• Jul 16, 2007
Click for gallery of additional spy shots

A reader Brandon sent in the shots you see here, which show that the Ford Flex is coming along fine. Parked curbside, this particular Flex is fully undisguised, but for reasons known only to Ford, it's not sporting its Flex badges. Yes, it's not scheduled to show up until next year as an '09 model, but still, we don't understand why automakers play coy like this with stuff they've already revealed. After all, the Flex was officially introduced in April at the New York Auto Show. Just badge these development rides all the way and get people on the street talking, already.

Anyway, the Flex snagged on the street looks just like what we eyeballed in NY. This one appears to be a model below the "Limited" trim, as it's got regular-looking wheels and a body-color rear gate and roof. The big Ford crossover will do battle with high-capacity people movers like the GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook, and Buick Enclave from GM when it finally shows up at dealerships.

Thanks for the heads-up and the photos, Brandon!



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  • 52 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Ford Flex.
      I like the name. What is wrong with it. It is a 'flexible' version of a CUV/wagon/SUV. I hated the name Fairlane.

      And what is wrong with offering different size CUV's in a segment that keeps growing???? I don't see anyone telling manufacturers to stop selling small/med/large cars.

      Morons.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Looks just like a 1st-gen xB except the opposite people will like it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow, it's a lot bigger than I thought. The shot with the XC70 passing by on the street gives a good sense of scale.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ford now SIX SUVs (okay, some of them are more wagons than SUVs)--Escape, Edge, Taurus X, Explorer, and Expedition. Ford needs to stop pouring so much money into these road hogs and to start investing in the development of a Focus replacement for the American market.
        • 7 Years Ago
        that looks like 5 to me
        • 7 Years Ago
        Don't forget all the near identical Mercury and Lincoln variants...
        • 7 Years Ago
        For who? The 10 people who still buy the small deathtraps?

        For many a midsize sedan or CUV with decent (25-30) MPG is what we need. I don't want to cram the family/dog/luggage into a Focus wagon. Now a Flex or Edge would fit the bill nicely.
        • 7 Years Ago
        (Six not counting the new Flex, which has yet to hit showrooms.)
        • 7 Years Ago
        Now, to be fair, a Focus wagon would be safer (in the "rollover and accident avoidance" sense of the word) than any of the SUVs, while carrying more than the Escape or (possibly) the Edge. Build a Focus wagon on the newer platform, and it's probably about as safe as it's larger brethren overall.

        Remember, while "normal" collisions are more common, rollovers and skids are more often fatal, and taller vehicles do kill more people per their percentage of collisions than smaller, lower ones do.

        I like this, and I like the Edge, too. I'd still prefer an updated Focus wagon (or a Fusion wagon!) over either.
        • 7 Years Ago
        So let's see, Toyota has six SUV / CUV offerings, plus the three Lexus badge engineered versions, and that's acceptable. Ford has five, plus two Mercury and two Lincoln versions and that's too many. Hmmm...
        • 7 Years Ago
        How many SUV's do they have at the Toyota store. Let's count them everyone; 1. RAV4, 2. 4 Runner, 3, FJ Cruiser, 4, Highlander, 5 Sequia, 6. Land Cruiser.

        Why crticize Ford for finally giving consumers what they want.

        Let's see how Ford competes with each one:
        RAV 4 vs Escape Competitive Battle each has it's plusses and minuses

        4Runner vs Explorer Explorer handily beats it in features and packaging

        Sequia vs Expededition No comparision, Expedition is better in virtually all area's including quality

        Highlander vs Taurus X vs Edge As a seven passenger the Highlander probally beats the Taurus X until you compare prices, The Edge is far and away the only one with any style though

        Land Cruiser vs Expedition The Land Cruiser is a high quality vehicle but it really is a niche vehicle, the Expedition beats it almost every catagory other then off-road and longgevity.

      • 7 Years Ago
      I see a Ford Range Rover. Why keep the Land Rover name?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Good or bad, I think this will sell. People do not want want generic styling anymore. Ford took a bit of a chance on this (the same way Toyota did with the xB). It looks different enough from the mainstream (except the xB) and is similar enough to a Range Rover that people *will* clamor to get into this. And for those who think Ford should not be putting so much into SUVs, in case you haven't noticed, many people still prefer SUVs to cars, even with the gas prices, they are just moving to crossovers. The Prius is not significantly detracting from SUV sales. I think it is great to get these platforms out there. Perhaps there are plans for hybrid versions of these crossovers in the future. Nothing wrong with SUVs if people still want them, and apparently they do.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What an ugly piece of....
      • 7 Years Ago
      Fairlane name came from Henry Ford's estate called "Fair Lane," I think. So, the name makes sense for a Ford model.

      For me--having had a 1966 Fairlane Ford when it was new--the name recalls memories of the worst new car I've ever had (a company car, fortunately).

      That Ford Fairlane was so immeasurably horrible that I've ignored Ford vehicles ever since. I don't believe that I've missed anything by keeping Fords off my shopping list. Just about anything else is better IMO.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have no clue why exactly Ford feels the need to build this Flex and kill the Interceptor or not bring over the Falcon or Mondeo. They are either vastly out of touch with the market, or completely oblivious to it. What's this behemoth gonna do? Replace the Expedition? Expedition-sized vehicles aren't moving like hotcakesany more.

      I like Fords - I really do - but looking at their upcoming offerings I doubt I'll be buying another any time soon.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Uhh...if you havent noticed but the CUV market is booming. Also, this thing isnt even close to the size of an Expedition. So I dont see how Ford is oblivious.

        And yes, they could have brought the Mondeo here. But why? They have a fairly new car called the Fusion. And I honestly doubt it would be cost effective to bring the Falcon here. If you havent noticed, Ford is a little tight on cash.

        And Aki, are you dense? It's called competition. The more the merrier. Plus, I believe there are talks about killing the Taurus X in a couple years. There is a market for this type of vehicle...if you havent noticed. Not relevant? Well, former Explorer (or even Expedition) owners have something to opt for when they need a new vehicle to haul their family. I dont understand your thinking...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Like most, I think Flex is a less than desirable name.

      Just for fun, why not put some woodgrain trim on the sides and call it a Country Squire?

      Recycling a Ford (or Lincoln or Mercury) name from the past could certainly yield something more appropriate, if they aren't prevented from doing so. Recall that the also poorly named Freestyle was to be called Futura until PepBoys took them to court and won.

      As for the vehicle itself, not bad in my opinion. A little boxy, but certainly functional. Think poorman's Volvo XC90 in a +1 size.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What I meant was, why this when there is a vehicle in Europe that is more intelligently packaged for families and still looks macho and is fun to drive, according to Fifth Gear?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Fire all your product planners now! This should have never got this far. Looks like a big XB and the world doesn't need either.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yeah and the xB looks like every other boxy vehicle sold in Japan. the xB wasnt the first. Remember the Astro? Do some research.
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