The 2013 Ford Flex earns an above average Total Car Score for the Large SUVs & Crossovers segment.
Previous Flex models have been well received by critics and buyers alike, and revisions for the new model year should only cement the big Ford’s reputation as a premier family hauler.
Though it retains its boxy shape, the Flex’s styling has been updated for 2013 with a redesigned grille -- surprisingly minus the big blue Ford oval -- and a front end that’s a little more rounded.
The bigger news is under the skin, where a new standard 3.5-liter V6 offers more horsepower than the previous engine and slightly better fuel economy. Ford’s EcoBoost turbocharged V6 is still available as an option, with V8-like power and respectable fuel economy given its power output.
Inside, the Flex’s gauge cluster, steering wheel and seat trim have been redesigned. New safety features run the gamut from rain-sensing windshield wipers to adaptive cruise control, blind-spot assist, enhanced traction and stability systems, and inflatable rear belts, designed to better protect the children riding in the rear seats.
Critics report very few complaints about the Flex. The trademark squared-shoulder styling could put off some buyers who want a sleeker look, and reviewers continue to grumble about the complexity of the MyFord Touch infotainment system. Price can be an issue too, as the Flex is not inexpensive, starting at over $30,000 for the base SE and rising to over $40,000 for the Limited trim level.
But even those who call it pricey admit that the 2013 Ford Flex is very well equipped for the money.
The 2013 Ford Flex is a crossover vehicle offering seating for up to seven passengers in three rows of seats. It is available in SE, SEL and Limited trim levels and with a choice of two V6 engines.
The tandard powertrain aboard all Flex models is a 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V6 engine that sends 285 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed automatic transmission to drive the front wheels.
All-wheel drive is available as an option on SEL and Limited models, as is the second powertrain -- a 3.5-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V6 making 355 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque and paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and AWD.
Standard equipment on Flex SE models includes cloth upholstery, power accessories, front and rear climate-control systems, a tilt/telescope steering column, Ford’s Sync connectivity system and a six-speaker sound system.
Stepping up to the SEL model upgrades the SE’s 17-inch wheels to 18s and adds heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio and Sync with MyFord Touch connectivity.
Top-tier Limited models feature 19-inch alloy wheels, a power liftgate, a backup camera, leather-trimmed first- and second-row seats, the third-row seat, pushbutton start, a 12-speaker sound system and navigation.
Major options include a refrigerated second-row console, adaptive cruise control, cooled front seats, a Class III trailer hitch and a headrest DVD entertainment system.
The EPA rates the 2013 Ford Flex with front-wheel drive and the standard V6 at 18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined. AWD models with the naturally aspirated V6 earned a 17/23/19 mpg rating, while AWD models with the EcoBoost V6 were rated at 16/23/18 mpg.
Properly equipped, the 2013 Ford Flex can tow up to 4,500 pounds.
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