Cars.com Family Reviews the 2013 Ford Flex

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The 2013 Ford Flex has family duty down pat: This three-row SUV has a low step-in height that makes it easy for kids to climb into its spacious interior, and it can haul six or seven passengers. Rear cargo space is about half the size of the average minivan’s cargo area, but it’s better than many three-row crossovers. One downside to the Flex is its boxy exterior doesn’t make for the most agile handling.

2013 Ford Flex Review

By Jennifer Newman | October 17, 2012 | Comments (3)

Cars.com Reviews the 2013 Ford Flex

2013 Ford Flex
Despite being older than most family-sized crossovers, the Ford Flex continues to shine because of its ability to handle very large families while still managing to look hip while doing it, according to Cars.com reviewer Kristin Varela.

2013 Ford Flex Review

By Colin Bird | September 3, 2012 | Comments (1)

Sun Visors That Come Up Short

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The dog days of summer are in full swing in the high altitudes of the Rocky Mountains (read: close to the sun with little ozone filtration). My kids are back to school and afterschool activities, so I'm often driving north on the highway with the earlier-setting sun scorching me relentlessly through the driver-side window.

This makes me more aware than ever about sun visors in test cars that I've been driving lately. Some are incredibly effective, like in the Ford Flex, and some simply fall flat, like in the Mini Cooper S coupe and the Lexus CT 200h (above).

By Kristin Varela | August 30, 2012 | Comments (11)

Living with MyFord Touch on a 3,500-Mile Road Trip

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Ask Ford's reps about MyFord Touch and they say if you live with the system, you'll love it. They say that 80% of Ford owners with the system would recommend it to others.

My family and I lived with it for two weeks. Let me be clear: We did not love it.

Some of the issues that were prevalent when it debuted remain today on the 2013 Ford Flex, though it was supposed to have updated software. Among our issues:

By Patrick Olsen | August 22, 2012 | Comments (22)

A 3,445-Mile Road Trip in the 2013 Ford Flex

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It was an ambitious roadmap for a summer vacation: Go from Chicago to the Twin Cities, across Minnesota and through Bismarck, N.D., down to Rapid City, S.D., to see Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial, and then over to Denver before returning to Chicago. It included Alpine sledding, whitewater rafting and a trip to the top of Pikes Peak. All in a refreshed 2013 Ford Flex.

Now, we've driven each version of the Flex before. Our first trip took us in the original version from Chicago to upstate New York. Two years ago, we drove an EcoBoost-equipped Flex from L.A. to Chicago. This time, we had a new Flex with the stronger-than-the-original base engine.

Here are bits and pieces of how the trip went.

By Patrick Olsen | August 21, 2012 | Comments (13)

Car Backseats You Want to Sit In

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We’ve told you which cars to call front-seat dibs to avoid being stuck in the backseat with leg cramps and neck spasms. It only seems appropriate to fill you in on which cars allow you to relax comfortably in the backseat and let the friend who called shotgun play road-trip navigator while you chill out and enjoy the scenery. 
 
It’s a safe bet that anything with L or XL after the model name will be an obvious candidate for calling rear-seat dibs; you’ll likely be lounging in extended-wheelbase luxury. But luxury cars aren’t the only class with big backseats. Some gems within their own classes have enough backseat room and surprise features to feel like the car was designed just to provide maximum comfort for rear passengers.

By Joe Bruzek | August 16, 2012 | Comments (17)

Bench Seats Versus Captain's Chairs

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I've been test-driving the 2013 Ford Flex this week, which I've been waiting to drive for years. Overall, my impressions are highly favorable (stay tuned for the complete review) with the exception of one major point. My test car came equipped with a second-row bench seat, so the car seats a total of seven. Captain's chairs in the second row are also available, taking the number of seats down to six. While many families may think they want the extra seating capacity that comes with a second-row bench seat, I'm here to save you from making that mistake.

If you have kids in child-safety seats or booster seats, you're most likely to put them in the second row's outboard positions where a parent, grandparent, caregiver or carpool driver has the easiest access to help them climb in and out and get buckled and unbuckled. The problem is in most three-row SUVs like the Flex the only real access to the third row is by sliding, folding and/or flipping one of the outboard seats in the second row. When a car seat is installed in the outboard, there are limited options as to getting to the third row.

By Kristin Varela | July 26, 2012 | Comments (6)

Top 10 Underappreciated Cars and Trucks

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Good products usually sell themselves … but not always. We've assembled here a list of cars and trucks that should be more popular than they are. In some cases the sales figures aren't bad, but in none of the cases below do the sales match our assessment of the cars' relevance or excellence. That usually means car shoppers can find a bit of a deal, too. Here are our Top 10 Underappreciated Cars and Trucks in no particular order.

By Joe Wiesenfelder | May 7, 2012 | Comments (21)

What's the Most Affordable Full-Size Crossover?

Affordable crossovers
The full-size, three-row crossover segment is relatively new to the automotive landscape. You need to look back only four or five years to see how quickly the segment has changed from just a handful of models to more than 15 models today.

For folks who find minivans anathema, these large crossovers are the best alternatives. Some — like the Chevrolet Traverse — are roomy enough that there's little tradeoff in terms of passenger room. The unibody architecture of large crossovers makes them generally more maneuverable and fuel efficient compared with three-row, full-size SUVs, like the Chevrolet Suburban and Ford Expedition.

Check Out: $37,000 SUV Shootout

Recent converts from SUV to crossover pedigree include the Dodge Durango and Ford Explorer, which are now competing against fairly old stalwarts like the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander.

The full-size crossover market will expand soon, with the three vehicles on the horizon: the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder (which switches to a crossover platform), the 2013 Infiniti JX35 and the upcoming Jeep Grand Wagoneer.

By Colin Bird | February 28, 2012 | Comments (6)

Did the New Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT Change Enough?

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The Ford Flex has one of those love-it-or-hate-it vehicle designs. It's boxy, it's square, it's retro and apparently it's also totally L.A. (It turns out Los Angeles is one of the Flex's hottest markets). Case in point, when we hosted actor Joey Lawrence and his family at one of our recent Cars.com Shootouts, he kept comparing the cars we were testing to his own Flex.

More 2011 L.A. Auto Show Coverage

The Flex isn't as popular in other markets, and neither is the Lincoln MKT. Both sell in meager amounts next to mainstream crossovers like the Chevrolet Traverse and even Ford's own Explorer. Can some refreshes to these two vehicles skyrocket them onto families' radars?

By Kristin Varela | November 25, 2011 | Comments (13)

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