Although the 2017 Ford Flex is now officially eight years old, through constant upgrades and tweaks, Ford has managed to keep it fresh and modern. While it may have been launched in 2009, the subtle changes throughout the years and a truly unique design help to create a category of its own, preventing it from looking dated.
Underneath, the 2017 Flex is essentially based a Ford Edge and a Lincoln MKX, though it occupies a very different portion of the market. Its unique body style makes it stand out from the crowd, resulting in a love it or hate it kind relationship, making the exterior design its biggest strength for some, but also its biggest drawback for others.
At first glance, your opinion forms fast and you will either love the 2017 Ford Flex exterior or completely despise it! Based on my experience, most people accept it and have no issue with it, but they wouldn’t own a Flex themselves. Although it may not seem like it at first, the 2017 Ford Flex is a real head turner. The two tone exterior coloring helps to distract from the overall hearst-like shape. It’s a relatively rare sight on today’s roads, especially compared to its competitors, so it does attract a lot of attention. People have to take a quick peek even if they’ve seen it a million times. I must admit that be the end of the week that I had it for a test drive, the exterior had already grown on me and an appreciation had formed.
As far as updates to the 2017 Ford Flex go, the front end has been facelifted and is a lot closer in appearance to the 2017 Ford F-150. Naturally, you can’t confuse them even with your eyes completely shut, but you can see the resemblance in the Ford family line through many of the design elements. The headlights have the same L-shape but they’re slimmer in the Flex. The long grille stretching from one headlight to the other gets just one large chromed strip.
The unmistakable brick-shaped profile appearance is original to say the least, but actually, it’s incredibly practical as well. Because the roof doesn’t slope down, you get a ton more headroom inside, as well as uncompromised cargo space. The duller rear end design is salvaged by the dual exhaust tips providing a promise of performance.
The cabin’s luxury varies greatly depending on which model you opt for, but even the base SE has a lot to offer. While most people may opt for the SEL, the flagship Flex is the Limited edition. If you’re going to be using it as a daily driver, we recommend the SEL which provides a good ratio of price to features. Most of the features standard on the Limited can be added as an option on the SEL, allowing you to get exactly what you want, saving a good amount of money in the process from features you don’t necessarily require.
Overall, the 2017 Ford Flex’s interior design is familiar and fits in well with other Ford models. Ford has used great materials all put together in a high quality build. Interior versatility is top of the line, with three rows of seats and a massive cargo area. The rear two rows can fold flat providing space to transport even the largest cargo.
The new SYNC 3 infotainment system is arguably the biggest upgrade the Flex has ever received. Car reviewers the world over have praised the system, so the last thing you want to hear is another compliment from us, but it really is that great – fast, intuitive, simple.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE
All 2017 Ford Flex models are equipped with a 3.5L V6 engine outputting 287hp, while the Limited edition has the option to upgrade to the 3.5L V6 EcoBoost engine (twin turbo charged with direct injection) outputting 365hp. The all-wheel drive system is standard if you opt for the EcoBoost engine and optional for the base engine, and is capable of transferring up to 100% of all available torque to the front or rear axle as needed.
The 2017 Flex’s base engine provides a fuel consumption of 14.7 L/100km in the city and 10.2 L/100km on the highway, while the EcoBoost version yields 15.7 L/100km in the city and 11.2 L/100km on the highway.
Just for a quick laugh the 2017 Ford Flex was thrown into some corners at higher speeds, but it ended up with positive results. Body roll was obviously present, but not to the extent expected. Once the initial lean happens, the Flex settles and it’s remarkably stable through the bends for something so large. You can tell the suspension wants to absorb the bumps and isolate you from any discomfort, but the steering wheel offers genuine feedback. It’s a bit numb at the limit but precise at anything less than eight tenths. The brakes are also strong and stop the Flex in no time when applied drastically.
For daily driving, the 2017 Flex provides a great ride. Powerful acceleration when needed, smooth cruising with great bump dissipation, precise cornering and a quiet interior. While the Flex is quite a large vehicle the maneuverability doesn’t suffer as it has a great turning radius and the option for Park Assist to automatically parallel park for you.
If you like the design, there’s no reason to pass on the 2017 Flex. It will literally do everything any other large three-row crossover is capable of doing, and go a step beyond that offering extra headroom and cargo space, a powerful engine and surprising performance. Overall the 2017 Ford Flex offers great value for money, a pleasant driving experience and an exterior design that will grow on you over time!