$12,748 - $17,895

2013 Ford Flex Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Ford Flex was new.


Performance: 7.9

Reviewers appreciate how well the 2013 Ford Flex drives, saying that it’s smooth, capable and powerful, especially with the turbocharged EcoBoost engine.

  • "Although the steering is as vague as a campaign promise, Ford's engineers have put new authority in the Flex's chassis and suspension. The result is surprising agility. Still smooth, still quiet, but also kind of fun to drive.” -- Car and Driver
  • "EcoBoost models dial all of the above impressions up several notches, with truly naughty acceleration rates and slightly crisper steering feel.” -- Motor Trend
  • "Our pants-o-meter tells us we're traveling from zero to 60 in a scant seven seconds, which is remarkable when considering the Flex's 4,637-pound curb weight.” -- Autoblog
  • "The 2013 Ford Flex isn't all that inspiring from behind the wheel, but it certainly is not disagreeable, either.” -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 Ford Flex comes standard with a 287-horsepower V6 engine, though the top-of-the-line Limited trim can be equipped with a turbocharged EcoBoost V6 that makes 365 horsepower that can only be paired with all-wheel drive. Both engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. According to the EPA, the Flex’s fuel economy ranges from 18/25 mpg city/highway in front-wheel drive models to 16/23 mpg city/highway with the turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive. Those ratings are typical for the class. The Flex can tow up to 4,500 pounds when properly equipped.

Test drivers say the base V6 engine is plenty powerful for the Flex, but they spend the most time talking about the turbocharged EcoBoost engine. Test drivers say it makes the Flex feel faster than some competitors, with only a small sacrifice in fuel economy.

  • “[The EcoBoost engine] transforms the family-friendly crossover into a rocket, providing huge dollops of torque that make the Flex feel as quick as some sport compacts.” -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The EcoBoost engine's added muscle only improves Flex's already solid package with little reduction in fuel economy.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "The six-speed automatic transmission also continues to be among the smoothest in the industry, with buttery shifts that exude quality and prompt kickdowns when summoned with appropriate throttle inputs.” -- Autoblog
  • "The base V6 is adequate for a vehicle this size, motivating the Flex with enough gusto to keep up with competing crossovers. The twin-turbo EcoBoost V6, meanwhile, invigorates the Flex Limited with more of a sport wagon demeanor thanks to its extra power and tighter suspension tuning.” -- Edmunds
  • “Remembering that we were not driving a top-fuel dragster, we were still surprised by the acceleration provided by the naturally aspirated [base] engine.” -- Left Lane News

Handling and Braking

Reviewers say the 2013 Ford Flex handles well for a three-row SUV. They like its accurate steering, smooth ride and controlled body motions through turns, and say it feels more agile and is more fun to drive than other crossovers of a similar size. The base SE trim offers only front-wheel drive, but SEL and Limited trims offer a choice between front- and all-wheel drive.

  • "We found the sum of the chassis changes made the Flex feel predictable and communicative, a boon on narrow winding roads covered in slush and ice.” -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Ford also beefed up the brakes, which now offer fine modulation and confidence-inspiring stopping power.” -- AutoWeek
  • "The ride is always comfortable -- even with the bigger wheels -- soaking up bumps in the road with luxury car ease.” -- Edmunds
  • "Direct steering and controlled body lean in corners give Flex a fairly nimble feel, and on the road it feels smaller than you'd expect given its large size. Steering is accurate and well weighted. … For such a large vehicle, Flex has a surprisingly tidy turning radius.” -- Consumer Guide

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