The 2013 Ford Flex is a boxy looking SUV, though the styling updates provide a little more style than the previous model had. Stylistically, it looks like a cross between a truck and a wagon. It does a good job as a people hauler, though, with the ability to seat up to seven passengers.
New For 2013
An updated Flex serves as a 2013 model. Styling changes have been made to the exterior, and the interior gets a redesigned instrument cluster, steering wheel, and seat trim. The Titanium has been dropped for 2013, leaving the Limited as the top-spec Flex. Ford offers three new exterior colors.
The fully galvanized steel body of the 2013 Ford Flex comes in several choices of clearcoat monotone, clearcoat two-tone, metallic monotone, or tri-coat monotone paint. A chrome or metal-look grille accents the front fascia and the aluminum wheels look stylish and come with all-season tires, which suit most weather conditions. Deep tinted windows give passengers extra privacy and security. An amazing total of three sunroofs are available for all models, save the SE, which does not get any sunroof options. Second- and third-row sunroofs even come with sunshades.
Interior & Cargo
The SE comes with manual air-conditioning, while the other models all have dual-zone automatic air-conditioning in the front. Just for the added comfort that this would give the driver and passengers, not even mentioning the many other features than remain optional on the SE, it may be worth it to move up to the next trim level—the SEL. All models come with rear air-conditioning with separate controls and an air filter so that fresh air can be custom controlled in the rear as well as in the front.
Front seats are bucket seats and the rear has a 60/40-split bench. Ford offers 40/40 bucket rear seats for all models save the SE. Third-row seats use a 50/50-split bench. Driver lumbar support comes standard for the comfort of all drivers, while the front passenger also has this luxury in all trims but the SE. Front seats are heated on all models save the SE, for added comfort during cold weather. SE and SEL seats come upholstered in cloth, while Limited seats come upholstered in luxurious leather.
The audio system is good, except on the SE, which lacks some of the features that the others have. The SEL and Limited audio system has an AM/FM/HD/Satellite/CD player. It comes complete with MP3 capability, Bluetooth compatibility, and auxiliary audio input. Voice recognition comes standard and, along with steering wheel audio controls, helps the driver control all aspects of the audio system while keeping both eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel. Music plays through six speakers on the SE and SEL, and through 12 brand speakers on the Limited. A navigation system with voice activation comes standard on the Limited and optional on the SEL. Two or three LCD screens come standard in the front, depending on the model. An entertainment system with DVD remains available for all models, which comes in handy if this vehicle is to be used as a family van, and it comes with two second-row LCD screens. A programmable garage door opener, for use with automatic garage doors, comes standard on all models save the SE.
The front-passenger seat folds flat for additional cargo carrying potential. A cargo net and cargo tie downs come standard to manage larger items and smaller items respectively.
Unfortunately, the only safety rating available for the Flex is a rollover resistance rating. On the bright side, the NHTSA gives it four out of five stars for this category. The 2013 Ford Flex comes with frontal-impact airbags for the driver and front passenger, seat-mounted side-impact driver and passenger airbags, and side-curtain airbags in the first, second, and third rows. Airbags come with an occupant sensor for additional safety. Driveline traction control and anti-lock brakes, along with brake assist, work together to help the driver stay in control of the vehicle at all times.
Parking assist comes standard, for help with parking in difficult spaces. A blind spot sensor is standard on the Limited, optional on the SEL, and unavailable for the SE. A key fob provides remote unlocking/locking of doors, for the convenience of the driver. A panic alarm deters theft. A keyless access system comes standard on the Limited, though it is unfortunately not available for the SE and SEL.
The 2013 Ford Flex comes with a 3.5-liter, 285-horsepower, V-6 engine for all models except the Limited with EcoBoost, which comes with a 3.5-liter, 365-horsepower, V-6 engine. The 285-horsepower engine gets 17-18/23-25 mpg city/highway. The 365-horsepower engine is rated at 16/23 mpg city/highway. Both engines pair with a six-speed automatic transmission with overdrive and auto-manual. The Ford Flex uses front drive or all-wheel drive. Cruise control comes standard on all models, with adaptive cruise control available on the Limited.
The Flex gets supported by a strut suspension in the front and a multi-link suspension in the rear. This combination allows for a more comfortable ride, without sacrificing handling ability. Both suspensions are supported by coil springs and gas-pressurized shocks, which work together to absorb the impact of road imperfections, giving the passengers a smoother ride. An electronic stability system and anti-roll bars help increase stability and increase rollover resistance.
Key Competitors For The 2013 Ford Flex
- Chevrolet Tahoe
- Dodge Durango
- Honda Odyssey
- Toyota Sienna