Debuting back in 2009, the Ford Flex has not been redesigned ever since. In car year, the 2018 Ford Flex is right up against its sell-by date. But when it comes to quality, interior design and available features, the Flex trailed new crossover SUVs and minivans.
As his age continues to grow, the Flex remains a favorite thanks to its versatile layout. You can transport seven people and their belongings into it without sweating. The Flex is also available with a powerful turbocharged V6 engine, which provides plenty of power to cruising the highway or towing. If you’re shopping for a three-row crossover, the 2018 Ford Flex is still worth considering.
Trim levels and features
The 2018 Ford Flex is a large wagon/crossover that can seat either six or seven passengers. Its available in three trim levels: SE, SEL and Limited.
Standard equipment for the SE trim includes a keyless-entry keypad, 17-inch wheels, heated side mirrors, rear parking sensors, rear privacy glass, a rearview camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, air-conditioning, cruise control, a six-way power driver seat with manual recline and lumbar adjustment, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 60/40-split folding second-row seats with an auto-folding passenger side, cloth upholstery, 50/50-split folding third-row seats, a 4.2-inch central display screen, Bluetooth, voice controls, and a six-speaker audio system with a USB port and CD player.
The 2018 Ford Flex SEL adds keyless entry and ignition, 18-inch wheels, upgraded brakes, chrome exterior trim, foglights, wood-appearance interior trim, dual-zone automatic climate control with manual rear controls, remote start, a 10-way power driver seat with power lumbar adjustment, heated front seats, a six-way power front passenger seat with manual lumbar adjustment, an 8-inch touchscreen with Sync 3 infotainment system, a second USB port, satellite radio, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration.
The optional 202A package for the SEL trim adds blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a power liftgate, power-adjustable pedals, a 110-volt household power outlet, leather upholstery (vinyl for the third row), driver-seat memory settings and an upgraded seven-speaker audio system.
The 2018 Ford Flex Limited trim includes everything above along with 19-inch wheels, additional metallic exterior trim, automatic wipers, xenon headlights, LED taillights, power-folding mirrors, ambient interior lighting, upgraded wood interior trim, a navigation system (optional on the SEL) and a 12-speaker Sony premium audio system with HD radio.
The 301A package for the Limited trim adds forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, an automatic parallel parking system, ventilated front seats, a 10-way power front passenger seat, a power-adjustable and heated steering wheel and power-folding third-row seats.
Depending on trim, additional options include a tow package, black exterior and interior trim, 20-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, roof rails, inflatable second-row outboard seat belts and upgraded leather upholstery.
Every 2018 Ford Flex models are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 287 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. Power sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is available for the SEL and Limited trims. The EPA fuel economy estimates with this engine return 19 mpg combined (16 city/23 highway) for the front-wheel-drive model and 18 mpg combined (16 city/22 highway) with all-wheel drive.
Available for the Limited trim only is a turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine that increases output to 365 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles and all-wheel drive is standard.
In performance testing, the 2018 Ford Flex EcoBoost Limited AWD went from zero to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds, a quick performance for a mainstream three-row crossover. EPA fuel economy rating down to 17 mpg combined (15 city/21 highway).
Properly equipped, the 2018 Ford Flex can tow up to 4,500 pounds, regardless of engine choice. This numbers is a bit below average for a three-row crossover vehicle.
With its box shape, the 2018 Ford Flex offers spacious interior space, including adult-friendly accommodation in the third row. The front seats are quite comfortable, but some drivers may find them too flat and less supportive for long-distance driving.
Ford continued to update the Flex infotainment system since its debut in 2009. This new system features the Sync 3 interface. It’s easy to use thanks to quick response and simple menu layout. Unfortunately, touch-sensitive radio and controls below the touchscreen are less intuitive. Simply brushing your arm to the center stack can change that setting. The old-school steering wheel layout is also a bit confusing.
Behind the back of the third row, you will find up to 20 cubic feet of cargo space. Folding flat the third row when not in use, you will have 43.2 cubes, while folding both rows opens up to 83.2 cubes. These numbers are slightly less than what you would find in some rival, but the 2018 Ford Flex is still highly functional thanks to its square roofline.
Release date and price
The official price for the base Flex SE starting at $31,190 (including $995 destination fee). The Flex SEL costs $33,895, while the range-topping Limited starts at $39,395. All-wheel drive is available on the SEL and Limited trims, and adds $1,950 to the cost.