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David Lee King

Ford Flex Road Trip – Thoughts So Far



Ford FlexWe’ve been tooling around in the Ford Flex for about three days now. On Saturday, we drove from Topeka, KS to Branson, MO to visit family (about a 5 hour drive). What do we think about the Flex so far? Here are our likes and dislikes:

Likes:

Plenty of room: this car, as my wife put it, has “boo-koodles of room.” We are, of course, comparing it to our other family car, a Mazda 5. We like the Mazda … but on a multi-hour trip, our family of five starts feeling a little cramped. The Ford Flex has A LOT of space to spread out, and fits our family of five quite nicely.

Design: apparently some people don’t like the boxy shape of the Flex. We think it’s pretty cool. In fact, when the car arrived, my two younger kids could be found sitting in the car for kicks. The interior is nice, too – lots of black, lots of leather, and some retro wood grain trim (which you’ll either think is cool in a retro way or it’ll remind you of your dad’s 77 El Dorado in a bad way).

Drive: it drives nicely – very smooth on the highway and in town. It’s a bigger car – reminds me slightly of driving a truck – but it’s still very easy to handle.

Technology: I’m a geek, so I like lots of fun tech… and this car has lots of fun tech! The console has what Ford calls their “navigation system.” It’s touch screen! That’s cool. The GPS map worked well, the radio/CD player has great sound and lots of visual, touch screen options for moving sound to different speakers, and an option to connect your phone to the system for hands-free talking (I think you need an adapter for that, which I didn’t have). There’s even a 110v 3-prong plug in the car so you don’t have to use adapters – that is a cool geek-inspired surprise.

Rear view camera: this is a cool feature. When you put the Flex in reverse, the rear view camera is activated, and you see what’s behind you via the cam – nice. I think it’d be cool to have that view as an “on all the time” option – like for highway lane changing.

Dislikes:

Voice activated navigation: Didn’t work well for us. Both my wife and I tried it, with mixed results. Sure, we were able to navigate with it … but only navigate around the menus. When we tried to put in my parents’ address, the system didn’t understand us. When that happens, it gives a couple of best guesses that you can choose from. None of the system’s guesses were even close! I played with it later, and discovered that the Sirius map service has my parents living on the wrong street (even though their street has been around for at least five years. Maybe they haven’t updated their map in five years? Maybe I goofed up? Not sure… but either way, it didn’t work for us.

Ford’s marketing: ok, this dislike isn’t really about the car. But the marketing links I was sent are … well … stereotypical icky marketing. Listen to this: “From its planted stance and broad shoulders …” are we talking about a car or a cow here? It continues “… to its all-black greenhouse and contrasting, two-tone roof…” – greenhouse? As far as I can tell, they’re either talking about the interior of the car or the window parts on the outside of the car. Either way, greenhouse is a silly thing to call it. Try looking that up in Google and see what you find (hint – you won’t find anything relating to cars). They continue by comparing the interior of the car to a limo (it’s not the same), then they say this: “we wanted the interior to be a place of contemorary, relaxed style … somewhere you could feel very comfortable, yet involved and connected.” I’ll agree here – the Flex is certainy comfortable. But “involved and connected?” What’s that even mean??? Silly, silly marketers. Stop it.

Price: it’s a large, roomy car with lots of cool features, and is priced that way. The sticker price is approximately $43,000 …. way out of my price range. But then we’re a bit different. We usually set aside some “get a new car money,” then end up with a car that’s just 2-3 years old and costs half the price of a new car. Much smarter way to buy a car, if you can swing it.

So far? There are a couple of secondary things that I’m not tickled with (the mapping system’s voice activation feature). And the marketing (which I always ignore anyway) and the price. But the car itself? The Flex drives well, it’s very comfortable, and it’s loaded with some cool features.

1-2 more videos and possibly one more text post coming – stay tuned!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jeff Imparato

    $43,000, for a Ford? Methinks we’re not the ones they’re marketing to. How was the gas mileage? Where you able to grow plants in the greenhouse? Could you use it for Roller Derby? With its planted stance and broad shoulders, you’d be a shoo-in.

  • Jeff Imparato

    $43,000, for a Ford? Methinks we’re not the ones they’re marketing to. How was the gas mileage? Where you able to grow plants in the greenhouse? Could you use it for Roller Derby? With its planted stance and broad shoulders, you’d be a shoo-in.

  • Jeff Imparato

    $43,000, for a Ford? Methinks we’re not the ones they’re marketing to. How was the gas mileage? Where you able to grow plants in the greenhouse? Could you use it for Roller Derby? With its planted stance and broad shoulders, you’d be a shoo-in.

  • http://chornomore.blogspot.com Emily

    To be absolutely honest…

    This Ford stuff is a huge turnoff.

  • davidleeking

    Emily – thanks for sharing! Two more posts, then back to my normal fare… hang in there!

  • davidleeking

    Emily – thanks for sharing! Two more posts, then back to my normal fare… hang in there!

  • davidleeking

    Emily – thanks for sharing! Two more posts, then back to my normal fare… hang in there!

  • Lissa

    I’m with Emily. And I don’t appreciate the constant test drive spamming of my facebook either. It might be different if this were something you seemed passionate about, but this post recommends against ever buying a new car, even though you are test driving one very publicly.

  • Lissa

    I’m with Emily. And I don’t appreciate the constant test drive spamming of my facebook either. It might be different if this were something you seemed passionate about, but this post recommends against ever buying a new car, even though you are test driving one very publicly.

  • Lissa

    I’m with Emily. And I don’t appreciate the constant test drive spamming of my facebook either. It might be different if this were something you seemed passionate about, but this post recommends against ever buying a new car, even though you are test driving one very publicly.

  • Jeff

    David just drove a $43,000 car and was asked to blog about it. For the next few blog entries, just delete them if you’re not interested.

  • Jeff

    David just drove a $43,000 car and was asked to blog about it. For the next few blog entries, just delete them if you’re not interested.

  • Jeff

    David just drove a $43,000 car and was asked to blog about it. For the next few blog entries, just delete them if you’re not interested.

  • davidleeking

    Lissa – thanks for the comment. One point of clarification: I never recommended “against ever buying a new car.” I shared what my family does – two very different things.

  • davidleeking

    Lissa – thanks for the comment. One point of clarification: I never recommended “against ever buying a new car.” I shared what my family does – two very different things.

  • davidleeking

    Lissa – thanks for the comment. One point of clarification: I never recommended “against ever buying a new car.” I shared what my family does – two very different things.

  • xI

    $43,000 dollars?!!?!?!

    One could get a substantially cheaper brand new VW Jetta TDI station wagon with plenty of room and 40+mpg highway instead. Added bonus of diesel being cheaper than RUG right now, too.

  • xI

    $43,000 dollars?!!?!?!

    One could get a substantially cheaper brand new VW Jetta TDI station wagon with plenty of room and 40+mpg highway instead. Added bonus of diesel being cheaper than RUG right now, too.

  • xI

    $43,000 dollars?!!?!?!

    One could get a substantially cheaper brand new VW Jetta TDI station wagon with plenty of room and 40+mpg highway instead. Added bonus of diesel being cheaper than RUG right now, too.

  • http://chornomore.blogspot.com/ Emily

    To be absolutely honest…

    This Ford stuff is a huge turnoff.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZjOkzpwOKI Canvas Stretching Machine

    nice looking bumper…