By on March 4, 2008

0303081723.jpgAs if it already isn't hard enough to negotiate rush hour traffic in downtown Toronto… Whilst in the midst of lane-changing, I noticed a big blue box trying to buzz past. The boys from the big Blue Oval were out in their next save-the-company Hail Mary: the Ford Flex. The LE version of the FoMoCo people mover snuck-up behind me in south-of-the-border guise– no daytime running lights– on its way to somewhere (but still not a showroom). I managed to snap a couple of camera-phone shots. Let's just hope it lives up to the three years of hype once this big ass xB finally goes on sale.

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23 Comments on “Ford Flex Sighted in Downtown Toronto...”


  • avatar
    Pahaska

    Sure doesn’t set my heart to beating fast. Looks like a hearse or a delivery truck.

  • avatar
    shaker

    “Maxi Clubman”?

  • avatar

    This new vehicle, is just too darn “Big” dont you think, especially with high Gasoline prices too

  • avatar
    factotum

    Too big? Depends on your interpretation. The Flex website has a pretty neat section that allows you to input your height and body type to give scale to the Flex. As a big boy myself, the Flex would be a better fit than a Mini.

    As far as operating costs, it’s got 3.5L (not too small that you’ll have to flog it) and 6 forward gears. The Enclave has 3.6L and is far bigger and heavier.

    I haven’t been too fond of Fords lately, but I admit, the more I look at the Flex, the closer I come to putting it on my list of possible new vehicles to replace my 11-year-old car.

  • avatar
    jcp2

    I saw one last summer at the pool in Ann Arbor with regular plates. It had bronze sides with the white roof. I thought it looked nice but my wife thought it was really ugly. She’s partial to the Edge or the Lincoln version of it (I can’t remember which number goes with that one).

  • avatar
    deanst

    I saw a more unusual vehicle in toronto a month ago – a Chamco SUV!

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    Three years to design a box.

    I hope Ford invested money (that they don’t have) in “Luck”…because they’re going to need it.

  • avatar
    gamper

    I think the Flex will do well. With a 3.5 V6 it is pretty comparable to minivans in room and economy. It is pretty pricey compared to minivan’s but it was a gamble worth taking as the Freestar minivan was going nowhere in the market.

    The styling isnt for everyone, but I happen to think it is pretty novel. And for those of you who would call it a big xB. I think you are mistaken. If anything, the Flex looks like a Volvo 240 wagon, or you could say that the xB stole its styling from the Volvo 240 wagon as well. Edge sales have been strong, surprising many. I am not sure what sort of volume Ford is expecting from this vehicle, but I think if Ford can pull of sales of 50-60K units without piling on incentives, it has another mild success on its hands.

    One thing is for certain, this is waaaaaaaay better than the Freestar minivan.

  • avatar
    red dawg

    Looks like another Ford the dealers won’t be able to sell not without bribes (sorry rebates). Paint one black and it would pass easily for a hearse (just put the funeral parlor name in the rear door windows on each side like the funeral parlors do) and you have it. And with fake wood paneling on the side it would be the 21st century version of the 70’s station wagon. This will not be the savior of FoMoCo. That will take better leadership and better decision making. Two things FoMoCo lacks as of now. And what makes FoMoCo think this will sell when they can’t unload basically the same vehicle as the Taurus X (nee Freestyle)??? Or will this replace that lot queen??? This whatever you wanna call it will not be a sales success.

  • avatar

    P71_crownvic: maybe luck will keep the Flex from tanking like the 1999 Thunderbird and Lincoln Blackwood Concepts…

    You know, when they hit the showroom floor three years later.

  • avatar

    Sigh…. I like the direction Ford is taking, but unless it makes for a spectacular driver, or is brilliant in its packaging, it will become as terminally boring as the Free/Wind/Aerostar.

    Remeber when the Aerostar was aligned with the Space Shuttle in styling?

  • avatar
    serpico

    If prices are low enough I can see this being the next big thing. More people would rather be caught driving this than a minivan. It does look long and hearse-like, but maybe with the different colored roofs, like Minis, it will add to the look. I prefer boxy classic designs, than say a jellybean bland style that is ok for a few years and starts looking outdated. Many japanese brands are so bland and too round for my liking.

  • avatar
    crackers

    When I look at the pictures, I am reminded of the Suburban or Excursion. This thing is just a big, ugly beast. I predict disaster for Ford – perhaps this is why it is taking so long to get to market?

  • avatar
    pnnyj

    They’ve made the perfect car for the Ford family to drive when they deliver the company to its creditors, ’cause this ain’t gonna save them.

  • avatar
    umterp85

    They are taking so long to get to market because of Ford’s internal beurocratic mess. That said, I think the Flex is a solid entry and does 50-75K units year one. Mini and particularly Scion XB prove there is a market for people whp prefer the boxy look.

  • avatar
    Martin Albright

    Ummm…well, I have to say I kind of like it. Scion XB? Volvo 240? No, you guys aren’t going back far enough.

    Early 70’s International Harvester Travelall. That seems to be the inspiration. Having said that (and acknowledging that my first two vehicles were Travelalls, albeit of the 50’s and 60’s variety) I think it looks loads better than the boring/ugly “Edge” as well as the GMC Enclave/Outlook/whatever, which just look like big teardrop shaped bubbles to me.

    I have to confess I haven’t kept up on this one, what are the specs? 3.5l V-6 and 6 speed but what else? AWD, FWD or RWD? Will it be available with a manual tranny? Do we know its seating/towing capacity (with that extended rear, it’s gotta be a 3-row model.) Any MPG figures out yet? Any idea of prices?

    Boxy isn’t sleek but it’s functional and sometimes functional is good (I like the Honda Element, too.) Hell, this is closer in styling to the 1st gen Scion XB than the 2nd gen Scion XB.

    In many ways it’s not so much an SUV as a modern version of the old family truckster station wagon.

  • avatar
    JSForbes

    I saw one of these on I-75 in Atlanta last December. Looks like a tall station wagon.

  • avatar
    Redbarchetta

    That thing looks huge, are the pictures adding weight like the camera does to actors. It’s not horrible looking but it doesn’t stand out much. What is the funcinality of the interior like, usual Ford ergonomics? If it’s price competatively and has good features it might sell ok, I don’t see a huge sales success though. Especially if it doesn’t get good gas mileage with the coming gas price hike.

    Why has it taken them 3 years to get this car out and it’s still not out, are they waiting to completely miss the market for this thing.

  • avatar
    Busbodger

    Let’s see gas is expected to range from $3.25/gal to $3.60/gal and the real pessimists are saying $4.00/gal by fall. Really good idea releasing yet another SUV that gets – what? 18 mpg?

    And the styling is very reminiscent of a RangeRover.

    Might be okay as an occasional-use-only vehicle. Drive the Fiesta and the Mini all week and then drive this to Grandma’s house on the weekend.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Range_Rover

  • avatar
    Bancho

    @serpico :
    “If prices are low enough I can see this being the next big thing. More people would rather be caught driving this than a minivan.”

    The problem is the minivan market is already pretty dead. They need to entice people away from SUVs and I’m not sure this thing is able to do that.

    This thing also looks big. It looks as if it weighs at least 4500lbs and that should put a real hurting on performance and handling.

    Ford is in trouble. Vans aren’t selling anymore. They failed with the Five Hundred/Taurus debacle. They’ve been unable to gain any traction with a car positioned between the Escort/Focus since the old Tempo. The only bright spot they have left is truck sales and if gas keeps going up then those are toast too.

  • avatar
    Shinrah

    This.is.just.wrong. What were they thinking? The initial Ford Fair lane concept was great in that range rover kinda way but this just looks bloated and slow. Ugh for every Ford Fiesta we get a debacle like this! Who in their right mind would get this over a GMC Acadia or the new Chevy Traverse.

  • avatar
    factotum

    @Martin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Flex

  • avatar
    serpico

    @Bancho:

    The market is dwindling for minivans, I agree. It’s all about CUV’s now. Which all appear to appeal to women not men. I just like the boxy look of the Range Rover and it reminded me of that. I still would need my arm twisted to buy a Ford though. Maybe not for a Mustang! :)

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