Some buyers consider it a large wagon, while others see it as just another crossover. Regardless of where it falls in buyers’ eyes, the Ford Flex has tons to offer, like ample performance, a roomy interior, and loads of features. But despite all the good, buyers have shied away from the Flex, bringing about reports of its elimination in 2020.

Pricing and Equipment

The 2017 Ford Flex starts from $30,920 (including a $895 destination charge) for the base SE trim, but we expect the better-equipped SEL trim to be among the most popular versions. The Flex SEL starts from $33,625 and comes standard with:

  • Eighteen-inch wheels
  • Fog lights
  • Keyless entry, push-button ignition
  • Remote start
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Power front seats
  • Eight-inch touchscreen with Sync3 infotainment
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

The base engine is a 3.5-liter V6 with 287 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. But buyers who prefer the highly rated twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter V6 with its 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, they must bump up to the range-topping Limited trim ($38,230) and pay an extra $6,250 for the package that includes the turbocharged engine. It's not cheap, but it is worth it.

Performance Pros

Ford Flex

The Ford Flex is quite large for a crossover, but its two V6 engines have plenty of power to get this people mover going.

  • Refined ride and handling, especially for its size.
  • Turbocharged engine is a hoot on a vehicle of this size – plenty of power in all conditions helps you forget you're driving a Flex.
  • Base V6 is adequately powerful and confident when passing on the highway

Performance Cons

  • Fuel economy is not very impressive at up to 16 miles per gallon city, 23 highway, and 19 combined. Blame the brick-like aerodynamics and substantial curb weight.
  • The electric steering is light and lifeless, which isn't much of a surprise in this segment.

Interior Pros

  • The first and second row seats are very comfortable and supportive.
  • The upper trim levels become quite luxurious.
  • Even six-footers can fit in the third row.

Interior Cons

Ford Flex
  • Though it’s roomy, third-row seats’ padding is thin.
  • The cabin is a peaceful place with limited road and wind noise.
  • The New Sync 3 infotainment system is better than before, but still behind the competition.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

The performance of this 4,600-pound crossover is quite impressive. The base V6 isn’t a tremendous performer, but its turbocharged counterpart is lively and moves the Flex with haste. It also handles quite well, the steering is nicely weighted, and its brakes are plenty powerful. Also, the Flex Limited with the optional $1,495 Appearance Package looks dynamite to our eyes.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

The Flex’s safety ratings are not terrible, as it received an “Acceptable” rating in the small-overlap test and “Good” in the others. But these ratings do lag behind some competitors, and its most advanced safety features, like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise, and forward collision warning, are only available as options on the range-topping Limited trim. It also lacks automatic emergency braking – even as an option.

The Bottom Line

The 2017 Ford Flex is a great crossover with tons to offer families, like room for seven passengers, decent performance, and premium features. But some families may find its station wagon-like looks a turnoff and its lack of the most modern safety goodies, like automatic emergency braking, unacceptable.