2019 Ford Flex Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
The 2019 Ford Flex offers buyers a unique alternative to most midsized SUVs. The Ford Flex stands out with an identity that defies the expectations of a midsized SUV. The Flex offers low ground clearance and a square exterior design. Many buyers will be attracted to the unique look of the Flex and the easy accessibility of the lower stance. The Flex has been around for a while. It seats seven with ease, and offers great cargo capacity. The Flex provides buyers that are tired of all the look alike SUVs with a different approach to SUV design. Despite its unique styling, the Flex also offers competitive add on packages that compete with rivals. Buyers will also like the flexible seating and technology advancements most people expect from a quality SUV.
What's New for 2019:
The Flex has seen very few changes since its redesign in 2016.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2019 Ford Flex – The Pros
1. Low Stance
The 2019 Ford Flex offers some of the best accessibility in the class. Its low stance makes it easy to get in and out. The low liftover height makes it easy to load and unload cargo as well.
2. Flexible Seating Options
The 2019 Ford Flex comfortably seats seven people with best in class second row leg room. Buyers can opt for the six person Flex with second row reclining bucket seats instead of the standard bench seat. The Flex also offer power fold flat third row seating. The Ford Flex Limited offers third row tailgate seating. The tailgate seating option allows passengers to tip the third row seat back and sit facing backwards.
3. Optional Safety Features
The 2019 Ford Flex comes standard with a backup camera and rear parking sensors. Buyers can step up technology upgrades that include the blind spot information system, adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake assist. The blind spot information system is available on the SEL and included on the Limited. The adaptive cruise control is available on the Limited.
4. Active Park Assist
Active park assist is available on the 2019 Ford Flex Limited. The park assist system will locate a suitable spot to park while driving, then steer the Flex into the spot automatically. The driver is only responsible for shifting into gear, braking and accelerating.
5. Optional Turbocharged V6
The Ford Flex can be upgraded to the EcoBoost turbocharged V6 in the Limited trim level. The EcoBoost engine is a 365 horsepower 3.5 liter V6. It also upgrades the Flex Limited to include steering wheel mounted paddle shifters for manual driving excitement. The EcoBoost engine offers some of the best horsepower available in a midsize SUV.
6. Standard and Optional Traction Control Options
Every Ford Flex comes equipped with AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control. The system will automatically apply individual brakes and limit engine power to maintain vehicle stability in a variety of situations. Also available in the upper trim levels of the 2019 Ford Flex is intelligent all wheel drive. The AWD in the Ford Flex shifts power between the front and back wheels to increase stability and handling.
7. SYNC 3 Infotainment System
Available on the 2019 Ford Flex is Ford's SYNC 3 mobile device integration. The SYNC 3 system can automatically pair to the driver's mobile device when started. The SYNC 3 system allows the driver to continue mobile device applications on the eight inch color touch screen. The SYNC 3 offers voice command capability and navigation through Sirius XM's Traffic and Travel Link.
8. Optional Phone Integration
The SYNC 3 infotainment system also allows iPhone and Android mobile device users to link their phones to the Flex using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These features allow users to keep connected using Siri or Google Assistant through voice commands and control phone features from the touchscreen.
9. FordPass Mobile App
The Ford Flex also offers optional FordPass mobile app capabilities. The app can be downloaded to the driver's phone and offer assistance finding local gas stations and prices, as well as parking and parking reservation information. The app also connects the user to 24/7 access to trained Ford guides.
10. Distinctive Look
One of the main calling cards of the 2019 Ford Flex is its distinctive appearance. The square exterior contrasts sharply with the majority of midsize SUVs available. Many buyers will be attracted to the unique exterior design as well as the added accessibility and large rear loading area.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2019 Ford Flex – The Cons
1. Subpar Base Engine
The 2019 Ford Flex base engine is a 287 horsepower 3.5 liter V6. It gets an average 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. Neither the horsepower or the fuel economy stand out against competitors. The optional EcoBoost V6 adds plenty of extra horsepower, but is only available at the top trim level. This leaves the buyer with a base engine that can struggle when the Flex is loaded with passengers or cargo.
2. Poor Standard Audio System
The Ford Flex comes standard with an AM/FM radio, single CD player and MP3 capability. It is operated by a 4.2 inch LCD display without touchscreen capabilities. The Flex also comes standard with a six speaker audio system. Buyers will have to step up to the second trim level to get access to the SYNC 3 audio system and eight inch color touchscreen.
3. Subpar Interior
The 2019 Ford Flex is on the low end of the spectrum when it comes to interior comfort and quality. The seats have been said to be less than comfortable and the interior has not been updated in ten years. The Flex does not offer rear zone climate control even on upper trim levels. The adjustable and reclining 40/40 bucket seat option for the second row does make some effort to increase comfort.
4. Nothing Significantly New for a Long Time
The 2019 Ford Flex is very similar to the 2016 Ford Flex, save some small details. It has always offered a distinctive and unique approach to the midsize SUV, but nothing of note has been done to upgrade the features in more than a few years.
How it stacks up to the competition:
Compared to its competitors in the midsize SUV category, the Ford Flex falls behind most with a lack of interior comfort and not a lot of standard features. Some rivals, like the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot, are at a similar base price. The Highlander offers more comfortable seating and a nicer interior as well as a more fuel efficient base engine. The base engine in the Highlander is a four cylinder compared to the Flex's V6. The extra fuel economy in the Highlander comes at a steep cost in horsepower compared to the Flex. The Flex also has the distinctive exterior compared to the Highlander or the Pilot and offers a similar warranty. The Pilot lacks a standard touchscreen infotainment system and only offers one engine. The Pilot offers a V6 with 280 horsepower and similar fuel economy compared to the Flex. It has also been said to have a lower quality interior, but does offer more standard driver safety features. Buyers will have to weigh the pros and cons when comparing a Flex and a Pilot.
The Ford Flex offers a unique exterior design and easy access for passengers and cargo. It also provides flexible seating options and an optional turbocharged V6. Overall, the Flex provides an adequate driving experience with a variety of upgrades for comfort and technology. The Flex also features advanced park assist and other high end features. Most buyers will notice the roomy interior and power liftgate that make the Flex a spacious, accessible SUV. It is not just a middle of the road midsized SUV. It offers an alternative for buyers that are just not interested in all the other SUVs in the class that tend to look the same. The addition of the SYNC3 infotainment system means better connectivity while driving. Most buyers will want to upgrade trim levels to get access to all the great features available in the Ford Fusion SEL or Limited. Both of the upper trim levels can also be equipped with advanced driver safety features and intelligent AWD systems. In all, the Flex offers great value as a daily use vehicle with a little added style mixed in.
• Why buy a 2018 Ford Flex? w/ pros vs cons