Car Review: Enter the boxy, efficient 2013 Ford Flex

The 2013 Ford Flex is a spacious and unusual looking vehicle that you won’t soon forget.

 Photo: Photos: Russell Dandridge

DALLAS, January 29, 2013 — The 2013 Ford Flex is a spacious car with an unusual look that you won’t forget. If you are looking for a large family crossover vehicle, then this might be just the car for you.

The 2013 Ford Flex has three rows of seating and is all-wheel-drive offering speed and efficiency with a turbocharged engine available.

The stylish 2013 Ford Flex.

The stylish 2013 Ford Flex.

New in 2013, the Flex has a much classier styling on the outside with new headlights and trim. Inside, new features also abound either standard or optional from the ventilated front seats to a parallel parking assist feature, blind-spot monitoring system or inflatable second-row seatbelts.

You can seat up to seven folks in the 2013 Ford Flex. The competition for the Flex includes the Nissan Quest and the GM family Acadia and Traverse.

There are three trim levels this year on the 2013 Ford Flex, the SE, SEL and Limited. On the SE base trim you get 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, a rear privacy glass and parking sensors, six-way power driver seat with a manual recline and a front seat manual lumbar adjustment, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a 60/40-split second-row seat, in which there is a passenger-side fold down feature for access into the third row seats.

On the SEL, you can up the features with wheels that are 18 inches and also get heated mirrors, fog lamps, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, an eight-way power driver seat with power lumbar, and a six-way power front passenger seat.

The Limited trim offers 19-inch wheels, xenon headlights, LED taillights, a power liftgate, a blind-spot warning system, driver memory functions, power-adjustable pedals, leather upholstery on the first two rows, a wood-trimmed steering wheel, and a rearview camera.

Note too that on all the Flex trims, the Ford Sync features play-in with real-time traffic, USB ports and input jacks, making the 2013 Ford Flex a real go-to vehicle for the modern driver.

On the Limited many of the extras can also be had on the SEL depending on option packages chosen from the 201A and 202A featured options. There is also a Titanium package offered on the SEL and Limited, adding 20-inch wheels, a black-painted roof and a different exterior, and interior look with faux-suede upholstery.

Also on all the trim levels are the options of roof side rails, second-row inflatable seatbelts and sliding-and-reclining second row captain’s chairs. On the SEL and Limited you can also opt for multi-panel rear sunroofs and a tow package.

For options that are stand-alone, depending on trim, there is a refrigerated compartment in the second-row console and heated second-row captain’s chairs. The Limited options are grouped in 301A and 303A with 20-inch wheels, automatic parallel-parking, collision warning, second-row heated seats, and 10-way power front seats.

Under the hood, the 2013 Ford Flex has a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 285 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque and can be had in either front-wheel drive with a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift or the optional all-wheel drive on the SEL and Limited.

An optional engine choice on the Flex Limited is a turbocharged engine with a 3.5-liter V6 that kicks out 355 horsepower and 350 pound feet of torque. On this you get the all-wheel drive with a six-speed automatic and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

For safety the 2013 Ford Flex has antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side and side curtain airbags, and rear parking sensors. The optional blind-spot warning system is a choice on the SEL, but you get it automatically on the Limited trim. Other safety options worth a mention are the second-row inflatable seatbelts and the Limited trim touts a collision warning with brake support.

Inside the 2013 Ford Flex it’s a comfy ride and offers plenty of room for even the tallest passengers in the back rows. The MyFord Touch system is easy to use and there are several displays screens to utilize as well as the commands available for use for audio, phone and navigation all through the choice of voice or touch.

The Ford Flex has 83 cubic feet of space behind the first row too.

Driving the 2013 Ford Flex does feel like a luxury experience and even in the non-turbo engine option there is plenty of power to do whatever needs to be done behind the wheel.

Should You Need to Know: Note that the Titanium trim level is no longer available, but many of the options from that trim can be had and either engine can tow up to 4,500 pounds if needed.

Miles Per Gallon: I drove the 2013 Ford Flex SEL-FWD and fuel economy came in at 18 miles per gallon in the city and 25 miles per gallon on the highway.

Cost: The cost for the 2013 Ford Flex SEL-FWD is $40,030.

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1300 articles to her credit in the past 15-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a national radio show called “The Duva Show” where her “The Insider Mag’s” I’m Standing Here segment can be heard weekly between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. Monday evenings.

Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and the North Texas Film Critics and writes for the Dallas Morning News, Focus Daily New, Living Magazine and Valley Scene Magazines as well as www.greensourceDFW. She also spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books.

She recently received the 2012 Green Media Award from the North Texas Corporate Recycling Association.

Her latest book release is “Haunted Bartlesville, Oklahoma” from and she will be publishing her ninth book this spring about Prohibition-Era cocktails in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Follow Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Rita Cook

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 10-plus years. She is the co-host of a radio show in Los Angeles; Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am and is on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.  Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and also writes an eco-friendly column for the Dallas Morning News.


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