Here's why the Ford Flex Ecoboost is actually the best car in the world

If Doug DeMuro ever got his hands on one of these, it would top the DougScore charts.

37w ago

It's a rite of passage that every DriveTribe USA writer pledges their undying allegiance to the single greatest car of all time, the Ford Flex. This is no joke. This 7-passenger, slab-sided, twin-turbo monster was easily the best vehicle that Ford ever made, and we have pitted it against a laundry list of vehicles in discussions, and there is no vehicle that can do everything that a Ford Flex Ecoboost can do.

This ultimate machine started life as the Fairlane Concept in 2005, which featured rear-hinged doors and the boxy, but somehow sleek design that became one of the Flex's best characteristics throughout its 10-year run. The styling helped the Flex stand out, and makes it incredibly unique compared to the curvy coupe-like nonsense that everyone is producing nowadays. This looked like a modern version of an early 70s Country Squire. In fact, the ridges on the side of the Flex are supposed to call to mind the woodgrain of other big American wagons, an homage that Jeep should've used on their equally slab-sided Grand Wagoneer Concept. In 2013, Ford added the F-L-E-X badge to the hood to make it look like other early 70s Fords.

The Flex was designed to replace the Freestar minivan, and since it would be going to battle against the Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, the Flex needed 7 seats. Unlike those blobby, giant egg-shaped SUVs, the Flex stood out. The Flex was a proper crossover, which offered a lifted driving position, but didn't cover itself in plastic cladding and pretended to be an off-roader. The Flex was designed for suburban warfare, and in 2010, Ford brought out the big guns.

2010 saw the revival of the Taurus SHO and under the hood was a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 making 365 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. Well, the geniuses at Ford decided that they were going to drop that beast of an engine into the Flex to create the Flex Ecoboost, the single-greatest sleeper of all time. Get your Buick Regal GSX out of here. Okay, the Lincoln MKT might make a case for itself, because it looks like a hearse, and shares the same chassis and engines, but its basically a Flex, so I will accept that, but everything else, nah. This is the modern equivalent of Volvo's turbo bricks, and I stand by that.

This is the ultimate stoplight drag car. Although power for the early Flex Ecoboost's was 355 horsepower, ten less than the Taurus, it still managed a 0-60 of 6.0 seconds. Not only was it a full two seconds faster than the GM triplets, it was priced about the same as them as well, which helped the Flex maintain a strong enough customer base to warrant a mid-cycle refresh.

2013 saw a significant upgrade to the front end of the Flex, and power was up in the non-turbo engine from 262 to 287, and the Ecoboost got another ten ponies for a total of 365. In 2016, the Flex received Ford's Sync 3 infotainment, which helped this modern land-yacht remain relevant. The Ecoboost variants also got a little quicker, and could go from 0-60 in 5.9 seconds.

Did I mention this thing also had the single greatest sunroof arrangement ever? It had 4 sunroofs. One for the front seats, two for the middle row, and one for the back. Imagine being a kid and your parents drove one of these, you'd think they were piloting a street-legal space shuttle.

Unfortunately, the Flex is no longer part of Ford's lineup, as the Explorer pretty much always outsold the Flex nearly 10:1 for the entirety of its lifetime. Still, hats off to Ford for creating such a unique vehicle when companies were clutching their wallets for dear life. Luckily for us, Flex Ecoboost prices are finally dropping into the low-to-mid 20,000s with plenty of life left in them. if I had the money, I'd buy one, black on black, with the Vista Roof, and keep a red one with a white roof to appreciate in value, because I reckon in 20 or 30 years, people are going to go hunting for the great American wagons, and these are going to be worth their weight in gold, just look at the 90s Buick Roadmaster wagons.

The Takeaway

Oh yeah, I guess I forgot to wrap this up. 0-60 in under six seconds, seating for 7. Twin-turbo V6 with AWD, and unique styling that stands out from the sea of bland SUVs. The Flex is a brilliant all-rounder, and if I only had one car for the rest of my life, or I had the choice to bring one car back from the dead, it would be this, eleven out of ten times.

What do you think of the Ford Flex? Are you also in agreement that its the single greatest car in the world? Or are you just plain wrong?

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Comments (70)

  • Wonderful design, exterior and interior, practical, roomy, sensible. So of course Americans rejected it, preferring something that had ridiculous clearance and four wheel drive that would never be used, horrible fuel economy, and mundane trucklet styling.

      8 months ago
    • So take this opportunity to defend your position, not attacking someone. I know people who do more off-roading in their Subaru than Explorer owners who get upset when berm gravel get slung around the wheel well. I think I understand just...

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        8 months ago
    • Spare us.

        8 months ago
  • 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸

      8 months ago
  • I agree. The Flex is a good vehicle. We rented one for a 12 hour road trip some years back. Even the non eco boost had plenty of power and decent fuel economy. It is a bit odd looking but in a good way, not a Pontiac Aztec kinda way. Nice article.

      8 months ago
  • By “in the world” I guess you mean in the US... just like the “World Series” 😉

      8 months ago
    • Or when after every superbowl they call the winning team the world champions......

        8 months ago
    • And what of the women from other planets, when every Miss Universe that gets the crown is another earthling?

        8 months ago
  • As a European, when I read “ECOBOOST”, I imagine a 3-cylinder 1 litre Fiesta 🤡 Doesn’t help the image.

      8 months ago
    • As an American I assumed V6. My brother's F-150 has the 2.7L V6 EcoBoost, but it has the STX package and it's surprisingly quick.

        8 months ago
    • That’s awesome, I’d love to drive a turbocharged V6. They’re not a thing in Europe sadly.

        8 months ago