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Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017
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Ford Flex is boxy cool

The Ford Flex is melding high-tech wizardry and family transportation together in a comfortable and interesting manner. Designed on the two-box plan, the Flex offers gobs of interior room inside an attractive body.
Mechanically, the Flex is a sure bet. Built on the same basic platform as the Taurus, the six-passenger transporter is smooth on the road. It is meant to transport passengers to and fro in comfort and some say style, particularly if you're part of the techno-crowd. Ford's SYNC, powered by Microsoft, is a wonderful high-tech feature that will surely attract the techno-minded. Once you master the system, all you need to do to operate hands free calling, digital media players and USB devices is say a command such as "play album - Sugarland" or "phone." The body design is built on the two-box style with a rectangular greenhouse (windows) on top of a boxy frame. On this vehicle, the styling works. It is a new iteration of the old standard family wagon. The resemblance is brought even more to the forefront with its slotted side panels and three-row seating. The white roof treatment is more MINI-esque than family transporter, yet it works to give the Flex a contemporary look. That appeal is further broadened by the flashy front expansive grille and the clear taillight lens at the rear.
The same ties to the Taurus are even more appreciated in the all-wheel-drive system and drive train. This includes the 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces a respectable 262 horsepower. While the Flex tips the scales at just under 5,000 pounds, there's plenty of power to move this Ford easily down the road.
The interior is a bit techno but all the switching is where it should reside so that it's easily manipulated. The seats are comfortable with front buckets for driver and passenger. The second row gets captain's chairs that adjust forward and aft as well as recline. The third row will accept adults. Most folks will find the Flex is much larger than they anticipated and may feel they would get better fuel economy. Yet, when you look at the cargo and passenger room the Flex provides and the fact that it also drives all four wheels as needed, the 16 in city and 24 on highway EPA estimates are pretty good. The Flex is equipped with a comfortable interior and an excellent drive train. This is an interesting ride for any family.

Ron Moorhead, a nationally syndicated automotive columnist, can be reached at ronmoorhead@hotmail.com.

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