USED: Flexing Its Status As A Top Crossover: The 2015 Ford Flex

Top Crossover
The 2015 Ford Flex is tops in my book. Credit: Kim Orlando for AGirlsGuidetoCars

Top crossover for cruising alone, or bringing the family.

As a transplanted southerner, I have spent most of the holidays in the northeast. This year, my husband and I decided to take our three kids to my childhood Kentucky home for Thanksgiving, but flying was cost prohibitive. So we compromised: he and the kids flew down, and I drove a Ford Flex and met them there. The Flex gave us enough room to bring everyone and everything back to Connecticut, and I literally spent just $70 on gas driving there.

Top Crossover

Driving alone, I get to put both my water and my tea next to me. Next stop: bathroom. Credit: Kim Orlando for AGirlsGuidetoCars

It wasn’t until I hit the curvy mountain roads in Maryland that I started to really get a  feel for the crossover. It was so fluid – like butter – that I easily passed people on the way up the mountains and felt totally in control as the vehicle easily handled turns on the way down.

So what the heck is a crossover?

The Flex is basically a full size SUV, but instead of being built on a truck platform, it’s a car and it drives like a car. The car platform makes the ride way more comfortable and the vehicle more responsive. Inside, the car is wide, like a large SUV, with three rows for plenty of space for people and cargo.  Large SUVs can be exhausting to drive long distances (or even short distances because they are hard to park), but the Flex was smooth and easy.

Impressed by all the tech

Top Crossover

The easy to use infotainment system has both a touch screen and buttons. Credit: Kim Orlando for AGirlsGuidetoCars

The infotainment system is intuitive and super easy to use. I was in and out of the navigation screen, and it’s super easy to find your way back. The four quadrant screen lets you see maps, music and more all at once.

It took me about 90 seconds to pair my phone with Bluetooth. I’ve been driving my sons’s car off and on for years and never bothered to pair my phone. In the Flex, I was able to do it in a snap.

Let the sunshine in

Top Crossover

The Flex gets pretty good gas mileage, and a counter tells you remaining range. Credit: Kim Orlando for AGirlsGuidetoCars

The Flex I drove had an optional “multi-panel vista roof” – essentially, a sun roof for every row in the car. The one for the front row passengers opened all the way; another for the second row has two panels with a sunshade – and then there’s a a glass roof for the third row. No feeling claustrophobic no matter where you sit.

Would I buy this car?

Top Crossover

Second row passengers have their own climate control; not so for the third row. Credit: Kim Orlando for AGirlsGuidetoCars

I really loved driving the Flex- it checked all my boxes: tons of space, great gas mileage, easy to use tech- but am conflicted about the price. Fully loaded, which is how I would want the Flex, it costs over $50,000. That’s a lot of money for a car, and though you can save a few dollars with a stripped down version, once you’ve seen Paris, how do you settle for Podunk?  The challenge was to see the Flex as a crossover – not as in minivan/SUV crossover but as in a car/SUV.  Once that classification is accepted, the price tag makes more sense because SUVs are in the 50k range. For anyone shopping SUVs, the Flex should definitely be included on the list of test drives.

The Flex was also hubby approved; my husband liked the solid feel and the rugged styling. It rained on part of our drive home and he made a point of showing me how well it handled when a semi blew by us; the Flex held its ground, there was no sudden gust of wind or lack of control.

The Flex I drove had heated steering wheel with paddle shifters, heated and ventilated front seats, and the optional sun roof(s). I didn’t love the paddle shifters at first- I kept grabbing them when I put my hands on the wheel. That lasted for about two drives and then I forgot all about them.

Top Crossover

The split third row folds down with the touch of a button. Credit: Kim Orlando for AGirlsGuidetoCars

I love my family, but..

Let’s face it, extended time in the car be stressful. There was no arguing in the Flex; there was plenty of space and even leg room in the third row. The seats fold with a touch of a button and a fold down center console in the second row separates two people who “need space.” I always warn people not to show your relatives your trunk – because they will load it up.  I could not take my own advice because my relatives wanted to see inside the Flex as there are not a lot of them on the road in KY.

What We Loved

  • Performance – the Flex has terrific pick up, handling and did not feel like I was driving a huge truck
  • Maneuverability: very fluid driving
  • Easy to use technology
  • Amazing sunroof lets in light for all three rows
  • Heated and ventilated front seats, and heated steering wheel
  • Very roomy: three large teens comfortably fit in the second row – and we had space for more in the third
Top Crossover

The Flex we drove was fully loaded – both with options and with my family and luggage. Credit: Kim Orlando for AGirlsGuidetoCars

What You Need to Know

  • Base price, $42,400; price for the model we drove, with that great sunroof, heated and cooled seats, inflatable rear seat belts and active park assist, $50,340
  • 16 MPG city/23 MPG highway; we got about 20 combined
  • No third row air control
  • No third row USB port
  • 3 year / 36,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty
  • 5 year / 60,000 mile power rain warranty
  • 5 year / 60,000 mile roadside assistance
  • People will stop you to ask if they can look at the car

Thank you to our Guest Contributor, Kim Orlando, for this piece.