The 2013 Flex from Ford has arrived in dealerships and is available for as low as $31,670, including shipping. Despite being the automaker's largest crossover, this Flex model does not advertise the fact that it is a Ford. The word "FLEX" is visible in massive block letters across the front and the back lift gate. In June 2008, the Flex was launched with the front displaying a 9-inch wide Ford blue oval -- one of the biggest on any of the automaker's products.
On the contrary, the 2013 Flex only has a small Ford blue oval in the liftgate's lower-right-hand corner. The oval was not showcased in the front. The new design in Flex is the result of the automaker's research, which revealed that Flex owners who love their units did not essentially identify them as a Ford. Amy Marentic, marketing manager for cars and utilities, disclosed that one out of two buyers of a Flex have never bought a Ford.
She further stated that it is the highest capture rate of any Ford nameplate. The Flex has been a polarizing design. Some criticized it as a vehicle that looks like a school bus. However, many customers in California think otherwise. The state comprises 20 percent of Flex sales, Marentic revealed. Through the first two months, Flex sales were down 20% to 3,477 units.
It hit record sales in 2009 with 38,717 units. Since then, sales have declined steadily. Ford anticipates that the revamped 2013 model will bring back the Flex's fortunes notwithstanding the high gasoline prices. At 25 mpg highway for the front-wheel-drive variant, the base 3.5-liter V-6 unit achieves 1 mpg better fuel economy compared to the 2012 model. It generates 287 hp. Meanwhile, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine provides 365 hp and 355 pounds-feet of torque. A fully loaded all-wheel-drive Limited edition is available for $43,500.