Ford Flex’s future is still uncertain as blue oval didn’t present a new model yet. Full-size SUV will certainly feature next year, but it’s the 2016 Ford Flex which is doubtful. The fact is, Flex didn’t actually rock the sales, except on the west coast and its era might be finished after only one generation.
Moreover, it is the only Ford SUV-crossover whose name doesn’t start with E. Still, compromise could be made if people down in Ford decided to convert Flex into hybrid in which case its west coast popularity would rise even more.
Under the Hood
Second generation of Flexes would probably keep the same powertrain options and SE, SEL, and Limited grades would get the choice between couple of V6’s. Base option would remain the 3.5L V6 making 287 hp and 254 lb-ft of torque, while advanced 3.5L EcoBoost V6 which delivers 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque would be the other option. Both front and all-wheel drive are natural options for a large SUV, and new 9-speed automatic gearbox would also be a good choice. Hybrid option, as already mentioned would also be quite popular in California, but the problem is, Ford doesn’t offer anything stronger than 2.0L Atkinson cycle engine and it is doubtful that 4-cylinder could perform good enough in a full-size ute.
Styling – Interior and Exterior
As a boxy full-size vehicle, 2016 Ford Flex would have to be changed, but the sheetmetal would keep the angular design. Changes would mostly be cosmetical and fascias would go through them. Front end would get a wider grille and new headlights, while the rear end would lose the contrasting tailgate which is paired with the roof and wheel colors.
Interior is already well crafted and designed. Flex offers up to seven seats in three rows with plenty of space. The only problem is how to reach the last row of seats which aren’t the most accessible in the class. Seat fabric has been divided into couple of options. Base models get the standard cloth seats, while top models get them in full leather. Middle ground SEL models get to choose between standard cloth and optional leather seat upholstery. Flat-top dashboard will be revised, but should still be coated in wood, at least in highest grades. Instrument panel with sensor controls could be carried over, but old fashioned buttons and dials seem as more viable option. Standard 4.2-inch touch screen might be upgraded to at least 6.5-incher in order for 3D navigation maps to become easily readable. Rear seat DVD entertainment system is an option across the lineup which is a feature mostly reserved for the top grades in other vehicles.
First spy photo:
Safety and MPG
2016 Ford Flex won’t get any new safety features, but today’s model is already quite advanced in this segment and is actually one of the safest family SUV’s on the market. Six airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability and traction controls, together with curve control and torque vectoring make the Flex’s standard safety options list. Rearview camera is standard only with the top model, and so are parking sensors. Blind-spot alert system and adaptive cruise control are also an option and they round up the advanced electronic safety features of a new Flex.
Base engine is rated at 18/25 mpg with the front-wheel drive, while the all-wheel drive drops the numbers to 17/23 mpg. Former ratings are for base V6 engine, while turbo option comes exclusively with the all-wheel drive and is rated at 16/23 mpg. Hybrid models could greatly increase these figures and this is yet another plus for them.
2016 Ford Flex Price
2016 Ford Flex should be available for prices in between $30,000 and $38,000, while possible hybrids would cost at least $5,000 more.
2016 Ford Flex could continue to roll as a vehicle with special status in blue oval’s lineup, but it would have to go through some changes. It is quite affordable for the family SUV, but still lacks the fuel economy ratings for a family vehicle. However, being a ful-size ute, even its direct competitors can’t really boast with better figures.