$19,296 - $27,971

2016 Ford Flex Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2016 Ford Flex was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 8.3

Critics say the 2016 Ford Flex has a well-designed interior that features plenty of soft-touch materials, though there are still hard plastics present. The large windows make an already roomy cabin feel even larger, and all three rows of seats can accommodate adults. The SYNC 3 infotainment system is simple and user-friendly, but several tech features are only available in more expensive models. The Flex has good cargo capacity, and its boxy shape makes the available space highly useable.

  • "Ford worked hard to make the 2016 Flex a special place to be. The inviting interior is functional, elegantly appointed and meticulously assembled." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Overall, we like the Flex's interior because of its abundant soft-touch materials and attractive design." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "Unfortunately the 2013 refresh did little to update the cabin, which remains swathed in plain plastics and boring, square shapes. It's not nearly as modern as the interior of other contemporary Ford products, although options like MyFord Touch, a blind-spot warning monitor, and a self-parking function are available." -- Automobile Magazine (2014)
  • The cabin presents well, especially with the Titanium Appearance Package. … Most plastic surfaces look OK, but they aren't exceptional and more of them are hard plastic than we'd like." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Seating

The 2016 Ford Flex seats seven (six with the available second-row bucket seats) and comes standard with cloth upholstery and a power-adjustable driver's seat.

Leather upholstery, heated and cooled front seats, heated second-row seats, a power-adjustable passenger's seat, power-adjustable pedals, and a heated steering wheel are available.

The Flex's interior is quiet and spacious. All three rows of seats offer enough room for adults to sit comfortably, which is not a given in three-row vehicles. The large windows add to the cabin's roomy feel and provide excellent visibility for the driver.

  • "The 2016 Flex's boxy shape translates to a wealth of interior space, including genuinely adult-friendly accommodations in all three rows - a rare achievement, even in this size class. Accessing the rearmost seats is made easier by the auto-folding second-row passenger seat, while opting for the reclining-and-sliding second-row captain's chairs adds a nice dose of luxury with available seat heaters." -- Edmunds
  • "The interior is also well isolated from outside noise, although that varies somewhat depending on wheel and tire size." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Its third row seat is also comfortable for adults (especially with the optional second-row captain's chairs slid forward), with its abundant headroom and large windows that eliminate the claustrophobic feeling indicative of many third rows. Very good visibility for the driver is another benefit from the Flex's shape." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "It still seats up to seven and the rear seat, unlike in some three-row crossovers, is usable and easily accessed." -- Automobile Magazine (2014)

Interior Features

Standard features in the 2016 Ford Flex include satellite radio, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and the SYNC with MyFord infotainment system, which includes voice command recognition, Bluetooth, and smartphone app integration. Ford's MyKey, which allows drivers to set speed and radio volume limits, is also standard.

Available features include push-button start, a roof with four glass panels, a power moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 12-speaker Sony audio system, HD Radio, a second-row console-mounted refrigerator, navigation, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, parallel park assist, and the SYNC 3 infotainment system with a touch screen, enhanced voice recognition, and Siri Eyes Free.

The standard audio and climate control systems have small buttons and knobs that could be more user-friendly. However, the available SYNC 3 infotainment system provides a simple layout and an intuitive interface that responds to smartphone-style pinch and swipe gestures. It's fairly quick to react to inputs and easy for the driver to operate. The Flex offers plenty of other tech features, although some are only available in more expensive trims.

See 2016 Ford Flex specs »

  • "Perhaps the biggest complaint about previous Flex models concerned the problematic MyFord Touch infotainment system. With the new Sync 3 interface, the layout is simpler and responses are quicker. Ford has arrayed the system's virtual buttons at the bottom of the 8-inch touchscreen, and they're pretty easy to decipher and operate from the driver seat. You can also pinch and swipe for certain functions, just as you would on your smartphone or tablet." -- Edmunds
  • "For 2016, the Ford Flex gains the new Sync 3 infotainment system. Ford's Sync 3 is a vast improvement over the previous system, with better voice control and a more intuitive interface." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Downsides include … that some desirable features are only offered on the most expensive models." -- Consumer Guide (2015)
  • While we can't say we're thrilled about the small knobs and buttons used to control the standard audio and ventilation, we generally like the layout and features on the Flex's instrument panel." -- AutoTrader (2014)

Cargo

The 2016 Flex has good cargo capacity for the class, offering 20 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats up, 43.2 cubic feet with the third row of seats folded and 83.2 cubic feet of space with the second and third rows folded. A power liftgate is available.

A few alternatives like the Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave have more cargo space, but the Flex benefits from its boxy design, which makes the space highly useable.

  • "Even though the Flex's cargo capacity trails some rivals on paper, the space itself is very usable, thanks to the car's boxy overall shape." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2nd-row and 3rd-row seats fold flat, and so does the right-front passenger seat, creating what feels like acres of cargo space." – Kelley Blue Book
  • "A spacious interior and generous cargo hold are some of this crossover SUV's best features." -- Consumer Guide (2015)

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