Based on the reactions of many people between Chicago and upstate New York, Ford needn't worry about drivers taking notice of its new Flex. I had a nice couple outside South Bend, Ind., walk up to me in a tollway oasis parking lot to ask me about it ("Is that one of those cruiser cars?"), and a liquor store owner in Honeoye, N.Y., came outside to get the full tour.
While driving in an interstate passing lane, a young couple in a Ford Freestyle pulled alongside the Flex and eyeballed it at 65 mph for more than a minute before falling back. On another interstate just south of Cleveland, a grizzled guy in a beat-up pickup actually did a double-take.
Earlier, I described the Flex as the result of a union between a Honda Element and a Mini Cooper. More than a few people commented on how retro-cool the Flex looks. The white roof with the dark pillars, the horizontal strips along the side and the low, wide stance all drew applause. My wife's aunt even compared it to her '70s-era Suburban, although she noted that the Flex sits far lower.
Based on looks alone, the Flex should be able to stand out in a crowd of look-alike SUVs.