What's New for 2018?
Aside from the unfortunate loss of the optional rear seat entertainment system, everything carries over from the 2017 model year.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Ford Flex – The Pros
1. A Lot of Cabin Space
The 2018 Ford Flex has a lot of space located throughout the cabin. There is ample head, shoulder, and leg space to be found. The second-row feels wide-open, and even the third row is capable of packing several adults in without any discomfort.
2. Plenty of Cargo Space
Even with three rows of seats in place, the 2018 Ford Flex offers a ton of cargo space. With all seats in place, there are 20 cubic feet of space. However, with all seats folded, there are a whopping 83.2 cubic feet of space. This beats what you will find on many other SUVs and even some trucks.
3. Excellent Visbility
Outward frontal and side visibility on the Flex is superb due to the massively wide windshield, thin roof pillars, and tall side windows. Rear visibility is excellent as well, and the vehicle barely needs its rearview camera to assist with backing up. Also, the side mirrors are quite huge and provide a good amount of visual aid.
4. A Powerful Turbocharged V6 Engine
The 2018 Ford Flex comes standard with an optional turbocharged V6 engine that generates up to 365 hp. Paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, this powertrain makes the Flex's powertrain pretty strong.
5. Speedy Acceleration
Despite its size, the Flex is quite a speedy vehicle. When the EcoBoost V6 engine is equipped, the Flex can get from 0 to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, which leaves other SUVs, minivans, and trucks in the dust and can even compete with quite a few smaller sedans.
6. Easy to Enter and Exit
Since the seats are just the right height away from the ground and the doors open out pretty wide, getting in and out is easy for most drivers and passengers. Even the second and third rows are relatively easy to enter into and exit from.
7. Good Towing Capacity
If you're looking for something with a good towing capacity, the 2018 Ford Flex has it. The Flex has a max towing capacity of 4,500 pounds. This vehicle can tow a boat or loaded-up trailer with few (if any) problems.
8. The Sync 3 Infotainment System
Ford's Sync 3 infotainment system is one of the most user-friendly on the market. Whereas other systems are too touchy, not sensitive enough, or have controls that are impossible to figure out, the Sync 3 has none of those issues. Everything works well and is easy to locate on the screen, which provides a crystal-clear graphic display.
9. The Powertrain Performs Well At Full-Throttle
Although driving on slow-speed main roads can feel like a bit of a drag, the Flex's powertrain performs well under pressure. If you take it up to full throttle on the highway, the Flex gives a smooth and relaxed ride, which cannot be said for some of its competitors.
10. The 202A Options Package
The 202A options package can be slapped onto the mid-lineup SEL trim level, and it makes the SEL truly worth considering for purchase. The 202A package gives you a power liftgate, power-adjustable pedals, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, leather upholstery for the first two rows (and vinyl for the third row), driver-seat memory, an impressive 7-speaker sound system, and a 110-volt outlet.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Ford Flex – The Cons
1. Some Controls are Finicky
A few (but not all) of the controls along the center stack can be a bit finicky. The audio and climate controls are a little bit more sensitive than the others. Still, they are not as sensitive as what you find on other vehicles.
2. Second-Row Bench Seats Do Not Slide
Unfortunately, the second-row bench seats do not slide, unlike those found on competitors like the Chevy Equinox. Sliding seats are ideal for parents who cart their children around and need that extra degree of maneuverability.
3. Limited Amount of Advanced Safety Features
While many automakers are stepping up their game when it comes to equipping advanced safety features, Ford got a bit lax on the Flex. You can get the blind spot warning accident avoidance system on the line-topping Limited trim. A pre-collision accident avoidance system is not to be found on the Flex.
4. A Rear-Seat Entertainment System is No Longer Available
Ford did away with the rear-seat entertainment system option for the 2018 Ford Flex. Parents will have to find another way to entertain their children during long drives, and adult rear seat passengers might also find it a bit dull back there on long road trips.
How it Stacks up to the Competition:
2018 Ford Flex vs. 2018 Honda Pilot
The 2018 Honda Pilot is incredibly spacious, fuel efficient for a vehicle in this class, and has screens and USB ports dispersed throughout the vehicle. The noticeable downsides are that the 9-speed automatic transmission doesn't have the smoothest shifting abilities, and the touchscreen infotainment system can be glitchy.
2018 Ford Flex vs. 2018 Volkswagen Atlas
Another top competitor is the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas, which provides a ton of space, comfort, and is overall very user-friendly. It also has an appealingly athletic style. However, its acceleration cannot come close to matching the Flex's speed, and there isn't much small item storage space to be found.
The 2018 Ford Flex isn't perfect, and it looks like the Flex's expiration date could be quickly approaching. Despite feeling slightly dated and underwhelming in terms of available advanced safety features, the 2018 Ford Flex offers a lot of power, strong towing capabilities for its class, generous amounts of space, and one of the best infotainment systems on the market.
• Why buy a 2017 Ford Flex? w/ pros vs cons