2013 Ford Flex

SE FWD 4-Dr Sport Utility V6 auto trans

2013 ford flex Reviews and News

2013 Ford Flex Front Three Quarters In Motion 2
The refreshed 2013 Ford Flex was first shown to the public at the Los Angeles auto show last fall, but the sunny climes of California couldn't have seemed farther away as we drove the Flex through snow, ice, rain, and sleet in western Oregon. It's a good thing our test cars were equipped with all-wheel drive and a full set of safety technologies.
Before we started driving, though, we had time to admire the facelift applied to the 2013 Flex. The old model's three-bar chrome front grille has been swapped out for a single chrome bar that fits between two black plastic trim pieces. The large Ford oval badge has been removed from the nose, replaced by large F-L-E-X lettering on the leading edge of the hood.
New black surrounds for the optional xenon headlights make for an even more imposing front-end design. The lower fascia gets a restyled air intake and fog lights, and all of the available wheels are redesigned. Dual chrome exhaust tips become standard on all Flex models, and many of the interior trim pieces are new for 2013. An optional Appearance Package further dresses up the three-row crossover with a black roof and mirrors, unique 20-inch wheels, leather seats, and special door trim panels.

Engine and Chassis Changes

Under the hood, the base 3.5-liter V-6 engine receives variable valve timing, boosting output by 25 hp and 6 lb-ft of torque to 287 hp and 254 lb-ft. The update also improves fuel economy slightly, to 18/25 mpg (city/highway) for front-wheel drive versions and 17/24 mpg with all-wheel drive. The engine proved smooth at all speeds and easily propels the Flex, even when our 4637-pound test car was weighed down by three passengers. For 2013, the six-speed automatic transmission's shift lever gains a toggle switch allowing drivers to change gears manually. However, even in manual mode the transmission will kick down under hard acceleration and change up before the engine's redline.
The optional EcoBoost twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 engine, available only with all-wheel drive, is unchanged at 365 hp and 350 lb-ft. It transforms the family-friendly crossover into a rocket, providing huge dollops of torque that make the Flex feel as quick as some sport compacts. We drove an EcoBoost Flex only briefly, but had plenty of fun on the Oregon Coast Highway.
All versions of the 2013 Flex have stronger brakes and other chassis updates. The former is courtesy of a larger brake master cylinder and booster, drastically reducing pedal travel and making for a firmer, more consistent feel. In fact, the front brakes are now identical to those on the Taurus SHO performance sedan. The non-EcoBoost Flex also gains electric power steering, which makes the car up to four percent more fuel efficient while also increasing steering feel. The new rack has a faster ratio and is hard-mounted to the front subframe to further improve precision. Retuned spring and damper rates on both models are designed to provide more responsive handling. We found the sum of the chassis changes made the Flex feel predictable and communicative, a boon on narrow winding roads covered in slush and ice.

Silence and Safety

Inside, many trim pieces have been updated, and the instrument cluster now has a single analog speedometer flanked by two LCD screens. Technologies including push-button start, rain-sensing wipers, remote start, and power-folding mirrors join the options list, while Ford's Sync voice-recognition system becomes standard equipment. Also on board is the latest version of the MyFord Touch infotainment system, updated for 2013 with clearer menus and more responsive controls.
The Flex's cabin is now quieter thanks to the addition of sound-deadening materials on the front shock towers, dashboard, hood, and rear wheel liners. By stopping what Ford calls "airborne" noise (as opposed to rumblings transmitted through the body of the car), the extra insulation makes the 2013 Flex between ten and 15 percent quieter than the old model. While we couldn't quantify the quietness change, a passenger in the third row of seats had no problem conversing with us at a normal volume.
Befitting a vehicle designed to carry families, the 2013 Flex also receives more safety gear. The optional Adaptive Cruise Control features a collision warning system that beeps and flashes red lights if the driver is about to rear-end another vehicle. Whereas some cars have the radar sensor for these systems visible in the front fascia, the Flex's unit is cleverly hidden behind a plastic panel in the lower grille opening.
Other such technologies include a blind-spot warning system; Curve Control, which can automatically slow the Flex by up to 10 mph if it enters a turn too quickly; and Torque Vectoring, which can apply one of the front brakes to prevent understeer when cornering. Ford's rear-seat inflatable seatbelts also join the options list. They are designed to reduce the risk of injuries to smaller passengers, and have proven a very popular option on the Explorer.

Will They Buy It?

The Ford Flex is a compelling alternative to a minivan or large SUV because it offers smart styling, generous interior room, and a pleasant driving experience. But the numbers don't reflect that: Flex sales have tumbled each of the last three years, and so far this year the Flex is the slowest-selling Ford vehicle on the market. Ford hopes that this slew of visual, mechanical, and safety updates will make the 2013 Flex more appealing to buyers, but they may not be enough to move this vehicle out of the shadow of the Explorer.


2013 Ford Flex Limited AWD
On sale: Now
Base price: $42,005 (including $825 destination charge)
Price as tested: $44,270
Engine: 3.5L V-6, 287 hp, 254 lb-ft
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive: 4-wheel
2013 Ford Flex
2013 Ford Flex

New For 2013

An updated Flex went on sale last spring as a 2013 model. Styling changes were made to the exterior, and the interior got a redesigned instrument cluster, steering wheel, and seat trim. The Titanium model has been dropped for 2013, leaving the Limited as the top-spec Flex. There are three new exterior colors.


The Ford Flex is as adept at moving people and their belongings as is a minivan, and it is as satisfying to drive as a sport wagon. Unfortunately for Ford, however, the Flex’s dynamic qualities haven’t translated to real-world sales; the Flex is the slowest-selling passenger vehicle in the Ford lineup. To address some of the Flex’s perceived shortcomings, Ford introduced a face-lifted and updated 2013 model that went on sale last spring. The Flex’s styling has been updated with a new, one-bar grille, new headlamps, and new wheel styles. Under the hood, the base 3.5-liter V-6 receives variable valve timing, increasing output to 287 hp and 254 lb-ft. The EcoBoost V-6—available only on the top-spec Limited—provides V-8- like power while matching the fuel economy of the base V-6. All versions of the 2013 Flex have stronger brakes and other chassis updates. The former are courtesy of a larger brake master cylinder and booster, drastically reducing pedal travel and making for a firmer, more consistent feel. In fact, the front brakes are now identical to those on the Taurus SHO. The non-EcoBoost Flex gains electric power steering. All-wheel drive is available with the normally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6. EcoBoost Flexes get standard all-wheel drive. As before, interior amenities abound, but you’ll have to pay extra for many of them.


Front, side, and side curtain air bags; ABS; traction and stability control; tire-pressure monitors; a reverse sensing system; and programmable MyKey are standard. Inflatable second-row outboard safety belts are optional. Blind-spot mirrors are standard on S and SE; BLIS is standard on Limited and optional on SE. A rearview camera and adaptive cruise control with collision warning are optional. Trailer-sway control is optional with the towing package.

You'll like:

  • Unique styling
  • Versatile interior
  • Easy-to-access third row

You won't like:

  • Expensive when fully optioned

Key Competitors For The 2013 Ford Flex

  • Chevrolet Tahoe
  • Dodge Durango
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Toyota Sienna
2013 Ford Flex SEL Front Left View
People seem to either love the Flex or hate it. I don't know if I love it, but I most certainly like it. I like the distinctly American, elegant, modern exterior styling. I like the seats in the first and second rows, and even the third-row seats are fairly roomy and comfortable. I like the performance of the upgraded V-6; 287 hp is plenty of grunt, and if you want more, you can choose the turbocharged and direct-injected EcoBoost V-6. There's no question that a minivan would be even more practical and versatile than the Flex, but no minivan looks even remotely as cool as the Flex. So you learn to live with the more cumbersome liftover height at the tailgate and the high and thick instrument panel that seems to be a barrier between you and the windshield. If I had a family of two or three kids and didn't want a minivan, the Flex would be at or near the top of my shopping list.

2013 Ford Flex SEL

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2013 Ford Flex
2013 Ford Flex
SE FWD 4-Dr Sport Utility V6
18 MPG City | 25 MPG Hwy
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2013 Ford Flex
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SE FWD 4-Dr Sport Utility V6
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2013 Ford Flex
2013 Ford Flex
SE FWD 4-Dr Sport Utility V6
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2013 Ford Flex Specifications

Quick Glance:
3.5L V6Engine
Fuel economy City:
18 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
25 MPG
285 hp @ 6250rpm
255 ft lb of torque @ 4500rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
36,000 miles / 36 months
60,000 miles / 60 months
Unlimited miles / 60 months
60,000 miles / 60 months
Recall Date
Ford is recalling certain model year 2013 Explorer, Taurus, Flex, Fusion, Police Interceptor Sedan and Police Interceptor Utility vehicles; and certain model year 2013 Lincoln MKS, MKT, and MKZ vehicles. In the affected vehicles, the fuel delivery module may develop a crack, allowing fuel to leak.
A fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source may result in a fire.
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the fuel delivery module, free of charge. The recall began on July 20, 2013. Owners may contact Ford Motor Company Customer Relationship Center at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's recall campaign number is 13S04.
Potential Units Affected
Ford Motor Company

Recall Date
Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2012-2014 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX vehicles manufactured September 2, 2010, to November 30, 2013; 2013-2014 Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKS vehicles manufactured August 25, 2011, to November 30, 2013; and 2013-2014 Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT vehicles manufactured September 12, 2011, to November 30, 2013. In the affected vehicles, the halfshaft retention circlip may not have been properly installed, and as a result, the halfshaft may move outward and disengage from the linkshaft while driving and without prior warning.
If the halfshaft and linkshaft become disengaged while driving, power will no longer be transmitted to the wheels, increasing the risk of a vehicle crash. Additionally, if the parking brake is not applied before exiting the vehicle, the vehicle may roll away despite the transmission being placed in 'Park', increasing the risk of injury to exiting occupants and bystanders.
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the vehicles to make sure that the halfshaft is properly retained. If it is not, dealers will replace the linkshaft and also replace the halfshaft if it shows evidence of spline damage, free of charge. The recall began on August 4, 2014. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-800-392-3673. Ford's number for this recall is 14S10.
Potential Units Affected
Ford Motor Company

Recall Date
Ford Moor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2011-2012 Ford Fusion vehicles without a 3.5L engine and Lincoln MKZ hybrid electric vehicles, 2011 Mercury Milan vehicles, 2011-2012 Ford Taurus, Ford Flex, Lincoln MKS, and Lincoln MKT vehicles equipped with a 3.5L GTDI engine and 2013 Ford Taurus, Ford Flex, Lincoln MKS, and Lincoln MKT vehicles equipped with any available engine. The affected vehicles have electric power steering assist systems that may shut down as a result of a steering motor sensor fault.
If the vehicle experiences a loss of power steering assist, extra steering effort will be required at lower speeds, increasing the risk of a vehicle crash.
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will check the Power Steering Control Module (PSCM) for Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC). If dealers find any loss of steering assist DTCs, the steering gear will be replaced, free of charge. If, no codes are found during the PSCM inspection, the PSCM software will be updated, free of charge. The recall began on July 21, 2015. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 15S18.
Potential Units Affected
Ford Motor Company

IIHS Front Small Overlap
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rollover
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Best Pick
IIHS Rear Crash
IIHS Roof Strength

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5-Year Total Cost to Own For The 2013 Ford Flex

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Five Year Cost of Ownership: $33,626 What's This?
Value Rating: Excellent