On one end, General Motors
is announcing its intention to wind down SUV and truck production, while at the other, Ford is just gearing up production of a vehicle that's plenty large in its own right. Ford Flexes are now beginning to roll off the line in Oakville, Ontario, and the plant even has plans to bring on new hires in order to meet production demands. Considering the current rise of gas prices, one might think Ford's boxy people carrier will quickly meet its demise. However, despite its full size stature, room for seven humans and a few cold drinks
, the Flex doesn't attack your gas budget like Cookie Monster on a binge. Its 3.5L V6 engine gets a respectable 24 mph on the highway, assisted by a high-tech six-speed automatic transmission. Down the road, when the Flex is available with a turbocharged direct injection Ecoboost option, its fuel economy should raise a bit more.