just trying to increase my odds of finding the problem quickly.

    Thanks in advance for any and all input on this. Otherwise the vehicle is an absolute dream to drive and ride in.
  • jonerobjonerob Posts: 8
    your tires that is? :confuse: , return to your selling dealer if :mad: possible have them balanced or replaced if they are hankooks, get the goodyear RSA.
  • csherrencsherren Posts: 14
    I am having the same issues. The car rattles and shakes when driving, the back and back passenger hits the bumps hard. My flex has been in 5 times and i am very frustrated :mad:
  • csherrencsherren Posts: 14
    I am experiencing the same vibration while driving and going over bumps my car feels like an army hmmvee. The car has been in the service over 5 times.I am so frustated. I cannot drive with both back windows down without it feeling like the car is going to fall apart. ; :cry:
  • csherrencsherren Posts: 14
    I have taken my car/flex in over 5 times for the rough ride/rattling and shaking. i do not think the dealer is taking me serious. I called ford and they told me the service director at sheehy ford springfield va said it is supposed to ride rough. I am scared that there is something wrong they are not addressing and the saftey of my child
  • csherrencsherren Posts: 14
    hey
    did some research, i would take it to the dealer and have them look at it and repair it. If the problem still persists keep taking it back and document everything. I live in VA and the Lemon Law states you have to have it in at least 3 times for the same issue and then you have to give teh dealer a letter of notice (go to lemon laws.com for sample letter) you have 18 months from the time you purchase, 3 times, letter and they have one more chance to fix it.
  • jonerobjonerob Posts: 8
    If you have a bad taste :sick: in your mouth from this vehicle, try the lemon law :lemon: . I like my car and would not have bought it if I did not. I'll fix what's wrong and have them fix it at their expense if it's related to something they did. I bought a LINCOLN MKt, it's the brother to the FLEX with rounded edges and a few more options and less third row head room but I'm not complaining because I don't sit back there :shades: . I would only go with the lemon law if the defect was terminal to the motor/transmission or a safety related electrical gremlin. Make them replace your rims and tires if you really like the FLEX.
  • csherrencsherren Posts: 14
    Hey there,
    Love the Flex, but really its been in there 5 times and they still cannot get it fixed. Does not seem like they are really intersted in finding the issue especailly when they are stuffing cushion on the roof interior as a solution. As a single mom i am always running around (only one car) so it gets kind of hectic if the car is always in the shop.
  • ttwebttweb Posts: 17
    Got it to the Ford Dealer on Monday. The front two tires were a little out of balance. No issue when they road force tested them however. But after the balance, all seems to be working as it should. I haven't had the opportunity to take it on an extended freeway drive but the short segments have been fine.

    Other than that the vehicle has been flawless. Now have 2300 miles on in just over two weeks.

    Again thank you all for the ideas.

    Tom
  • csherrencsherren Posts: 14
    Great to hear!!
    Mine still shakes, rattles down the road and a little swaying from left to right. Still waiting to hear from Ford. I sent a formal letter for the issue to be repaired. I do not think it is normal and the dealer wrote me off saying it is supposed to ride rough!!
  • ttwebttweb Posts: 17
    I actually think the ride of the Flex is just fine. Mine has the 20inch rims so you notice bumps but I have a far firmer ride in my PT Cruiser.
    And yes if you put the back two windows down only you will get some wild turbulence that sounds like a rumble because the air as no escape out the rear of the car. If you open all four, it is not likely to happen.
    The vibration I had was only at freeway speeds and proved to be from the tires being slightly out of balance.
  • csherrencsherren Posts: 14
    Yes I uderstand, and happy yours rides right. I have RATTLING,SHAKING and CLA CLUNK in the back of the car. I understand the NORMAL ride. But the car should NOT RATTLE OR SHAKE. SORRY
    MINE does NOT ride RIGHT. I have NUMEROUS people ride in the car so NO I am not a CRAZY WOMAN!!
  • ttwebttweb Posts: 17
    Agreed. Did not mean to indicate that your car issues are not real. My apologies.
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