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2013 Ford Flex Review

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The All New Ford Flex Limited is one very COOL mode of family transport. We had the opportunity to test drive one for a family vacation a couple of weeks ago up to Muskoka. We rented a cottage up north for an end of summer getaway.

We are owners of a late model Ford minivan that is beginning to show its age, so having the opportunity to drive something new was a nice surprise.

With 6 of us heading up to the cottage, you can only imagine the stuff that had to come with us. My concern of course was the weather; as the Labour Day holiday was already in our rear view mirror. We not only took the summer stuff, but also sweaters and jackets too, just in case.

The reason I'm saying this is because even with all our gear, food, fishing rods, toys, video games, blankets, sleeping bags, pillows, beer and wine, we still were very comfortable during the 4 ½ hour ride up north through rush hour traffic.

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What we found truly amazing about the 2013 Ford Flex Limited was all the creature comforts that it possesses. Things like the Panoramic Vista Roof allowing the girls to see the change in the sky as we left the lights of the city. As we reached highway 11 just north of Barrie, we began to see an awesome array of stars.

Not once during this long trek did we hear anyone say, "are we there yet," or, "how much longer is it." The kids were more than occupied by the entertainment system, playing a DVD movie of their choice. My oldest daughter had also forgotten to charge up her iPod Touch, which I quickly learned was not a problem, as the test Flex was equipped with a 110-volt plug. She simply plugged it in and was operational immediately. Add to that, the onboard refrigerator, and you have one very happy family. The girls were able to get their own drinks and snacks from the fridge without bothering me with it every 10 minutes.

Kudos to Ford for thinking about children and all the electronic requirements that modern day families are subjected to while traveling long distances. Again, not once did we hear from the back of the car. My husband and I were able to isolate the music tracks that we wanted to listen to by using the Bluetooth connectivity that comes with Ford SYNC system. Not only could you play music and make hands-free telephone calls, but also get turn-by-turn navigation through the MY Ford Touch as well as voice to text messaging. All this designed to keep the driver alert to changing road conditions and traffic levels.

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The power and handling of the 2013 Ford Flex Limited is also amazing. Ford has for the past several years been producing the EcoBoost engine, an exclusive design/build motor which produces the power of a big V8, with the modern day efficiencies of a much smaller V6, 355 HP twin-turbo. Surprisingly good fuel economy for a full size 7-passenger vehicle with all the comforts of home.

One of the neatest features we encountered, quite by accident really, was the cruise control that adapts to road traffic volume. As my husband was driving home with the cruise activated, it automatically slowed the vehicle, as cars got closer in front of you. When you changed lanes to pass it returned to the preset speed without even touching the accelerator. Blind spot accident avoidance in your side mirrors lets you know when cars are in your way.

Some women that I have spoken too feel the Flex is too big, which is really more of a reflection of their driving history. For those of us who currently drive in the minivan category, you have got to get behind the wheel of the Flex, as it is truly a pleasure to drive and commands a lot of respect on the road. You can also order it with Active Park Assist, and have the thing park itself for you.

Our test car was equipped with very "Hot" 20-inch wheels, which only added to the attractiveness and sporty look of the Flex. If you get the impression that as a family, we loved this vehicle, you would be right. If I were seriously considering a new vehicle for the family, they would all likely have me committed if the Flex were not eventually in our driveway. The entire family is quite taken by this car, and was saddened with having to return it to Ford.

Maybe someday...a girl can dream.