2018 Ford Flex

#20
in Midsize wagons
2018 MODEL

$30,025 - $43,200

FILTER BY YEAR

FILTER BY STYLE

Detailed Review

America loves a Station Wagon, those huge cars with plenty space for the family and their belongings. Ford has brought plenty of options to the table, with its Explorer, Endeavour, Taurus all offering plenty bang for your buck. The 2018 Ford Flex is a similar offering from the US manufacturer.

The Ford Flex is not a new car, neither it is a fresh car. It's been here for too long and the age can be felt inside too. There are three trims available at different price points. There are also two engines on offer, a 3.5-Liter naturally aspirated V6 with 287 horsepower and the Eco-Boost twin-turbo engine, which makes 365 hp.

The Ford Flex is one of the longest Wagon in its segment which offers immense legroom for the passengers. However, it will be a problem to drive this vehicle in small spaces and also while parking it. Overall, the Ford Flex is a pretty decent car with good looks, decent power and a hub of features.


7.3/10
Features

 

6.6/10
Engine

 

6.5/10
Fuel Economy

 

6.0/10
Interior

 

6.6/10
Exterior

 
 
 
 

The Ford Flex is not a new car, neither it is a fresh car. It’s been here for too long and the age can be felt inside too. There are three trims available at different price points. There are also two engines on offer, a 3.5-Liter naturally aspirated V6 with 287 horsepower and the Eco-Boost twin-turbo engine, which makes 365 hp.

2018 Ford Flex Features

7.3/10

The 2018 Ford Flex comes in three trims, the 30 thousand-dollar SE, the 32 thousand-dollar SEL, and the 38 thousand-dollar top of the line ‘Limited’. The SE and SEL variants get the same 3.5 Liter naturally aspirated V6 engine with 287 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque.

The ‘limited’ trim gets the Eco-Boost twin-turbo engine, which makes 365 hp with the standard all-wheel drive. All the engine variants are mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox, which comes as standard equipment on all the models.

Trims SE SEL Limited
MSRP $30,025 $32,995 $38,495
Features
  • Seven-Passenger Cloth Seating
  • SYNC
  • Reverse Sensing System
  • 17-Inch Sparkle Silver-Painted Wheels
  • SE standard features plus these and more:
  • SYNC 3
  • 18-Inch Sparkle Silver-Painted Wheels
  • SEL standard features plus these and more:
  • 19-Inch Premium Luster Nickel-Painted Aluminum Wheels
  • BLIS with Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Perforated Leather-Trimmed Seats

We recommend

If you are looking for a simple city commuter that can ferry your kids to school and your parents for lunch at the same time, then the base SE variant should do great for you. If you wish to have a larger set of wheels but on a tight budget, then the SEL trim with its middle ground approach is the best option out of the three. Also, If you want all the comfort, along with all the equipment, and plenty of power too, then the top of the line ‘Limited’ is the only one for you.

2018 Ford Flex Engine

6.6/10

"The 2018 Ford Flex has an adequate base engine. A turbocharged V6 that delivers great acceleration is available. With either engine, the Flex gets worse gas mileage than many other midsize SUVs. Handling is reliable and ride quality is mostly fine"-Cars.USnews

Engine and Transmission

The 2018 Ford Flex comes equipped with a base engine that makes 287 hp with either a front or an all-wheel drive. You can also choose to have the EcoBoost twin-turbo engine, which makes 365 hp along with the standard all-wheel drive. The power and torque figures aren’t exactly class leading, although they provide plenty of oomph to the car.

The engine is mated to a simple 6-speed automatic transmission, which although slow, is pretty smooth and makes for an extremely comfortable driving experience. The base engine can be had with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive options. The EcoBoost however, only gets an all-wheel-drive option.

Models Ford Flex Honda Pilot Chevrolet Traverse Toyota Highlander
MSRP $30,285 $30,900 $30,925 $31,030
Engine 3.5L Ti-VCT V6

3.5L

V6

3.6L V6 SIDI VVT 2.7L 4-Cylinder(DOHC)
Transmission 6-Speed Automatic 6-Speed Automatic 9-Speed Automatic 6-Speed Automatic
Power 287 hp 280 hp 310 hp 185 hp
Torque 254 lb-ft 262 lb-ft 266 lb-ft 184 lb-ft

The competition spans over a wide range of power figures, from below 200 horsepower to above 300. There is the Honda Pilot offers 280 hp from its 3.5-liter V6, which is almost similar to the Ford Flex. Chevrolet Traverse is the most powerful car here, with 310 hp from its 3.6-liter V6, and the Toyota Highlander is the least powerful, with only 185 hp from its much smaller 2.7 liters 4-cylinder engine.

Acceleration

The 2018 Ford Flex is not a rubber burner by any standards, but it isn’t a slouch either. It takes exactly 7 seconds to reach from a standstill to 60 mph. The quarter-mile run takes a gentle 16.8 seconds, which is slower than the competition.

Models Ford Flex Honda Pilot Chevrolet Traverse Toyota Highlander
0-60 MPH 7.0 sec 6.1 sec 6.5 sec 8.9 sec
Quarter mile 16.8 sec 15.1 sec 15.6 sec 15.4 sec
Engine 3.5L 3.5L 3.6L 2.7L

Emission

(Tons/yr. of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

9.2 8.0 8.4 8.0

Quite surprisingly, the Toyota Highlander is quicker in a quarter mile than the Ford Flex, even though it’s slower to 60 mph and has the least amount of power in this comparison by quite a huge margin. The Chevrolet Traverse is faster still, taking 6.5 seconds to 60 mph and 15.6 seconds for a quarter mile run. The Honda Pilot is the fastest here with impressive acceleration, taking just over 6 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph and just over 15 seconds for the quarter-mile run.

Braking and Handling

Braking on the 2018 Ford Flex is managed by disc brakes, 12.8 inches in the front and 13 inches in the back. The brakes work fine, even for a car this size, helping it stop to a halt form 60 mph in just 125 feet.

The Ford genes in the flex help it be a better handler than a car of these proportions is supposed to.

Model Ford Flex Honda Pilot Chevrolet Traverse Toyota Highlander
Brake Front(in) 12.8 12.6 12.8 12.9
Brake Rear(in) 13.0 13.0 13.0 12.2
Curb weight(lbs.) 4439 4288 4713 4165
60-0 MPH (ft.) 125 128 126 126

The Traverse is the bulkiest car here, but also the most powerful. As a result, it feels heavy while cornering and even during braking. The force can be felt at the pedals every time you brake or accelerate. The Highlander and the Pilot are much lighter and drive quite similar to the Flex.

Towing Capacity

The Flex can not only carry a lot of cargo inside it but also lug around some on the outside. The total towing capacity of the Flex is 2000 pounds, much less than the competition, but enough in its own right. You could attach a small trailer to it and drive around comfortably, although anything bigger wouldn’t be advisable.

Model Ford Flex Honda Pilot Chevrolet Traverse Toyota Highlander
Capacity (lbs.) 2000 5000 5200 5000
Drive Train FWD AWD AWD AWD

The competition beats the Flex in a clean sweep in this category. The Chevy can haul 5200 pounds, which is the most in this comparison, and it also has the most power, which helps it carry it around with ease. The Honda and the Toyota tie for the second place with 5000 pounds of Towing capacity.

2018 Ford Flex Fuel Economy

6.5/10

The Ford manages to have decent fuel efficiency figures, managing to squeeze 16 miles out from a single gallon of gasoline in the city. Out on the highway, the figure rises to 23 miles from the same gallon. The overall figures come to 19 miles per gallon, which is fine for a car, this size.

Model Ford Flex Honda Pilot Chevrolet Traverse Toyota Highlander
MPG (city) 16 18 18 20
MPG (highway) 23 26 27 24
MPG (combined) 19 21 21 22

The Toyota is the most efficient in the city, managing to run for 20 miles on one gallon of fuel. The Chevy is the most efficient on a highway, 27 miles for every gallon of fuel.

2018 Ford Flex Interior

6.0/10

"The cabin never stuck itself out as far on the styling ice. It’s a staid-looking arena that worked best with houndstooth seats and sedate woodgrain trim, a combination long left on the cutting-room floor. It’s still work-worthy, especially now that it houses a big touchscreen and a cleaned-up stack of touch-sensitive controls."-TheCarConnection

Seating and Comfort

Being an SUV, the Flex is expected to seat multiple passengers in comfort. The Flex has a capacity of 7 passengers, which is a great utility for on SUV. Considering a family of 2 parents, 2 grandparents, and 2 children, there is still space left for one (or you could have a pet). The interior space is extremely generous in the front and middle row areas, even for taller people. The last row, however, is strictly for kids, as there is a very limited amount of leg, knee, and headroom. The interiors also feel a little down-market, especially with the plastic in the dashboard and other panels. The upside, however, is that they are easy to clean.

Model Ford Flex Honda Pilot Chevrolet Traverse Toyota Highlander
Passenger capacity 7 8 8 8
Passenger Volume (ft. cube) 155.8 151.7 150.8 144.9

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

(In.)

41.8/58.4/42.6 39.5/62/40.9 41.3/62.1/41 40.7/59.3/44.2

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

(In.)

40.5/58.1/44.3 39.9/62/38.4 40/62.2/38.4 39.9/59.6/38.4

Third (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

(In.)

38.7/50.8/33.3 38.9/57.6/31.9 38.2/57.5/33.5 35.9/55/27.7

All the other cars here manage to seat 8 passengers, although the numbers are only a small part of the story. None of the cars offer space for adults in the back, which means the third row remains strictly for kids. There than that, the interior space is great in the front and rear in all of these cars.

Infotainment

The SYNC 3 infotainment system in the Flex offers 8.0-inch touchscreen display in the center console. Apart from that, there are more features available, such as:

  • Hands-free calling
  • 911 Assist
  • Sirius XM Radio
  • Two USB charging ports

There is also app support for compatible apps, although those capabilities are very limited in nature. The best feature, however, is the Ford+Alexa feature. Ford has joined forces with Amazon to bring you the best personal assistance you could have imagined in a car.

Cargo Volume

The Flex also has plenty of cargo space to gobble up every piece of luggage you throw at it. The trunk has a generous space of 20 cubic feet, which means 4 large bags in English. The cargo capacity more than doubles when you fold the rear seats and quadruples when you fold the middle seats as well. If that’s not impressive, then nothing is.

Model Ford Flex Honda Pilot Chevrolet Traverse Toyota Highlander
Behind 3rd Row (ft. Cube) 20.0 16.5 23.0 13.8
With 3rd row folded (ft. Cube) 43.2 46.8 58.1 42.3
With All Seats folded (ft. Cube) 83.2 83.9 98 83.7

Only the Chevrolet Traverse manages to have the upper hand in this category, managing to offer a few more cubic feet than the Flex everywhere. Rest of the cars in this comparison have lower boot space but make up for it by folding by the seats.

2018 Ford Flex Exterior

6.6/10

"The Flex continues to stand out from almost every other vehicle on the road. Blocky and slab-sided, this box-on-wheels has a charisma all its own. As with any other unique design, some folks will love it, others won't"-KelleyBlueBook

Dimensions and Weight

All these cars are long and heavy SUVs, with large wheelbases and track widths too. To aid handling, the Ford get lower suspension than the others, which directly translates to lower ground clearance. The Flex isn’t much for the dirt and thus off-roading should be avoided as much as possible. The overall dimensions are fine for an SUV, although the weight could have been lowered.

Model Ford Flex Honda Pilot Chevrolet Traverse Toyota Highlander
Curb Weight(lbs.) 4439 4288 4713 4165
Length(in) 201.8 194.5 204.3 192.5
Width(in) 75.9 78.6 78.6 75.8
Height(in) 68.0 69.8 70.7 68.1
Ground clearance(in) 6.0 7.3 7.2 8.0
Wheelbase(in) 117.9 111 120.9 109.8
Track width(in) F/R 65.4/65.4 66.3/66.3 67.3/67.0 64.4/64.2

The Toyota Highlander is the lightest in this class, with the highest ground clearance and decent wheelbase and track width, although it does lose out on power majorly.

Exterior Features

Ford Flex is defined by its unique and unmistakable boxy style and humongous dimensions. There are some unique visual details in the Flex, such as the following:

  • Chrome plated front grill
  • Standard dual exhausts
  • 17-inch Sparkle Silver-Painted wheels

2018 Ford Flex Safety

The 2018 Ford Flex gets a lot of safety features as standard. There are airbags for every passenger as well as the driver, child lock security for rear doors, a battery management system, and a cabin air filter. some other standard features are listed below:

  • StabiliTrak electronic stability control system.
  • Airbag system.
  • Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA)
  • Rollover sensor system
  • Rear Vision Camera.
  • Child security rear door locks.
  • Passenger Sensing System.
  • Rear seat reminder.
  • LATCH System.
  • Teen Driver.
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System.
  • Intelligent Crash Response System (ICRS)

NHSTA Ratings

NHTSA has not yet rated the 2018 Ford Flex, except for rollover safety.

NHTSA Ratings
Frontal barrier crash rating overall N/A
Frontal barrier crash rating driver N/A
Frontal barrier crash rating passenger N/A
Side barrier rating overall N/A
Side barrier rating driver N/A
Side barrier rating passenger N/A
Side crash rating overall N/A
Combine side barrier and pole rating N/A
Rollover 4 Star

IIHS Rating

The IIHS rating for the 2018 Ford Flex is between acceptable to good for most categories, which is fine for a car this size at this cost.

Crashworthiness
Small overlap front driver side Acceptable
Small overlap front passenger side N/A
Moderate overlap front Good
Side Good
Roof strength Good
Head restraints & seats Good
Crash avoidance and mitigation
Frontal crash prevention Basic
Headlights Marginal
LATCH Acceptable

2018 Ford Flex Competition

Ford Flex vs Honda Pilot

The Honda Pilot is a great car with great on-road abilities, just like a typical Honda, but very limited off-road ability, again like a typical Honda. The price is very competitive and there is a lot of equipment to offer. The interiors are also not too bad, and the build quality is above average. The infotainment system is a bit buggy though, and it loses quite a lot of space in the trunk in order to squeeze an extra seat in the 3rd row, which still is only comfortable for children.

Ford Flex vs Chevrolet Traverse

The Chevrolet Traverse is the most powerful in its base variant but is also the heaviest, which makes for good enough performance and moderate handling. The car is a bit spongy and the interiors aren’t the best in class, but then again, it wasn’t made on a limitless budget. It’s a good car in itself, but a great car when you consider the price. Sadly, the competition offers a little more for the money.

Ford Flex vs Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander is surprisingly nimble and agile, even though it has the smallest engine and the least horsepower. It comes off as a very capable but sadly, very underpowered car. The off-road capabilities of the Toyota are unmatched by others in this class, with the highest ground clearance, and the tightest dimensions. On-road capabilities are fine too, although the competition offers a better ride and handling combos.

2018 Ford Flex Final Verdict

The 2018 Ford Flex is an aging car that manages to do what is what made for and not much more. There is plenty of space for the passengers, and the engines offer enough oomph, especially the EcoBoost engine. If you wish to own a large boxy people carrier station-wagon, you should definitely consider the Flex.

Pros

Powerful Eco-Boost V6 engine (287 hp)

3-row seating

Cons

Low-quality interiors

Below average Fuel efficiency (16-23 mpg in city-highway)

No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto

What's New?

Upgraded infotainment system

Voice Navigation

Traffic Information


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$30025

bodystyle

4dr Wagon

passenger capacity

7

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

213 cu. in.

horsepower

290 hp @ 6500 rpm

torque

254 lb.-ft. @ 4000 rpm

transmission

6-speed automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

13 in. ventilated front disc/12.8 in. solid disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

117.9 in.

length

201.8 in.

width

75.9 in.

height

68 in.

curb weight

4439 lbs.

ground clearance

5.9 in.

capacity

passenger volume

155.8 cu ft.

cargo volume

20 cu ft.

towing capacity

4500 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6.7 sec.

standing ¼-mile

15.2 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

16/19/23 mpg

highway range

427.8 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 years/36000 miles

drivetrain warranty

5 years/60000 miles

corrosion warranty

5 years/unlimited

roadside assistance

No



Styles

 2018 Ford Flex in Shadow Black color  2018 Ford Flex in Oxford White color  2018 Ford Flex in Magnetic Metallic color  2018 Ford Flex in Ingot Silver Metallic color  2018 Ford Flex in Blue Metallic color
Shadow Black

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

7.3

Engine

6.6

Fuel Economy

6.5

Interior

6.0

Exterior

6.6

Comfort

8.0

Driving

7.2

6.9

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2018 Ford Flex SE

SE

power
290 hp @ 6500 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
19 combined

$30,025


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SE 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A) Starting at $30,025 MSRP (16/19/23) 290 hp @ 6500 rpm, 3.5 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic front wheel drive 7   Blue Metallic
  Ingot Silver Metallic
  Magnetic Metallic
  Oxford White
  Shadow Black

 2018 Ford Flex SEL

SEL

power
290 hp @ 6500 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
18 combined

$32,730 - $34,680


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SEL 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A) Starting at $32,730 MSRP (16/19/23) 290 hp @ 6500 rpm, 3.5 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic front wheel drive 7   Blue Metallic
  Ingot Silver Metallic
  Magnetic Metallic
  Oxford White
  Shadow Black
SEL 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A) Starting at $34,680 MSRP (16/18/22) 290 hp @ 6500 rpm, 3.5 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic all wheel drive 7   Blue Metallic
  Ingot Silver Metallic
  Magnetic Metallic
  Oxford White
  Shadow Black

 2018 Ford Flex Limited

Limited

power
365 hp @ 5500 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
17 combined

$38,230 - $43,200


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Limited 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6A) Starting at $38,230 MSRP (16/19/23) 290 hp @ 6500 rpm, 3.5 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic front wheel drive 7   Blue Metallic
  Ingot Silver Metallic
  Magnetic Metallic
  Oxford White
  Shadow Black
Limited 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A) Starting at $40,180 MSRP (16/18/22) 290 hp @ 6500 rpm, 3.5 L, V6, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic all wheel drive 7   Blue Metallic
  Ingot Silver Metallic
  Magnetic Metallic
  Oxford White
  Shadow Black
Limited w/EcoBoost 4dr Wagon (3.5L 6cyl 6AM) Starting at $43,200 MSRP (15/17/21) 365 hp @ 5500 rpm, 3.5 L, V6, premium unleaded (required)
See Full Specs
6-speed automatic all wheel drive 7 NA