As someone who has safely and successfully raised a child to her pre-teen years from behind the wheel of a Dodge Charger, I was simply never someone who felt compelled to jump on the family-friendly bandwagon of minivan, crossover and SUV offerings. Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand (and appreciate) their practicality and wealth of offerings but, simply put, such vehicles simply do nothing for me.
Chalk it up to their overall uniformity, but I’ve always felt that the majority of these vehicles tip-toe dangerously close to blandness. That said, there are the occasional exceptions: vehicles that have a distinctive appearance, surprising performance and/or tasteful inclusion of available technologies that help to set them apart from an otherwise inundated segment. Enter the 2018 Ford Flex.
While I normally criticize the slab-like appearance of many crossover SUV’s the Flex boasts an iconic box-like design, evocative of (but not cheaply copycatting) the upscale appearance of many LandRover offerings. Truth be told, my first impression was to ask myself whether I liked it, or not. Compelled by indecision, I dug deeper into its other attributes.
Priced to start around $30,195 MSRP the Flex can seat up to seven passengers, and is available in three trim levels. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is optional above the (base) SE trim level. All levels are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, channeling 287 horsepower and 254 lb-ft of torque. Moving up to the top-of-the-line Limited trim, and those numbers get bumped to 365 hp and 350 lb-ft, respectively.
Offering a spacious interior with plenty of storage compartments, the Flex speaks to passenger accommodation. This continues through the countless amenities and technology made available across its trim levels. Not limited to such infotainment features as an 8-inch touchscreen (and up to 12-speaker Sony sound system) the Bluetooth-enabled Flex can be configured to include built-in navigation and a variety of safety and driver assist features.
And you know what? After giving it some serious thought, I DO (in fact) like the looks of the Flex. It stands apart and does so with confidence. Combined with its overall affordability, and value in terms of capability and offerings, this three-row crossover earns a solid win.
Interested in a closer look at the 2018 Ford Flex? Enjoy this 8:04 video from Dave Erickson at YouTube Channel ‘Everyman Driver’ who does a great job of exploring everything that the Flex has to offer.