The 2018 Ford Flex: Still Flexy After All These Years

September 20th, 2017 by

2018 Ford Flex (Starts at $30,376)

Spare a moment of silence for the Ford Flex. The squarish, three-row (endearing) weirdo of the Ford family is slated for discontinuation by 2020. Ostensibly, Ford will try to make room in its SUV lineup for the EcoSport and the Bronco. While critics have consistently praised the Flex, it has never managed to sell. But for those who can get past its peculiar style (some people like the Mini Cooper on steroids!) the Flex is a comfortable and roomy crossover with strong driving dynamics. And the 2018 Ford Flex will continue that legacy.

For 2018, Ford hasn’t given the Flex much cosmetic treatment. That is to say, the rear half of the vehicle remains shockingly rectangular. At the same time, the single bar grille, slotting into c-clamp headlights, and the standard 17” painted aluminum wheels, are pretty stunning. And the contrast roof is still pretty impressive, although I suspect it’s designed to disguise the substantial amount of cargo room in the rear.

Under the hood, the 2018 Ford Flex comes with a standard 3.5L Ti-VCT Engine which delivers 287 horsepower and 254 lb.-ft. of torque. With that level of power, the Flex is suitable for towing and hauling. But, if it feels underpowered for the things you’re throwing at it, Ford offers an available 3.5L Twin-Turbocharged EcoBoost V6 Engine. 365 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque.

Ford Flex SEL $35,962

What do you get for upgrading to the SEL trim level? Only as few choice extras.

  • Class III Trailer Tow Package
  • 18” Aluminum Wheels
  • Intelligent Access and Remote Star
  • Heated Seats

Ford Flex Limited $42,014

The Ford Flex Limited is the highest trim level for the model. It brings a level of impressive refinement. You get a perforated, leather-wrapped steering wheel with wood inlay. A Sony Audio System with 12 speakers for clear sound quality is standard, too. All in all, the 2018 Flex Limited is sleek and refined – which is an impressive feat for anything that can haul seven people.

And it’s much more refined on the road, too. Standard Intelligent All-Wheel Drive which monitors road conditions constantly, and then directs torque to the appropriate wheel in order to maintain the best grip. More standard features on the 2018 Flex Limited include:

  • 19” painted aluminum wheels
  • Standard BLIS
  • Satin aluminum grille
  • High Intensity Discharge headlights

What’s the best value?

2018 Ford Flex Limited

The value pick is the Ford Flex SE. The pure pragmatist realises that each trim level has the same engine and transmission. Plus, the SE is

comfortable and rugged enough to drive around fully loaded with seven people. Meanwhile, the SEL model doesn’t do enough to justify its $5000 upgrade price – unless you’re dead set on towing. Even then, you may as well make the jump to the Flex Limited.