$19,296 - $27,971

2016 Ford Flex Performance Review

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


Performance: 8.1

The 2016 Ford Flex delivers a comfortable ride, but test drivers say you shouldn't discount its performance. The Flex's base engine delivers solid power, its available twin-turbocharged engine makes it downright fast and the Flex handles well for a midsize SUV.

  • "The 2016 Ford Flex is pleasant to drive in any form, but the Limited's optional turbocharged V6 transforms this family wagon into a fire-breather." -- Edmunds
  • "Other positives include optional all-wheel drive, a respectable driving experience, and an available twin-turbo engine." -- Automobile Magazine (2014)
  • "On the road, the Flex is one of our favorite vehicles. It's easy to drive, can haul lots of people and stuff and gets pretty good fuel economy on the highway." -- AutoTrader (2014)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Flex comes standard with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that puts out 287 horsepower. A twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 365 horsepower is available. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard.

The Flex gets an EPA-estimated 16/23 mpg city/highway, which is slightly below average for the class.

The base V6 provides sufficient power for daily driving, but the available twin-turbocharged V6 is more powerful than many class rivals' V6 engines and offers hearty acceleration, even with a full load of passengers and cargo. The transmission shifts smoothly and willingly downshifts when necessary.

  • "For the majority of drivers, the base 3.5-liter V6 should be adequate, but a Flex loaded to the brim with passengers and cargo will tax that engine. The turbocharged EcoBoost engine certainly solves that problem, and it's downright fast on the open road, accelerating into arrest-me range with astonishing ease." -- Edmunds
  • "Power from the base V6 isn't bad, but we prefer the 365 horsepower offered by the EcoBoost V6. When so equipped, the Flex offers up more power than any rival V6, and even more horsepower than the Hemi-powered Dodge Durango." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The base 3.5-liter V6 is satisfyingly strong and linear when passing and merging, but if you're looking for thrilling acceleration, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine is the obvious choice." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "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 (2013)

Handling and Braking

Front-wheel drive is standard on the 2016 Flex. All-wheel drive is available. The Flex emphasizes comfort over performance, and it delivers a smooth ride. However, it also maneuvers well for its size, exhibiting poise and minimal body roll when cornering. Some reviewers say its steering is nicely tuned, but others think it could be sharper. The Flex's brakes provide ample stopping power.

  • "With such a strong focus on utility, it's no surprise that the Flex generally prioritizes comfort over responsive handling. That said, the Flex's steering is responsive, and this boxy bus is rock-solid stable on the highway. Even over rough roads, occupants are well-isolated from ruts and bumps." -- Edmunds
  • "Despite its wide and long body, Ford's Flex crossover SUV for 2016 manages to feel maneuverable and responsive, even in tight situations. The Flex demonstrates impressive poise in sharp turns … remaining relatively flat when cornering but delivering somewhat numb feedback through its electric-assist power steering. Sway and body roll are kept to a minimum, and ride comfort is above par for this class." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "We also like Flex's refined nature and good handling." -- Consumer Guide (2015)
  • "Speaking of fun to drive, the Ford Flex handles much better than many three-row crossovers and minivans. Its electric power steering is well calibrated, and the 2013 update brought larger brakes that are reassuringly strong." -- Automobile Magazine (2014)

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