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The 2014 Ford Flex is a unique and interesting vehicle. Showing up in a low, long, squared off body, but not quite as utilitarian as a minivan the Flex is different from both SUV’s and minivans alike. Offering SUV capabilities on the pavement, but without the towing capacity of an SUV the Flex is more determined to haul people across the roads to their various destinations. Without the typical silhouette of a minivan this is a great people hauler with room for up to seven to easily ride and enjoy along with taking plenty of gear for a weekend outing.

Even though the Flex has been put into a class to compete with the Honda Pilot, Dodge Durango, and Chevrolet Tahoe the Flex is nothing like any of these SUV’s. In reality the Flex offers a hint at a throwback to the station wagons of yesteryear but because of it’s slightly higher stance it is closer to an SUV than to an actual station wagon. All-wheel drive can be found in the Flex to add control to the steering, and with a choice of two engines the Flex can offer both good fuel economy and power necessary to get where the occupants need to go.

The 2014 version of the Flex has had no major changes, these were done in2013 and Ford decided to not mess with something that is working well for them right now. Even though the Flex has a very boxy look to it, it actually handles the road well, cutting through the air with ease. The suspension is highly tuned and the electric steering system is super responsive allowing this long vehicle to handle surprisingly well. Add to this the quiet cabin and the Flex is actually a lot of fun to drive allowing the inhabitants to get away from the road and in their own world inside the vehicle.

The first of the two engine offerings comes in the form of a 3.5-liter V6 engine with good power at 287 horsepower and 254 lb.-ft. of torque. A new car dealership in Indianapolis tells us this engine is a great choice allowing for a decent fuel efficiency for such a large vehicle coming in at 18 city/25 hwy mpg for the front-wheel drive (FWD) and 17 city/23 hwy mpg for the all-wheel drive (AWD) when paired up with the six-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain allows the driver the best of both worlds with good power and a respectable fuel savings.

The second engine is a beautifully designed 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 using direct injection to offer a massive 365 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. Only offered in an AWD version, this powerful engine when matched with the six-speed automatic transmission will produce a fuel mileage that is still very easy to live with at 16 city/23 hwy mpg and gives the maximum power available for this vehicle. Losing only a little in the fuel efficiency over the first engine makes this a very difficult choice for anyone looking to purchase a Flex.

The cabin offers a massive area, made possible from the shape of the vehicle; maybe there is really something to be said about having the boxy look. Stepping inside offers a feel of elegance not expected in an almost SUV and all controls are well positioned to maximize use, comfort, and familiarity. If higher trims are chosen the occupants will enjoy the three screens of the MyFord Touch system as well as the four-panel vista skylight creating a driving oasis for the passengers to really enjoy the ride. Both rear benches can fold flat to allow a great deal more cargo space and both front and second row seating is comfortable and roomy while the third row should be reserved for children as it is a bit cramped.

From the outside anyone can see the Flex is unique, almost oddly attractive with its very boxy shape. A unique grill design that sports a massive horizontal middle bar, very slight headlights, and instead of the blue oval the Flex lettering across the front, the face of the vehicle is distinct and unforgettable. In the rear the lift gate offers brushed aluminum accents, and with an optional contrasting colored roof the vehicle really does offer interest from every angle. Finally, the mildly spoked wheels give the final touch of brilliance to a vehicle that might look boring and square at first, but is easy to fall in love with.

Offered in three trim levels, SE, SEL and Limited the standard equipment includes keyless entry, a six-way power driver’s seat, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, Reverse Sensing System, fog lights, front and rear air conditioning, and a leather wrapped steering wheel on the two lower trims. Added to the Limited trim are heated front seats, a 10-way power driver’s seat with memory, a Sony premium audio system with For SYNC communication, voice activated navigation, leather upholstery, a power folding third row of seats and 19-inch alloy wheels. All trim levels receive a full complement of safety features to keep all occupants safe in the event of a collision.

The optional features are trim based and include a rearview camera, a power rear lift gate, heated second row seats with power Autofold, second row captain’s chairs with a center console refrigerator, a four-panel Vista roof, a contrasting color painted top panel, remote start, a rear seat DVD entertainment system, and Park Assist active parallel parking aid. Adding all these features really offers passengers a luxurious ride that is unmatched even in many luxury vehicles.

The base SE model Flex in FWD comes in at just under $32,000 and moving up to the SEL offers a starting point of $34,400 for FWD and $36,400 for AWD. For a vehicle that offers so much comfort and cargo hauling capability that is really a steal at either level. Adding all the comfort and equipment of the Limited brings in a starting price of $40,300 and can reach over $50,000 with all equipment added.

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