A box is a mighty efficient shape for lots of storage space and the Ford Flex is certainly a big box. For 2013, the front end is redesigned and looks much better. Our test car is the loaded limited model with optional all-wheel drive; very reassuring on a rain-soaked day.
The seven passenger, roomy Flex interior is loaded with quality materials and is very comfortable. I found the driving position and seats to be excellent.
The "My Ford Touch" interface with many functions accessed through touchscreen controls is improved this year, but many icons are so small they're tough to use while driving.
Even with front seats all the way back, row two is stretch-out comfortable. However, the bench seat does not slide for cargo flexibility. Optional captain's chairs do. I'd skip the panoramic vista roof with it's $1,600 price tag.
Our Limited model includes a power lift gate to access generous cargo space. Row three seats include plenty of room even for adults, and the optional push-button power folding system is great.
Even with the base V6, this "anti-minivan" drives well because horsepower is boosted to 285 this year. The insurance industry rates the Flex as one of the safest vehicles on the road.
So it's thumbs up for the Flex's generous room, quiet comfort and safety; thumbs down for the hard-to-read touchscreen controls, non-sliding row two seat and controversial styling.
The sticker price on the heavily optioned Ford Flex Limited is $46,890. I averaged about 20 miles per gallon in a week-long test.