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2019 Ford Flex Review

The 2019 Ford Flex is propelled to the top third of the midsize SUV class by a good predicted reliability rating, a strong engine option, poised handling, and a relatively straightforward infotainment system.

Pros & Cons

  • Strong turbocharged V6 engine option
  • User-friendly available SYNC 3 infotainment system
  • Good predicted reliability rating
  • Firmer ride quality than some rivals
  • Seats lack support for long drives
  • Outdated cabin materials and design

Rankings & Research

The 2019 Ford Flex's #6 ranking is based on its score within the 2019 Affordable Midsize SUVs category. Currently the Ford Flex has a score of 8.0 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 100 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.6
Performance: 7.5
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.5
Safety: 8.7
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the 2019 Ford Flex a Good Used SUV?

Yes, the 2019 Flex is a good used midsize SUV. It has composed handling, an intuitive available infotainment system, and a practical design. Its boxy shape and flat-folding front passenger seat make it easy to load cargo. It has a good predicted reliability rating too. However, Ford launched this vehicle for 2009, and it’s showing its age. It has dated cabin styling, its seats lack the cushioning to keep you comfortable on long drives, and it gets poor mpg ratings.

For some alternatives, you might consider the 2019 Chevrolet Traverse, which has plenty of cargo room and standard tech features, or the 2019 Honda Pilot, which has gobs of passenger space and lots of standard driver aids.

Compare the Flex, Traverse, and Pilot »

Why You Can Trust Us

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible. You'll find everything you need to know about this vehicle in our comprehensive Ford Flex review. It combines concrete data like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions with 100 professional Ford Flex reviews.

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. We care about cars, but we care more about providing useful consumer advice. To ensure our impartiality, an independent party handles our advertising, and our editorial team doesn’t accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much is the 2019 Ford Flex?

Based on listings for the 2019 Ford Flex, the average list price is $22,472. Prices range from $22,472 to $31,438 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2019 Ford Flex Cost to Own?

The 2019 Flex’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, taxes, fees, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be about $29,000, or $5,800 per year. Those figures are about average for the class.

2018 vs. 2019 Ford Flex: What's the Difference?

Ford made no major changes to the 2019 Flex, making it a nearly identical vehicle to a 2018 Flex. Ford last redesigned the Flex for the 2009 model year.

Compare the 2018 and 2019 Flex »

Here are this SUV’s key changes over the last few years:

  • 2016: MyFord Touch replaced by SYNC 3 infotainment system; rearview camera made standard
  • 2017: no major changes
  • 2018: no major changes
  • 2019: final model year of production

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2016 Flex, 2017 Flex, and 2018 Flex reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Reliable Is the 2019 Ford Flex?

The 2019 Flex has a good predicted reliability rating of four out of five.

Read more about Flex reliability »

2019 Ford Flex Recalls

There have been 1 safety recalls issued from NHTSA.

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM:ALTERNATOR/GENERATOR/REGULATOR Recall Date: 08/19/2018
  • Summary: Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain 2018 Ford Edge, Lincoln MKX, 2019 Ford Flex, and Lincoln MKT vehicles. The power supply cables at the starter and the alternator may not have been properly secured, possibly resulting in an electrical arc.
  • Potential Number of Units Affected: 87
  • Consequence: An electrical arc can increase the risk of a fire.
  • Remedy: Ford will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the alternator and starter motor power supply cables to verify that they are properly secured, correcting them as necessary, free of charge. The recall began September 26, 2018. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 18S25.
  • Dates of Manufacture: MAY 28, 2018 to MAY 28, 2018
  • Manufacturer Recall Number: 18S25
  • NHTSA Campaign ID: 18V548000

See more information on Ford Flex safety recalls »

Which Used Ford Flex Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2019 Flex comes in three trim levels: SE, SEL, and Limited. All-wheel drive is available in the SEL and Limited trims. Additionally, the Limited is the only trim to that comes with the twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 engine, meaning shoppers looking for the most power should look to that model. Notably, you must add all-wheel drive (AWD) to get this engine. Otherwise, it’s worth upgrading to the SEL trim to get the user-friendly SYNC 3 interface.

  • Ford Flex SE: Standard equipment in the entry-level Ford Flex SE includes the basic SYNC infotainment system, a 4.2-inch display, a USB port, Bluetooth, a six-speaker stereo, a six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, 60/40-split-folding second-row seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, Ford MyKey, and alloy wheels. Some models may come with satellite radio.
  • Ford Flex SEL: The SEL trim gains the SYNC 3 infotainment system, an 8-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Siri Eyes Free, two additional USB ports, satellite radio, remote start, proximity keyless entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated front seats, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Some SEL models may feature a power liftgate, a panoramic moonroof, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, a navigation system, a premium seven-speaker stereo, leather-trimmed first- and second-row seats, and second-row reclining bucket seats.
  • Ford Flex Limited: The top-of-the-line Ford Flex Limited comes with many of the features listed above, along with leather upholstery for the first two rows, a power liftgate, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and a navigation system. Other additions include a 12-speaker Sony stereo, HD Radio, and larger alloy wheels. Features such as active park assist, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, power-folding third-row seats, ventilated front seats, a 10-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, and a heated steering wheel are only available in Limited models.

See 2019 Ford Flex trims and specs »

What Does Ford's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Ford offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Ford extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles. These vehicles also get a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty after the original three-year/36,000-mile new-car warranty expires. Each Ford CPO vehicle must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like vehicle history reports, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Ford warranty page carefully.

Ford does not have one of the better CPO programs among affordable carmakers. Chevy, GMC, Honda, Kia, and Mazda all have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Flex?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2019 Flex the highest rating of Good in four crash tests and the second-highest rating of Acceptable in the driver’s side small overlap front test. The top-level Limited trim’s headlights received the second-lowest rating of Marginal for how well they illuminate the road ahead, while SE and SEL trims received the lowest rating of Poor.

The IIHS uses a different scale for grading collision avoidance features. The Flex received the lowest rating of Basic for its available front crash prevention system.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave this vehicle four out of five stars in the rollover test.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Rearview camera
  • Rear parking sensors
  • MyKey (lets you do things like set speed and audio volume limits for secondary drivers)

Available advanced safety features:

  • Parallel and perpendicular park assist
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Forward collision warning
  • Adaptive cruise control

See Flex safety scores »

2019 Ford Flex Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2019 Ford Flex or 2019 Honda Pilot?

The Ford has a few advantages over the 2019 Honda Pilot in our midsize SUV rankings. For one, it has more cargo space behind the third-row seats. The Ford also has a much better predicted reliability rating, and its available turbocharged engine is stronger than anything you’ll find in the Pilot lineup. The Ford is likely to be more affordable too. However, the Honda is also a good vehicle. It has more standard features than the Flex, such as adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist, and it gets better mpg ratings. The Pilot also has a roomier third row.

Which Is Better: 2019 Ford Flex or 2019 Ford Edge?

The 2019 Ford Edge is another good midsize SUV. Notably, the Edge has two rows of seats, so if you need a third row, you’ll want to stick with the Flex. The Flex has stronger engines than the Edge and more cargo space behind the second row. However, there’s a lot to like about the Edge. Even with its V6 engine, the Edge gets better fuel economy than the Flex. It also has a higher safety score and lower ownership costs. Both are good vehicles, but the Flex’s higher predicted reliability rating helps it come out ahead.

Compare the Flex, Pilot, and Edge »

2019 Flex Performance

How Does the 2019 Ford Flex Drive?

The Flex has two V6 engine options. The base engine produces sufficient power for most daily driving situations, but it feels strained when this vehicle is loaded with passengers or cargo. For something punchier, look to the EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 that’s available in the Limited trim. This engine is only available with AWD.

Despite being a big, bulky SUV, this Ford is maneuverable. Steering feedback is numb, but body roll is kept in check, helping the Flex feel balanced around turns. The ride quality is generally smooth, but driving on broken pavement may jostle the cabin’s occupants.

  • Base engine: 287-horsepower turbocharged 3.5-liter V6
  • Available engine: 365-horsepower twin-turbocharged EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 (Limited trim only)
  • Drivetrain: standard front-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: six-speed automatic
Does the 2019 Ford Flex Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Ford Flex has some of the worst EPA estimates in the class.

  • V6, FWD: 16/23 mpg city/highway
  • V6, AWD: 16/22 mpg
  • Twin-turbo V6, AWD: 15/21 mpg
2019 Ford Flex Towing Capacity

The Flex can tow up to 4,500 pounds when properly equipped.

Read more about Flex performance »

2019 Flex Interior

How Many People Does the 2019 Flex Seat?

The 2019 Flex seats seven people in three rows, but capacity drops to six if you get captain’s chairs instead of a second-row bench seat. There’s a good amount of space for adults in the first two rows. Like many three-row SUVs, passenger space in the third row is tight, although adults should be OK back there for short trips. Additionally, all rows of seats lack the support and cushioning needed for long drives.

Cabin materials are generally nice, but this Ford is an aging vehicle, and plenty of rivals have more modern interior styling.

Standard seating features:

  • Cloth upholstery
  • Six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat

Available seating features:

  • Leather upholstery
  • 10-way power-adjustable front seats
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Second-row reclining bucket seats
  • Third-row one-touch power-folding seats
  • Heated steering wheel
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2019 Ford Flex?

The 2019 Flex has three complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors. There are two sets for the second-row outboard seats and one set for the third-row passenger-side seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this LATCH system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use. The second-row lower anchors are set deeply in the seats, and the third-row tether is hard to find and could be confused for other hardware.

2019 Ford Flex Features

The available SYNC 3 infotainment system, found in SEL and Limited trims, is worth seeking out. It’s intuitive, with a straightforward and quick-responding touch screen. However, the touch panels for adjusting most other settings can be a bit sensitive.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 4.2-inch display, Bluetooth, a USB port, and a six-speaker stereo
  • Available infotainment features: the SYNC 3 infotainment system, an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation, HD Radio, satellite radio, a seven-speaker stereo, a 12-speaker Sony stereo, and two additional USB ports
  • Other available features: remote start, push-button start, proximity keyless entry, and a panoramic glass roof

See 2019 Ford Flex specs »

Read more about Flex interior »

2019 Ford Flex Dimensions

Ford Flex Cargo Space

This Ford has 20 cubic feet of space with all the seats in use. Folding down the third row opens up 43.2 cubic feet. Fold down the second row, and you’ll find a total of 83.2 cubic feet. That cargo-carrying capacity is average for a midsize SUV. In addition, this vehicle’s boxy design makes loading and fitting large items easy, and the front passenger seat can fold down to accommodate longer items.

2019 Ford Flex Length and Weight
  • Length: 16 feet, 10 inches
  • Curb weight: 4,439 to 4,828 pounds

Where Was the 2019 Ford Flex Built?

Ford built the 2019 Flex in Canada alongside the 2019 Lincoln MKT.

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