The All New Ford Flex Limited is one very COOL mode of
family transport. We had the opportunity to test drive one for a family vacation a couple of weeks ago up to Muskoka. We
rented a cottage up north for an end of summer getaway.
are owners of a late model Ford minivan that is beginning to show its age, so having the opportunity to drive something new
was a nice surprise.
With 6 of us heading
up to the cottage, you can only imagine the stuff that had to come with us. My concern of course was the weather; as the
Labour Day holiday was already in our rear view mirror. We not only took the summer stuff, but also sweaters and jackets
too, just in case.
The reason I'm saying this
is because even with all our gear, food, fishing rods, toys, video games, blankets, sleeping bags, pillows, beer and wine,
we still were very comfortable during the 4 ½ hour ride up north through rush hour traffic.
What we found truly amazing about the 2013 Ford Flex Limited
was all the creature comforts that it possesses. Things like the Panoramic Vista Roof allowing the girls to see the change
in the sky as we left the lights of the city. As we reached highway 11 just north of Barrie, we began to see an awesome array
Not once during this long trek
did we hear anyone say, "are we there yet," or, "how much longer is it." The kids were more than occupied
by the entertainment system, playing a DVD movie of their choice. My oldest daughter had also forgotten to charge up her
iPod Touch, which I quickly learned was not a problem, as the test Flex was equipped with a 110-volt plug. She simply plugged
it in and was operational immediately. Add to that, the onboard refrigerator, and you have one very happy family. The girls
were able to get their own drinks and snacks from the fridge without bothering me with it every 10 minutes.
Kudos to Ford for thinking about children and all the electronic
requirements that modern day families are subjected to while traveling long distances. Again, not once did we hear from the
back of the car. My husband and I were able to isolate the music tracks that we wanted to listen to by using the Bluetooth
connectivity that comes with Ford SYNC system. Not only could you play music and make hands-free telephone calls, but also
get turn-by-turn navigation through the MY Ford Touch as well as voice to text messaging. All this designed to keep the driver
alert to changing road conditions and traffic levels.
The power and handling of the 2013 Ford Flex Limited is
also amazing. Ford has for the past several years been producing the EcoBoost engine, an exclusive design/build motor which
produces the power of a big V8, with the modern day efficiencies of a much smaller V6, 355 HP twin-turbo. Surprisingly good
fuel economy for a full size 7-passenger vehicle with all the comforts of home.
One of the neatest features we encountered, quite by accident really, was the cruise control that
adapts to road traffic volume. As my husband was driving home with the cruise activated, it automatically slowed the vehicle,
as cars got closer in front of you. When you changed lanes to pass it returned to the preset speed without even touching
the accelerator. Blind spot accident avoidance in your side mirrors lets you know when cars are in your way.
Some women that I have spoken too feel the Flex is too big, which
is really more of a reflection of their driving history. For those of us who currently drive in the minivan category, you
have got to get behind the wheel of the Flex, as it is truly a pleasure to drive and commands a lot of respect on the road.
You can also order it with Active Park Assist, and have the thing park itself for you.
Our test car was equipped with very "Hot" 20-inch wheels, which only added
to the attractiveness and sporty look of the Flex. If you get the impression that as a family, we loved this vehicle, you
would be right. If I were seriously considering a new vehicle for the family, they would all likely have me committed if
the Flex were not eventually in our driveway. The entire family is quite taken by this car, and was saddened with having
to return it to Ford.