The Ford Flex is a spacious cross between a wagon and a mini-van that Ford calls a Utility vehicle.
The boxy shape may not appeal to all, but the large and versatile interior space will.
For the 2015 model year the Flex has not changed much. The few changes that were made came in the form of increased standard equipment, and the use of more soft touch materials inside.
The standard engine is the same 3.5L V6 that delivers a healthy 287 hp and 245 lb-ft of torque. The power is transferred to the front wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The optional 3.5L Ecoboost engine makes a robust 365 hp and 350 lb-ft available, by means of turbocharging, from an early 1500 rpm to 5250 rpm.
As I write this the snow is pilling deeper and deeper and the roads are looking slick. The Flex has the option of AWD which would make carting the kids to school through that sloppy mess a cinch.
Further increasing the cars surefootedness is the available Torque Vectoring Control. This system enlists the help of the brakes to mimic a limited-slip differential, by continually varying the amount of torque being delivered to front wheels while cornering. The result is improved grip, and less understeer.
The interior is a versatile space. There is 115.8 cu.ft. of passenger space and an additional 20 cu.ft. behind the third row seats for cargo.
If you fold the third row flat the cargo area more than doubles to 43.2 cu.ft. If this is still not enough, fold the second row flat and you now have access to 83.2 cu.ft.
The seats are comfortable and spacious in the first two rows, but start to get cramped in the very back row. There are some complaints about the ease of access to the third row seating, and the prices can get expensive in the Platinum and Limited models.
The dash is clean and has a simple and logical layout. Ford fans will recognize the MY Ford touch interface that resides in the center consul and features an 8 inch screen and voice commands.
There is a lot of available tech for the 2015 Ford Flex. There is park assist, navigation, satellite radio, GPS that helps locate the closest gas station and provides up to date traffic conditions and a full raft of driver aids based on radar technology.
One option I think is helpful is the refrigerated second row consul that is large enough to chill seven 12 ounce cans. That means no more having to cart ice on camping trips.
Being a family focused vehicle the Flex offers seatbelts that inflate for the rear outboard passengers. This system is designed to reduce the severity of neck, head and chest injuries which smaller and older passengers are prone to.
Call it a wagon, mini-van, or utility vehicle; the fact remains the Ford Flex is a versatile, easy to live with, and unique family vehicle that hasn’t changed because it did not need to.