$23,550 - $34,014

2018 Ford Flex Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2018 Ford Flex was new.


Interior: 7.5

The 2018 Ford Flex has a well-designed cabin, but its material quality is midgrade. This SUV is starting to show its age, as it hasn’t been redesigned since it was introduced in 2009. There is ample room for adult passengers, but the seats get uncomfortable the longer you're in them. Many rivals’ cabins are quieter and more comfortable. Cargo space is average for the class but highly usable. The available touch-screen infotainment system works well.

  • "Our test car exhibited more squeaks, rattles and misaligned panels than we're used to seeing. Materials quality is just OK and is easily trumped by newer products, including some within Ford's own fleet." -- Edmunds
  • "The interior is a highly functional space that offers the choice of a fixed second row-bench seat – which affords seating for seven – or a pair of sliding second-row captain's chairs that reduce passenger capacity to six but can be moved forward to extended third-row legroom." -- Left Lane News (2016)
  • "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 (2016)


The Flex seats seven people across three rows. Cloth seating and a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat are standard. Options include leather first- and second-row seats, heated and ventilated front seats, a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a six-way power-adjustable passenger seat, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, a heated steering wheel, and a one-touch power-folding third row.

The front two rows have plenty of space. They aren't all that supportive though, so long-distance drives might leave you tired or aching. The third row has enough space for adult passengers, but the legroom is a little tight.

The Flex features three full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors. The upper tether anchors are generally hard to find and might be confused with other hardware. The lower anchors in the second row are set deep in the seats, but it's pretty easy to maneuver around them when installing a car seat.

  • "The Flex's front-seat cushions are flat and featureless. Support for long-distance driving is lacking, and the short seat bottoms may not be comfortable for taller drivers. The second row has plenty of room to stretch out, and the third row is tolerable for average-height adults." -- Edmunds
  • "For hauling people, the front and middle rows provide spacious and comfortable accommodations for four, or five in a pinch. Third-row occupants will find legroom a little tight." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "In terms of seating comfort, both the second and third rows have plenty of room for 6-footers." -- Autotrader (2015)

Interior Features

Standard features in the Flex include the SYNC smartphone integration system (with a USB port, Bluetooth, and voice command recognition), rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, and Ford's MyKey system.

Optional features include a power-opening panoramic glass roof, a three-prong power outlet, dual-zone automatic climate control, two USB ports, a seven-speaker premium audio system, a 12-speaker Sony audio system, HD Radio, satellite radio, proximity-key entry, push-button start, remote start, the SYNC 3 touch-screen infotainment system, Siri Eyes Free iPhone integration, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, voice-controlled navigation, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic parking assist, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

The standard SYNC infotainment system isn't as useful as the available SYNC 3 system, which is more responsive and has an intuitive menu layout. The voice control also works well. There are no physical buttons or knobs in the Flex; instead, you’ll find touch-sensitive panels, which can be a chore to use.

See 2018 Ford Flex specs »

  • "The infotainment system is one thing Ford has kept updated since the Flex debuted in 2009. The newest system features the Sync 3 interface. It's easy to use thanks to a simple menu layout and quick response times. Unfortunately, the touch-sensitive radio and climate control buttons just below the touchscreen are less intuitive. Simply brushing your arm against the center stack can alter those settings. The old-school steering-wheel button layout is similarly confounding." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "Ford's Sync 3 is a vast improvement over the previous system, with better voice control and a more intuitive interface." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "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 (2015)


You might expect the Flex to be a class leader in cargo capacity because of its boxy shape, but it's really about average. It has 20 cubic feet of space behind the third row, 43.2 cubic feet behind the second row, and 83.2 cubic feet behind the first row. A power liftgate is available.

However, the Flex's body shape does make it easy to maximize all of that space, and it's pretty easy to make even large and bulky items fit. Additionally, the seats – including the front passenger seat – fold flat, leaving you with an even loading platform.

  • "If you can't fit all of your stuff into a Ford Flex, there's a good chance you have too much stuff. Some SUVs can carry more based on the spec sheet, but the Flex's boxy shape and flat load floor are great in real-world use." -- 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 (2016)
  • "A spacious interior and generous cargo hold are some of this crossover SUV's best features." -- Consumer Guide (2015)

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