Ford Flex’ able New England vacation


A great note of thanks to Maxine Patenaude of Thornley Fallis Communications for putting me behind the wheel of another fab 4-wheeled product.

My 10-day romance with the 2013 Ford Flex SEL included a jaunt to New England, on a 7-day family vacation to Rye Beach, New Hampshire.



I can say, having spent considerable time with this vehicle, the Flex is the possibly the most efficient family hauler I’ve had the pleasure of driving. From front to back and from side to side, the new Ford Flex is the ultimately distinctive; offering comfort and unique styling.



I was a tad apprehensive that the Flex would be a ride I could enjoy, with its long boxy stance and a silhouette more reminiscent of an old-school gangster car than a modern Crossover Utility Vehicle.  

The look and feel grew on me, I must say.

My first impression of the Ford Flex, after getting past its long rectangular footprint was a feeling of modern style and effortless driving. This beast is both extremely comfortable and roomy for all seven passengers. Even my wife’s 7-passenger van offers limited leg room to the back passengers, while this one does not.



The interior space, fit and finish were just great and I found the windows offered excellent visibility from all around. Passenger and cargo space was more than adequate too with 4 adults and two 5-foot-something teens on-board.

Ford’s fancy Sync and MyFord Touch system is displayed in a groovy 8″ LCD screen, and as fun to play with as new toy, once you get used to it. Having tested a few of these newer models now, I’ve become fairly adept at the touch screen technology. My wife and I also had great enjoyment with the built-in Sirius Satellite radio.

“70’s on 7 please!”



The Flex also features a neat ‘flip and tumble’ feature to gain access to back row seating. With a touch of the button, second seats are cleverly folded out of the way to allow entry for back row passengers. I made of point of spending time in the back seat and was amazed at how spacious and comfortable it was.


The SEL model  I tested comes standard with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that pushes out 287 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque, which I found to be more than adequate even with a full family load. If more power is to your liking, the higher trim model comes with a whopping 365 horsepower EcoBoost turbo($3000 upgrade).

With the SEL’s combined full economy hovering at around 20 mpg, I’ll stick with the standard power plant and, although I didn’t haul anything this time, the solid 4500 pound towing capacity would have made short work of our camper trailer.



Although  not a full-fledged off-road vehicle, the Flex’s AWD traction was quite apparent; giving this beefy ride superior traction on the I89, or cruising up and down the curvy Seacoast Highway from Hampton Beach, New Hampshire to Kittery, Maine.



One of the more interesting redesign features of the new Flex is the front grill which, turned out to be a real head turner. I had several people comment on it during our beach house vacation. Young people in particular seem to appreciate the retro styling.


For those who aren’t used to a larger vehicle, the Flex does carry with it Michael Jordan shoe-sized footprint, and requires extra caution when parking and maneuvering into tighter spaces.

In the end, the 2013 Ford Flex SEL provided great family fun and was a joy to drive on a long trip. Anyone looking for top-of-the-line style and comfort and a radical change to your drab old minivan, this is the vehicle for you.