Ford Flex Draws a Crowd

Flexparked

Based on the reactions of many people between Chicago and upstate New York, Ford needn't worry about drivers taking notice of its new Flex. I had a nice couple outside South Bend, Ind., walk up to me in a tollway oasis parking lot to ask me about it ("Is that one of those cruiser cars?"), and a liquor store owner in Honeoye, N.Y., came outside to get the full tour.

While driving in an interstate passing lane, a young couple in a Ford Freestyle pulled alongside the Flex and eyeballed it at 65 mph for more than a minute before falling back. On another interstate just south of Cleveland, a grizzled guy in a beat-up pickup actually did a double-take.

Earlier, I described the Flex as the result of a union between a Honda Element and a Mini Cooper. More than a few people commented on how retro-cool the Flex looks. The white roof with the dark pillars, the horizontal strips along the side and the low, wide stance all drew applause. My wife's aunt even compared it to her '70s-era Suburban, although she noted that the Flex sits far lower.

Based on looks alone, the Flex should be able to stand out in a crowd of look-alike SUVs.

The Suburban Dad's Vacation blogging

By Suburban Dad | July 28, 2008 | Comments (26)

Comments 

J

Makes me wonder why people are not calling this boxy vehicle ugly like they do when seeing a xB or Element.

I think it is subtle nuances of this car that set this apart a little from the other two prominent boxes. For starters, sheer size- Flex is way bigger. Then, the other two are not very styled. Flex is like an ugly guy with a good body wearing a nice suit. While the Xb is that same ugly guy, only smaller with out the expensive clothes, lol. element is really plain and utilitarian looking. Add in the Flex's low, wide, powerful stance that the xb is just too small to match. All three are love it or hate it, either way.

Broq

alex

ok, is it just me, but i dont get it. this thing is ugly! whats the point on this thing? im being serious, people are more than welcome to comment! this thing is nothing but a stretched taurus/taurus x.

kj

The Ford Pinto drew attention when it too came out. The Flex is nothing more than an over-priced station wagon. This model won't be saving Ford's butt, and it won't beat the Japanese at their game. Nice try Ford, but try again.

maxwell

Alex: It's the Country Squire reintroduced for now - a big family station wagon.

It's much lower than Ford's suvs. about 2 inches lower than the Escape, almost 5 inches lower that the Explorer and 9 inches lower than the expedition.

It provides space and carrying capacity (for those that need it) while not conveying on the "I'm tough. I drive and SUV" image.

ralphie

Looks like a lowered Range Rover.

Theron

I agree - it's the Griswald family truckster resurrected from the 70s!

Red

Let's not kick Ford too much while they're down. I agree with Broq - the Flex is way better looking than Scion's boxy vehicle and has a quality look to it. If anything can bring back the American wagon, it will be the Flex, and based on the reactions of the public it could be a winner.

mike

what the hell...Ford is now a few years too late with a car that already exists. Its such a rip off from the Scion xB. I'm sure it has horrible quality in it being a Ford. The transmission will be out by 70,000 miles

Wilson

I think Flex is uglycool, but it wont be a success becuase it's too big. People want smaller cars nowadays. A, because gasoline is getting expensive. B, because environmental consciousness is increasing in suburban America.

markt

this ugly POS will get looks from old people who remember the 70s, and looks of disdain from the younger crowd. me included. how many chances is ford going to get until they come up with something viable?

cody

im not putting down the thought of it looking like and element cooper love child. I just think it look more like the xB fell into a taffy puller

cody

p.s. i like it. its cool

J

See, I find it funny how a badge changes how people look at a vehicle.
xB: Small box
Element: Medium box
Flex: Large box

The Flex looks good while the other aren't?
WTH?!

What's next? Avalanche vs Ridgeline vs Explorer Sport Trac?

J,
Nobody in any of the posts has called ANY of these three pretty. If the XB proved anything (BTW- it is a ripoff of the Japanese market Nissan cube) in America is that different is cool. Plus, this is a big expensive car with more toys and more to offer than the smaller two and it could apeal to a demographic that previously didn't have anything "cool" or "different". The American vs Japanese subtexts of your posts are ridiculous. If you NEED a flex- you are not can't even cross shop the X-B and Element. If are single or have a small family, you don't need to look at Flex b/c the other two will do nicely. Simple. Boxes for eveyone, lol.

Broq

Personally I like the styling of the xB and the Flex. I think the xB looks better because it is not so big, but the Flex, especially in person is very masculine looking and attractive.

J

Broq,

First of all, the bB was not actually copying the Nissan Cube. Why, you asked. Toyota bB didn't come on the scene until 2000, while the Cube was on the market since 1998.
However, the bB looks nothing like the first gen Cube. The second gen didn't come on the scene until 2002.
Second, I thought I saw Red said the Flex looking better than the xB. Why the difference? Just an elongated xB.
Different is cool? I seem to recall the PT came out in 2001, then there is the HHR later.
Did I even ever mentioned in this post about the American vs Japanese?
All I did was comparing 3 boxy vehicle and their reception respectively.
BTW, who "needs" a flex?
There are minivans that has sliding doors with ease of entry. There are SUV that can tow boats or whatever toys they want. There are CUV that gives the higher ride and the handling similar to cars.
The Flex is not any of the above.

David

Ford must be having a hard time selling the Flex as I live not far from the #1 selling Ford dealership in the state. They still have the same six Flex cars parked on their front lawn that they had five weeks ago. My neighbor said the vehicle does not get good gas mileage and is over priced. Maybe that's true.

David,
As we say in tomorrow's post about fuel mileage, the Flex is competitive with both other 3-row crossovers and minivans. Why listen to a neighbor when you can research fuel economy on cars.com or other sites?

From what we've heard the Flex is selling really well for a new product.

J

Dave,

I couldn't quite agree with that.
You see, I live in the Detroit's suburb, and when a new product from the "Big-3" comes out, we see it everywhere just about instantly. That's not the case with the Edge. So far, I've only seen less than 6 in the last month.
It could be due to the fact that Michigan's economy sucks now, that I couldn't tell you.

J,
Detroit is quite possibly the most economically depressed area in the country. I probably wouldn't use it as a gauge for even a new domestic product. We'll have July sales numbers by Monday at the latest and our Movers and Losers next week to confirm how its doing.

Cj

The Flex really doesn't look that bad. It looks more like a stretched Mini than a stretched xB. All the mini-esque styling should help the Flex appeal to a pretty broad market of young families and older ones. I'm still on vacation so I can't really comment on if I've seen any or on sales, but I think the Flex is going to be a success. It looks better than a lot of the other CUV and minivan options. Most look either bloated (90% of minivans, all of GM' CUV, and the Mazda CX-9) or just plainly unattractive (Chrysler's and Dodge's minivans, the Highlander, and the Pilot), so to me the Flex really isn't bad considering some of the ugliness found in it's segments.

J

Dave,
eh, typo in my last comment.
Not Edge, but Flex.

I agree that the economy is really devastating around Motown now.
However, it does strikes me that I don't see those Flex even in manufacturer plates.

Gary V

Wow the Flex is ugly. Could this be a modern day Edsel!

peter

Know more about it at http://newfileengine.com/
Use the search and follow the link!

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