I recently had the opportunity to try out the 2013 Ford Flex – and I must admit, I was smitten as soon as I laid eyes on it. The stunning deep impact blue was incredibly flashy and the chrome details grabbed my attention right away. Now ladies, we all know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I will admit this time I did. I knew right away this vehicle was going to be a pleasure to drive!
Ford says, The new three-row, seven-passenger 2013 Ford Flex offers comfort and advanced technology in a distinctive package, including a sleek new front end, modern interior and six all-new wheel styles. It comes equipped with My Ford Touch, industry-inclusive rear inflatable seat belts, collision-avoidance technologies, rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry, first-row heated and cooled seats, and power-fold mirrors.
The new Flex is available with the automobile’s first production rear inflatable belts to offer improved comfort and protection for rear seat passengers. The advanced restraint system is designed to help reduce head, neck and chest injuries for rear seat passengers, often children and older passengers who can be more vulnerable to such injuries. My two oldest boys (6 and 4.5) found the back seat to be roomy and comfortable and I felt confident in having them back there. I often feel nervous having my children way back in the third row, but in the Flex I didn’t feel the need to question their safety. Advances in airbag inflation and safety belt construction methods have enabled Ford and its suppliers to develop inflatable seat belts that are designed to deploy over a vehicle occupant’s torso and shoulder in 40 milliseconds in the event of a crash.
There was plenty of room for all 4 of our childrens’ car seats, including our rear-facing Britax Chaperone. We often run into a bit of a challenge with the large size of this infant car seat and the seat in front of it, but the Flex provided more than enough space for the infant seat to sit safely and the person in the front to have plenty of room to adjust his seat. And the leather seats are gorgeous- a must when you have small children!
The new Flex also boasts available radar-enabled adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support and Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert. These technologies help drivers avoid potential accidents using radar to detect the relative position of other vehicles and warn the driver with a combination of visual and audio alerts. I’m sure there will be many husbands who will find this feature rather impressive, given the general “discrimination against woman drivers” thing (ahem).
I found the Flex to be incredibly quiet – very minimal cab noise on the highway, which hummed my baby right to sleep on most occasions. The front shock towers are wrapped with sound absorbers, making it virtually noiseless. It drives beautifully, the steering is light and smooth, the driver’s zone is modern and sophisticated, and there’s even an option for a second-row refrigerated console. The second-row console was a bit of an inconvenience for us as a large family, as the older boys were required to climb over the console in order to get to the third row. Although the second row seats are designed to fold and slide to allow rear passengers, this wasn’t an option with car seats in place. Removing the second row console would be the only option, in this scenario.
Installing the car seats into the Flex was effortless. The headrest did need to be raised to accomodate the second-row forward-facing seat. This created a blind spot, however the Blind Spot Information System took care of that, where a little light in the side mirror lights up if there’s a vehicle in your blind spot. There’s plenty of space in the rear for your cargo, and in my case, the never-ending loads of groceries. I was able to fit my stroller and several large grocery bags in the back with room to spare.
The back-up camera was a hit with our boys, who excitedly encouraged me to back up as many times as possible. The sunroof and sleek dashboard made me feel like one sophisticated soccer momma – and man, does this car turn heads! If you’re looking for the convenience and practicality of an SUV or van but the style and fuel economy of a car, the 2013 Ford Flex has all of that and more. 5 Stars from us!
The 2013 Flex will be available by the end of summer 2012!