Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
June 18, 2008
Photos By: Dale Amy

We recently had the chance to steal a little seat time in Ford's hot-looking new crossover, the '09 Ford Flex, while attending the Milan, Michigan, NMRA event as a participant in the Ford Racing Invitational 2008. Ford had the Flex on display so spectators could see what the new crossover's all about. While talking with SVT's Patrick Hespen, who was the caretaker of this particular Flex for the weekend, he offered us the keys and said to take it for a spin and get to know the vehicle. With an offer like that, we weren't about to be rude and turn it down, so we snatched the keys from Patrick's hand before he had a chance to think about what just came out of his mouth, and off we went.

If the Flex is anything, it's different. This is a vehicle that at first glance looks like it couldn't possibly come from a Ford design studio. That's a good thing, though, as a fresh design brings new people into the company's dealerships that hadn't thought of purchasing a Ford in the past. It's a very contemporary design, with upgraded materials used inside and out and a long, stretched look that truly gives riders plenty of room, without having to look like a typical large SUV. Park the Flex next to a traditional SUV and the size difference is easily apparent.

Options such as a four-panel glass Vista Roof, two-tone painted roof option, and all black greenhouse (the B and C pillars aren't body color) give the Flex a truly unique exterior appearance that turned heads wherever we drove it. Inside, the Flex continues the head-turning with comfortable seating for up to seven (and even real adults can sit in the third row!), dual air-conditioning systems, Microsoft SYNC hands-free communication, Sony audio system, reverse camera system, middle row refrigerator console, EasyFuel capless fueling system, and ambient interior lighting.

Safety features abound with AdvanceTrac and Roll Stability Control (RSC) to aid the driver in keeping control on all manner of surfaces. Safety Canopy side-curtain airbags for all three rows are also standard. Dual-stage airbags for driver and front passenger, thorax side airbags for front seat occupants, safety belt pretensioners, and Ford's SPACE (Side Protection And Cabin Enhancement) hydroformed cross-car beam are all standard safety features as well. Finally, power comes from Ford's proven 3.5L V-6, which is mated to a six-speed automatic with optional AWD capabilities as well. Check out the exclusive photos from our drive, and see www.fordvehicles.com/flex or your local Ford dealer for more information and a testdrive.

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