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8.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 8.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.5
Safety: 9.2
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 Ford Flex Review

The 2017 Ford Flex sits in the middle of the competitive midsize SUV segment. Though it has nimble handling and spacious seating for adults in all three rows, it’s let down by its underwhelming base engine and bare-bones standard technology.

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful available engine
  • Spacious cabin
  • Intuitive available infotainment system
  • Base engine struggles with a full load
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Uncomfortable front seats
  • Bare-bones standard technology

2017 Ford Flex Overview

Is the 2017 Ford Flex a Good Used SUV?

Aside from its retro looks and spacious three-row seating, the 2017 Ford Flex fails to stand out in the midsize SUV class. With only average predicted reliability and safety ratings, along with a subpar cargo capacity, the Flex is an OK SUV.

Why You Can Trust Us

We do not base our used car rankings and reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we collect information like safety and reliability reports, total cost of ownership estimates, and the views of the automotive press. We analyzed 92 professional evaluations for this 2017 Ford Flex review to help you make an informed buying decision.

Our experienced team of writers, editors, and analysts has been ranking and reviewing the best cars, trucks, crossovers, and SUVs since 2007. We remain unbiased by refusing pricey gifts and trips from auto manufacturers and employing an independent agency to manage the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2017 Ford Flex?

Based on 728 listings for this vehicle on our site, you can expect to pay between $23,500 and $34,000 for a used 2017 Ford Flex. The average list price is $27,700. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2017 Ford Flex Cost to Own?

Predicted five-year costs for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs for the 2017 Flex are estimated to be $26,004. That’s below average for the midsize SUV segment.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Flex?

The 2019 Ford Flex has a starting price of $30,575, which is well above the average price of $27,700 for a 2017 Flex. There are no significant changes between the model years, except for the elimination of an available rear-seat entertainment system after the 2017 model year.

Read about the new Ford Flex »

The 2019 Kia Sorento has a lower starting price ($25,990) than the 2017 Flex’s average used listing price. It’s also a better 3-row SUV overall, with comfier seats, better fuel economy, and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (neither of which are offered on the 2017 Flex). You’ll still pay less than the average price of used 2017 Flex by moving up to the Sorento LX trim ($27,490), which adds blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert. It also has optional packages that give it even more features.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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Which Model Year of the Ford Flex Is Best?

Little has changed about the Flex since its grille was redesigned in the 2013 model year. The 2014 Flex saw no changes either, but the 2015 Flex received heated side-view mirrors. The 2016 Flex saw the most significant changes. For this model year, the Flex gained a standard rearview camera, and the SYNC 3 infotainment system became available.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Flex »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Ford Flex?

The 2017 Ford Flex has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power, which is about average.

Read more about Flex reliability »

2017 Ford Flex Recalls

As of this writing, the 2017 Ford Flex has one open recall for an oil leak from the turbocharger that could cause a fire. Make sure a Ford dealer has taken care of this issue before purchasing a 2017 Flex.

See more information on Ford Flex safety recalls »

Which Used Ford Flex Model Is Right for Me?

The 2017 Ford Flex comes in three trim levels: SE, SEL, and Limited. The base SE trim offers cloth seating upholstery, a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat, and the basic SYNC infotainment system with a USB port, voice recognition, Bluetooth, and smartphone app integration.

The SEL trim is the best choice because it has the upgraded SYNC 3 touch-screen infotainment system, which is more functional and easier to use than the standard system. Other amenities include power-adjustable and heated front seats, satellite radio, and convenience features like proximity key entry and remote start.

The Limited trim has leather first- and second-row seats, a 12-speaker Sony audio system, HD Radio, navigation, a 110-volt household-type power outlet, and a power liftgate.

See 2017 Ford Flex trims and specs »

Certified Pre-Owned Ford Flex Warranty

You may want to consider a certified pre-owned vehicle. For its CPO vehicles, Ford extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles and provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty. Each CPO vehicle must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Ford warranty page carefully. You’ll find Toyota, Honda, and Chevrolet have better programs than the one Ford offers.

See the best CPO programs »

Read more about the Ford certified pre-owned program »

How Safe Is the Flex?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2017 Flex the highest rating of Good in four out of five crash tests. In the small overlap front test, the Flex received the second-highest rating of Acceptable. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Flex four out of five stars in the rollover crash test.

A rearview camera and rear parking sensors come standard. Available active safety technology includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and automatic parking assist that pulls the Flex into a parking space for you.

See Flex safety scores »

2017 Ford Flex Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Ford Flex or 2017 Honda Pilot?

The 2017 Honda Pilot is a better choice than the 2017 Flex. The Pilot is one of the most well-rounded and family-friendly midsize SUVs with seating for up to eight (the Flex only has seating for up to seven). The Honda also has great safety scores, a more modern infotainment system, and comfier seats. Go with the Pilot.

Which Is Better: 2017 Ford Flex or 2017 Chevrolet Traverse?

The 2017 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2017 Flex match up pretty closely. The Flex is the better choice if you need three rows of seating for adults or taller children. The Traverse's biggest selling point over the Flex and nearly all others in the class is its cargo space. The Traverse offers 70.3 cubic feet with the third row folded, compared with the Flex's 43.2 cubic feet. The Chevy Traverse also drives like a much smaller vehicle. The Flex has better fuel economy, but that’s not reason enough to recommend it over the Traverse.

Which Is Better: 2017 Ford Flex or 2017 Ford Explorer?

The 2017 Ford Explorer and the 2017 Flex share the same platform. However, in most areas, the Flex is the better choice between the two stablemates. Interior quality in the Explorer is mostly subpar, especially when compared to many other SUVs in the class, including the Flex. In contrast to the Flex's somewhat nimble handling, the Explorer feels much larger. We recommend the Flex over the Explorer.

Compare the Flex, Pilot, and Traverse »

2017 Flex Performance

How Does the 2017 Ford Flex Drive?

The 2017 Flex's ride and handling are good for an SUV of its size. Front-wheel drive comes standard, and all-wheel drive is available. The Flex travels smoothly over most surfaces and stays stable when cruising at highway speeds, but it doesn’t handle bumps and choppy roads as well as most rivals.

A 287-horsepower V6 engine powers the base 2017 Ford Flex, which should offer enough power for most everyday driving situations. However, the available 365-horsepower twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 is a better engine choice if you plan to pack the Flex with people and cargo. A six-speed automatic transmission comes with both engines.

Does the 2017 Ford Flex Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 2017 delivers low fuel economy estimates for a midsize SUV. In the base Flex, you'll get an EPA-estimated 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. Fuel economy for the all-wheel-drive Flex drops to 16/22 mpg city/highway, and the twin-turbocharged V6 Flex returns 15/21 mpg.

2017 Ford Flex Towing Capacity

When properly equipped, the 2017 Flex can tow up to 4,500 pounds.

Read more about Flex performance »

2017 Flex Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 Flex Seat?

The 2017 Ford Flex seats seven in three rows of standard cloth seats. A six-way power-adjustable driver's seat is standard. Heated front seats, a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a six-way power-adjustable passenger seat, second-row captain's chairs, heated and cooled front seats, and leather first- and second-row seats are available.

The third row is roomy enough for adults, but the front seats are flat and lack support for long trips. The middle row, though, provides a nice balance of comfort and space.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Ford Flex?

The 2017 Flex has three complete LATCH car-seat connectors. Two are on the outboard second-row seats, and one is in the passenger-side seat in the third row. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Flex’s LATCH system the second-highest rating of Acceptable. The IIHS noted the tether anchors could be hard to find, and the lower anchors are buried a bit too deep in the seats.

2017 Ford Flex Features

Standard equipment includes the SYNC infotainment system, a USB port, voice recognition, Bluetooth, and smartphone app integration. The standard SYNC system lets you use your voice to make phone calls or listen to music, but the display screen is small and lacks touch-screen capabilities.

Available features offered on the Flex are dual-zone automatic climate control, two USB ports, satellite radio, proximity-key entry, push-button start, remote start, a 110-volt household-style power outlet, a seven-speaker premium audio system, voice-control navigation, and the SYNC 3 touch-screen infotainment system with Siri Eyes Free iPhone integration.

The available SYNC 3 system features a responsive 8-inch touch screen with an easy-to-use menu layout. Under the touch screen are physical controls for common adjustments, like climate and volume. Although the SYNC 3 system has smartphone integration, it lacks the popular Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems.

See 2017 Ford Flex specs »

Read more about Flex interior »

2017 Ford Flex Dimensions

Ford Flex Cargo Space

The 2017 Flex has 20 cubic feet of cargo space with all the seats in use. Folding down the third row gives you 43.2 cubic feet, and collapsing the second row increases that to 83.2 cubic feet. These capacities are about average for the midsize SUV class.

2017 Flex Length and Weight

The 2017 Flex is 16.8 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 4,439 to 4,828 pounds, and the Flex’s gross vehicle weight rating goes from 5,970 up to 6,150 pounds, depending on how it’s equipped.

Where Was the 2017 Ford Flex Built?

Ford manufactured the 2017 Ford Flex in Ontario, Canada.

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