By Asian Journal Auto Editor

2017-Ford-FlexSince its introduction in 2009, the Ford Flex crossover/wagon has always been one of the coolest vehicles on the street with its two tone paint, square boxy lines, and its Minivan/SUV/wagon definition. With its sublime looks, three rows of seats (six or seven seater capacity), vast interior space, comfort and utility, the Flex is a very attractive family hauler. For 2017, the Ford Flex has a few changes coming from a 2016 tweak, including:  new 17 – 20 inch alloy wheels, redesigned chrome grille, new front & rear end bumpers and a few other options. The new Sync 3 infotainment system replaces the previous MyFord Touch system, and a rearview camera is now standard for all trim levels. The Ford Flex is offered in a wide range of trim options including Limited, SE and SEL trims. The standard engine for all 2017 Ford Flex models is a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 287 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. A six speed automatic transmission sends power to the front wheels, however all-wheel drive is an option for SEL and upper tier Limited trims. The Limited trim is available with the optional turbocharged EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 that increases output to an impressive 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. All- The top f the range, the Limited trim adds 19-inch wheels, xenon headlights, LED taillights, power-folding mirrors, automatic wipers, additional metallic exterior trim, a wood-trimmed steering wheel, upgraded wood  Interior trim, a navigation system with realtime traffic (optional on SEL) and a 12-speaker Sony audio system with HD radio. Available Limited options include the adding an automatic parallel parking system, adaptive cruise control, frontal collision alert, a power- adjustable heated steering wheel, a 10-way power Front passenger seat, cooled front seats and power-folding third row seats.

We tested the 2017 fully loaded FLEX AWD Limited model in a cool Blue Jeans paint finish. Options on our tester included the $6,800 equipment group (303A) that added: Active Park Assist, adaptive cruise and collision warning, heated steering wheel, 20 inch wheels, power steering wheel, power fold 3rd row seats and 10- way cooled heated seats up front optional equipment included the Cargo versatility package an, the appearance package and multivista roof and voice activated screen and navi system.  Final options on our tester raised the final total from $45,699 to $56,649. The 2017 Flex’s interior is very impressive, with full sized adult accommodation in all three, reclining and sliding middle row seats, a middle-row center console refrigerator and 20- 83.2 cubic feet of cargo space if you fold the third and Second row seats. Up front the new Sync 3 infotainment interface is much simpler than the previous MyFord gadgets and there are enough gadgets and creature comforts to keep everyone entertained and contented for long family journeys.

Standard safety features for all 2016 Ford Flex models are high including   Antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, full-length side-curtain airbags, Integrated blind-spot mirrors, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, emergency telematics via paired Cell phones and Ford’s MyKey system that monitors the vehicle and allows owners to set certain imitations and alerts for valets and teen drivers. Optional inflatable second row seatbelts are available or all Flex trims. A blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alerts is available on SEL and standard on The Limited. Paired with the Limited’s optional adaptive cruise control is a frontal collision warning system that pre-charges the brakes for maximum responsiveness, To sum up, the Ford Flex remains a winner, with is cool, unique looks, excellent full adult space in all quarters and it superior comfort and cabin ambience. Its definitely one of the better long distance family touring vehicle out there in my opinion.

2017 Ford Flex AWD Limited Base priced from $45,699 Price as tested with options $56,649 plus destination and delivery ($1690).