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Click above for a high-res gallery of the Ford Flex.

Ford has made safety one of its top priorities, and its efforts have paid off. Not only does the Blue Oval have more five-star crash rated vehicles than any other automaker, but it's added another notch to its safety belt with NHTSA giving the Flex five stars for both front and side impact tests. A front crash impact score of five stars means that there is a 10% or less chance of serious injury at 35 mph, and the five star side impact score indicates a 5% chance of serious injury at 38.5 mph. The Flex comes standard with dual front air bags, headliner mounted side curtain air bags, traction and stability control, and tire pressure monitoring, which helps with NHTSA scoring. The Flex also received four stars for rollover protection, tying the CUV for best in class in the crossover segment.

With a Volvo-derived platform and plenty of heft, we're not surprised the Flex achieved a five-star score in NHTSA testing. Then again, it doesn't hurt that just about every automaker engineers all new cars and trucks specifically to score well on the Fed's tests. Hit the jump to view Ford's press release.

[Source: Ford]


DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 5, 2008 - The 2009 Ford Flex has earned five-star frontal- and side-impact crashworthiness ratings, the highest possible scores, in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tests.

The results for Ford's newest full-size crossover are better than the Toyota Highlander's and include class-leading four-star rollover ratings for both the front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive versions.

"The 5-star ratings for the Flex are evidence of Ford's overall safety commitment. In fact, we have produced more 5-star-rated vehicles than any other automaker," said Susan Cischke, Ford's senior vice president of Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. "The Flex offers it all: a head-turning design, top safety ratings, unsurpassed highway fuel efficiency in its segment, power, spaciousness, comfort and great features."

Flex safety standard

Flex, which went on sale this summer, has a full array of standard safety equipment.

This includes dual front air bags, headliner mounted side curtain air bags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, Ford-exclusive AdvanceTrac® with RSC® (Roll Stability Control™) and tire pressure monitoring system.

Flex gets some of its core strength from the use of lightweight aluminum-coated boron steel - one of the strongest weld-able materials - in the body structure. The use of high-strength steel in the B-pillars is only part of the Flex's robust safety profile. Ford engineers also located the side door intrusion beams to help manage and absorb energy during side impact crashes.

"Flex safety is built on a solid foundation - the platform of the 5-star rated Ford Taurus and Taurus X," said Gary Boes, Flex chief engineer.

How the Crash Ratings Work

NHTSA's frontal collision ratings are determined by placing crash-test dummies in the driver's seat and front-passenger seat and securing them with the vehicle's safety belts. Vehicles are then crashed into a fixed barrier at 35 mph, which is equivalent to a head-on collision between two similar vehicles that are moving at 35 mph. The 5-star rating attained by Flex indicates a 10 percent or less chance of serious injury to a belted occupant in the front seat.

Side-impact crash testing represents an intersection-type collision with a 3,015 pound barrier moving at 38.5 mph into the Flex, with crash test dummies buckled into the driver and rear passenger seats. Flex's five-star rating, the highest possible, indicates a 5 percent or less chance of serious injury.

"Safety is a top purchase consideration, second only to fuel efficiency, so Flex's top safety ratings and highway fuel economy are a winning combination," said Catherine Pearce, Flex marketing manager.

Even More Technology Works in Customers' Favor

Flex also can help drivers avoid problems on the road.

The new SIRIUS® Travel Link™ feature, praised for helping motorists find the cheapest gas, also can help route them around congested, potentially dangerous conditions using the vehicle's navigation system with real-time traffic information, available in select markets.

SYNC®, Ford's hands-free connectivity system for Bluetooth-enabled phones and digital music players, helps drivers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel to reduce distractions.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why do I get the feeling most of the haters are single guys without families in their late teens, early twenties?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nothing brings out the bashers like positive ratings and comments from a domestic.

      I had a chance to drive, er, be driven in one of these last week by a very smart limo service that has bought 3 of the tricked out Limiteds.

      In a word, they are stunning to ride in. The fit and finish is unmatched by all but a handfulk of vehicles. And 24+ mpg is damn good for a 7-hauler. That figure would be a matched by a Toyota.........?
      • 7 Years Ago
      It is really amusing how people talk about safety in Smart News on AB: "Big doesn't mean safe" but on the Flex News "This Thing is big, so it is nothing special"..
      • 7 Years Ago
      They could make it as tough as a tank... if it looks like that, I still wouldn't buy it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I figured it would do well in crash test since it has the Volvo lineage.

      The fuel economy is better than a Pilot and I think maybe even a Highlander.

      Someone was trying to say "Matt must be a Ford employee" because he said it had "Range-Rover type styling cues." However, Matt isn't the first one to say that. Try reading some other reviews...it's stated by many reviewers. I think even AB may have said it too.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why is it that people constantly harp about the 'low' fuel economy of passenger vehicles that carry more than 5 people? Are you expecting midsize/small car like fuel economy out of something that will haul a large family and their stuff out of town over the weekend?

      Get over it folks.

      And I agree size does not necessarily equal safety. I suggest those that think that, should go through a few of the NHTSA crash tests of larger vehicles
      • 7 Years Ago
      Around here it looks like these things are selling like 50 cent snow-cones. So far, not the flop many are calling it. Looks like a nice replacement for the Freestar.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yeah, it's a shame it still looks like crap.
      • 7 Years Ago
      24 mpg highway for a vehicle this big is not bad. It's about the same as a minivan which this is supposed to replace, except it has a HUGE cool factor.
      • 7 Years Ago

      The poor gas mileage and high cost will hurt Flush sales.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Butt ugly, super safe. Ah, compromises.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is going to be an orphan. Not even a dot in the history of Ford. Amazed it got past the on-paper only concept phase.
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