By Cars.com EditorsSeptember 21, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Kelsey Mays takes a look at the 2010 Ford Flex EcoBoost. It competes with the Mazda CX-9 and Hyundai Veracruz.
(upbeat music) <v Announcer>Cars.com auto review. (upbeat music) Hi, I'm Kelsey Mays for cars.com. The traditional SUV these days, not as an attractive choice as it used to be with family car shoppers. Enter something like the three row Ford Flex.
This is Ford's effort to offer an alternative to those traditional SUVs as well as minivans. The Flex was new for 2009. For 2010, it now offers an EcoBoost V6. This is a twin turbo engine. Ford says it combines top towing capabilities with a V8 like driving experience. So we're gonna take a look at this and see if it offers similar capabilities to those V8 SUVs you might've considered. See if the Flex has enough muscle to make it a good choice. Get it? Flex, muscles. No one appreciates me around here. (upbeat music) Gas mileage EPA rated at 16 city 22 highway. That may not sound so good, but it's actually the same rating as EPA gives for the base Flex with its non turbo V6. All wheel drive here is standard. All things considered, pretty good compared to those V8 SUVs. Actually almost up there with crossovers. Same rating as the Honda Pilot with all wheel drive. Not quite as good as the Toyota Highlander, the Chevy Traverse. (upbeat music) Towing capacity maximum is not class-leading. The Traverse tows 5,200 pounds. It doesn't really hold much of a candle to the big SUVs. Those tow seven, eight, 9,000 pounds. Cargo space, again, not really a winning story here. If you fold all the seats down, you're looking at about 83 cubic feet total. It matches the Pilot. Doesn't really match the Highlander or the Traverse, and those big SUVs, again, all have over 100 cubic feet of space. (upbeat music) Performance definitely a strong point here. Plenty of burley, low end sort of grunt. We took this on the highway with five people in the car and all of their luggage. Got up and passed others in the passing lane just fine. I would actually say that you'd have to upgrade to the larger V8s in SUVs like a Chevy Tahoe or the Toyota Sequoia to get this sort of performance. Quite impressive. Also impressive, ride quality. Even with our test car's 20 inch wheels, ride comfort pretty good. So is road and wind noise. I'm impressed how sort of well contained they are. So at the end of the day, the Flex doesn't pack sort of cargo capabilities or towing capacity as some of those bigger V8 SUVs might. And so if you're really looking to tow a boat or load your rig full of gear, those might be better choices. But, true to Ford's claim, the EcoBoost engine does offer impressive acceleration and remarkably car like refinement. So if you're more of a driver than a hauler, Flex EcoBoost might be worth checking out. (upbeat music) <v Announcer>For more car related news, go to cars.com or our blog, kickingtires.net.