2010 Ford Flex SEL AWD

Have you seen the Ford TV commercials with the slightly jerky, hand-held, cinema vérité look with people—people who look like real people, not the sorts found, say, in beer ads (during college my friends and I were young, hip, with it, and never found any women who look like those in beer ads, not even when we were looking through beer goggles)—rhapsodizing about their Ford vehicles?

Have you seen the Ford TV commercials with the slightly jerky, hand-held, cinema vérité look with people—people who look like real people, not the sorts found, say, in beer ads (during college my friends and I were young, hip, with it, and never found any women who look like those in beer ads, not even when we were looking through beer goggles)—rhapsodizing about their Ford vehicles?

Well, although my sister-in-law is not featured in any of those ads, she ought to be. That is, she has gone from being the owner of what is thought to be one of the best minivans on the planet (no, not a Windstar) to the happy, proud, adamant owner of a Ford Flex. She bought the car—OK, crossover, if we must be more specific—before it was on the market. She saw it at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in sheet metal, and that was it. She knew more about the car than the salesperson she ordered it from. She became a real enthusiast—a proselytizer, in fact—for the Flex. She probably isn’t used in one of those commercials because no one would believe that she’s sincere about it. Even when I try to knock the vehicle she bounces back with resilience. Even my two elementary-school-aged nieces like it. And lest you think that my sister-in-law is one of those people who have nothing to do but get excited by cars, reality TV shows, home appliances, or other anorak-man like behavior, think again. It’s just that she has a Sally Fields enthusiasm for liking her Flex.

 

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So, when the Flex SEL with the EcoBoost engine arrived at the office, my sister-in-law needed to be consulted. The question, of course, is whether she would be happier with the 3.5-liter V6 that provides 262 hp in the front-wheel-drive Flex she has or the 3.5-liter V6 that provides 355 hp in the new vehicle that also has all-wheel-drive.

OK. That’s a stupid question. The additional horsepower—and the all-wheel-drive system that comes with it—won hands down. And given the fact that the stickered miles per gallon are fairly close—17/24 mpg for hers; 16/22 mpg for the new one—it is a wash in her mind.

She had opted for equipping her vehicle with the refrigerated console that is located between the captain’s chairs in the second row. She says that next time she’ll opt to get a bench seat back there for additional utility; the kids can probably survive with less-than ice-cold beverages. She’d also go for the navigation system which, combined with the Ford SYNC system and SIRIUS Travel Link, let’s you know about as much about what’s going on around you and where you are going (info from traffic conditions to gas prices to the weather) as you could know if you were sitting at your desk surfing the web.

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Mind you, she’s still happy with the one she has. But seems like she knows what vehicle she’s going to get next.

Selected specs:

Engine: 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost

Material: Aluminum block and heads

Horsepower: 355 @ 5,700 rpm (premium fuel)

Torque: 350 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm

Length: 201.8 in.

Wheelbase: 117.9 in.

Width: 88.8 in. (with mirrors)

Height: 68 in.

Curb weight: 4,839 lb.