The Ford Flex crossover was introduced last year with one engine, a 3.5-liter V6, which puts out 262-hp at 6250 rpm and 248 ft-lbs of torque at 4000 rpm. It has adequate power and gets a very respectable 16 mpg city, and 22 mpg highway, in the all-wheel-drive version. This year, Ford is offering the optional EcoBoost 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6, which puts out a strong 355-hp at 5700 rpm and 350 ft-lbs of torque at only 3500 rpm. And despite the added power, the gas mileage is exactly the same as the non-aspirated engine, although I actually managed to get 24 mpg highway. Plus, it takes non-premium fuel. If Ford had used a V8 to get the same horsepower and torque numbers, it probably would have cut gas mileage by 25 to 30 percent. So the EcoBoost lives up to it’s name.
All Flex models send power through a six-speed automatic gearbox. When powered by the EcoBoost V6, Flex is equipped with a six-speed SelectShift Automatic transmission. This advanced gearbox offers you a choice between fully automatic operation and manual control.
The EcoBoost equipped Flex also comes standard with Ford’s new electric power assist steering (EPAS) system that gives a great feel for the road, is boosted just right for parking lot maneuvering, and safely getting around slower city traffic.
When you open the doors of the Flex EcoBoost Limited you see oversized seats, real wood trim on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, dashboard and doors with plenty of chrome trim wrapped around the instrument cluster, inside the steering wheel, air-vents and controls for the aluminum-faced center stack. The tilting/telescoping steering wheel feels perfect in your hands and contains buttons for the audio system and cruise control. The wide leather-trimmed seats have white contrast stitching for another luxury touch. The driver gets 10-way power adjustments and front the passenger seat is 6-way power adjustable.
You also get power windows/door locks, self-dimming rearview mirror, tri-zone electronic climate control with rear fan/thermostat for second/third row seats with round air-vents located on the headliner, power adjustable pedals, power opening/closing rear hatch, ambient lighting, dual map lamps, dual illuminated vanity mirrors, HomeLink garage door opener, grab handles above each passenger door, HID headlamps, foglamps, Vista Panorama skylights with power operated front sunroof, two smaller glass panels above the second-row seats and a wider single glass panel above the third-row seats that let in the light or have manual shades to block the sun when needed, keyless entry, dual power/heated remote sideview mirrors, rear windshield wiper/washer/defogger, memory for two drivers for the seats/sideview mirrors, rear cargo net, power pedals, thick cut-pile carpeting/floor mats, Ford SYNC with Traffic, Directions and information leverages industry-leading voice-recognition software, integrated GPS technology, and a customer’s Bluetooth-capable mobile phone, Sony surround sound AM-FM-CD audio system, SIRIUS satellite radio, active park assist using sensors on the front and rear of the vehicle that work in conjunction with the EPAS system to guide you into a parking space, and a reverse camera system that displays the area behind the Flex in the rearview mirror if you don’t have the navigation system, when the Flex is shifted into reverse.
The 2010 Ford Flex’s EcoBoost engine serves up big power while not blowing it on fuel economy. The Ford Sync system is still the best way to integrate MP3 players and cell phones. Optional navigation includes traffic, weather, and fuel prices.