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Ford's seven-passenger Flex blurs the lines between a wagon, an SUV and a minivan; effectively combining utility with car-like driving dynamics. It makes road trips relaxing, with vast rear-seat room as well as a quiet, well-finished interior and a plush ride. But the driving position is compromised, the turning circle is wide, and the engine is not particularly smooth.
Alerts
There is 1 recall on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
NA
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard.
Road Test

Ford's seven-passenger Flex blurs the lines between a wagon, an SUV and a minivan; effectively combining utility with car-like driving dynamics. It makes road trips relaxing, with vast rear-seat room as well as a quiet, well-finished interior and a plush ride. But the driving position is compromised, the turning circle is wide, and the engine is not particularly smooth.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear, 2 third
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 3.5-liter V6 (262 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2009 Ford Flex owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Calipers

“caliper caused uneven brake pad wear”

Anonymous, MI (2009 Ford Flex SE 3.5-L V6)

“Rear calipers on Ford Flex are a problem. Corrosion on the anchor bracket (under stainless slides/guides causes pads to lock in place (not retract). Over time, the pads become stuck and the car mostly uses front braking. The rear calipers need to be cleaned/scraped yearly. The front calipers perform well”

Michigan U., MI (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“rear brake calipers locked up causing excessive heat, hot enough to char the gaskets, had to replace rotors, pads, and calipers. this was@ 42000 and 65000 miles”

Larry K., MI (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“There have been 8 revisions to the brake system in the 2009 Flex. Within weeks of purchasing it and after unusual grinding sounds the dealer replaced $1,200 worth of brake components at no charge. No detailed explanation given. Some issues since”

Troy B., NH (2009 Ford Flex SE 3.5-L V6)

“calipers rusted”

Anonymous, OH (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“Passenger side rear caliper failed, 700 dollars to replace both calipers in the rear”

Anonymous, MD (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“Rear caliper sticks on occasion. Unpredictable when it's going to happen. Sometimes the wheel smokes it gets so hot. Worse when we first bought it, but it still happens sometimes”

Anonymous, ON (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“This car goes through brakes and tires more than any vehicle I have ever owned, and thus has been the most expensive to maintain, as we live in a snow belt”

Anonymous, NY (2009 Ford Flex SE 3.5-L V6)

“brakes on Flex needed to be replaced at much lower miles than fusion which seemed odd”

Anonymous, MA (2009 Ford Flex SE 3.5-L V6)

“Brakes rubbed at highway speeds, could smell the burning when stopped”

Anonymous, KY (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“Rotors warped with in 12 months”

Scott H., CT (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“Premature wear of the rotors caused a pulsing vibration in the wheel at highway speeds”

Martin P., MN (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“The brakes have normal wear; however, there seems to be a squeaking noise on occasion. We are not concerned about this as it could be due to a variety of reasons that will not impact the function of the breaking system”

Anonymous, GA (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

“Paint cracking on back”

Anonymous, CA (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“Paint peeling off. Bare galvanized exposed”

Anonymous, ON (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“Bought a policy to deal with paint chips but it is different from the actual Ford company Heard that many people that used this policy had their car repainted only to have a poor match in color. Apprehensive about using this policy”

Anonymous, MD (2009 Ford Flex Unsure 3.5-L V6)

“paint chips around seams”

Anonymous, TN (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“Paint along chrome edge at upper edge of windshield rusting and pitting within a year of purchase. Ford would not cover it, saying it was due to rock chips. Auto body shop where I paid to have it repaired said poor quality original paint was the ca”

Della T., AB (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)
Rust

“Back gate started rusting and quickly got out of control. Unfortunately the only way Ford can repair this is by completely replacing the door. Not worth the expense”

Suzanne E., IL (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“Bad rust on inner driver door,and rear fender wells”

Kris D., PA (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“interior driver's side door had rust developed at bottom of door”

John H., IL (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“The doors are rusting at the bottom interior. There is rest on the tailgate door at the bottom interior”

William H., MI (2009 Ford Flex Unsure 3.5-L V6)
Loose exterior trim or moldings

“Rear Ford logo became lose, chrome trim on driver's door handle became partially separated from handle. Needed to be replaced”

Anonymous, MA (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“Plastic cladding on A and B pillars fell off several times in normal use”

John H., MD (2009 Ford Flex Unsure 3.5-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

“Tie rod broke, rendering the car unUSble until it was fixed”

John H., MD (2009 Ford Flex Unsure 3.5-L V6)
Wheel bearings

“Three wheel bearings need replaced in last 12 months”

Kris D., PA (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“I have had to replace both rear wheel bearings”

William H., MI (2009 Ford Flex Unsure 3.5-L V6)

“Noisy with slight vibration felt in steering wheel. 2nd time I had this problem. I replaced both L & R wheel bearings this time. Did work myself. Took the opportunity to replace breaks while I had wheels apart”

Russell G., CO (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“All 4 wheel bearings had to be replaced over a 12 month period”

Anonymous, ON (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“Both front wheel bearing started making noise and had to be replaced”

John S., WI (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“Both front wheels had the bearings fail which led to a lot of grinding noise. Luckily we were able to have this repaired before something more serious happened”

Steven D., IL (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)
Power steering leaks

“for a simple leakage of fluid the entire stearing assist assembly had to be replaced”

Anonymous, WA (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

“The A/C was broken by the time it was 2 years old. I have to get the AC "topped up" a couple Of time over the summer Because it is so expensive to get it fixed”

Anonymous, ON (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“The whole Air conditioning system had to be replaced because when the A/C was on it only blew hot air”

Robert M., CA (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“Heater system blows cold air. Repair estimated at over $2,000. Have not scheduled the work”

Anonymous, NH (2009 Ford Flex SE 3.5-L V6)

“Heat only worked when engine was revving above idle speed. At idle, heater blew only cool air”

Thomas H., CT (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“Heater system does not deliver enough heat during the winter month”

Anonymous, NH (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“The heater on the passenger side went out”

Anonymous, KS (2009 Ford Flex Unsure 3.5-L V6)
Automatic climate control

“Blend door motor failure for right front passenger seat area”

Anonymous, OH (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“when i turn the AC on it makes a tick tick tick noise that stops after about 5 seconds”

Anonymous, NC (2009 Ford Flex SE 3.5-L V6)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

“both the front and rear catalytic converters had to be replaced. The car had 140,000 miles on it”

Anonymous, CA (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“Check Engine light on for 2 years. Wiring harness found bad on emmisions”

Anonymous, OH (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)
Fuel gauge/sender

“Dealership replaced the sending unit, however the problem persists. My confidence in Ford service and products is waning”

Ross S., IA (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“Have run out of gas three times in the last year due to faulty fuel gauge”

Anonymous, NY (2009 Ford Flex SE 3.5-L V6)

“O2 sensor suddenly failed while driving; car stalled at freeway speed twice. It restarted immediately and I had it repaired before going any farther”

Anonymous, PA (2009 Ford Flex SE 3.5-L V6)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Cooling fan

“Had to replace cooling fan. parts and labor was $1100.00”

Anonymous, AL (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“The electronic module on the electric cooling fan goes out causing one of the two cooling fans to not operate causing possible engine over heat at shutdown. It's an $850 repair”

Greg B., GA (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“Had to replace fans and module (single unit)”

Stanley B., TX (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)
Water pump

“The water pump went bad, which required the engine to be pulled (it's internal, driven by the timing chain). A REALLY expensive repair. WHY do car companies do it this way? Old style belt-driven water pumps were so much easier to fix”

Chad B., MI (2009 Ford Flex Unsure 3.5-L V6)
Overheating

“my car suddenly overheated, without any pre-warning lights or other indication”

Anonymous, CA (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

“The roughness has occurred two times in the last 6 years”

Anonymous, MD (2009 Ford Flex SE 3.5-L V6)

“VERY HARD SHIFTING WIFE ASKED IF WE'D BEEN HIT IN THE REAR WHEN SHIFTING”

James L., MO (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)
Transmission computer

“This was a warranty repair, quick and easy”

Anonymous, KY (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)
Transmission leaks

“The leak was not repairable and the Transmission had to be replaced”

Florence B., NJ (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

“The sun roof leaks when it rains these gaskets are on national back order from ford problem is temp. corrected with duct tape !!”

Laura F., FL (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

“This is the noisiest vehicle that I have ever owned. It make more squealing and squeaking noises than a pod of whales singing their hearts out. Nobody cares about the noises. I doubt I would by another ford again”

Anonymous, ON (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“a rattle sound in the suspension. maybe ty rods?”

Anonymous, NC (2009 Ford Flex SE 3.5-L V6)

“there was little wind noise when we bought the car new, but now the front passanger door makes excessive noise when driving”

Anonymous, WA (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Driveshaft or axle

“Rear drive shaft seal at the transfer case leaked and had to be replaced”

Bill M., NH (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“Bearings on driveshaft corroded leading to noise and vibration; could not replace just bearings, so had to get new driveshaft ($900) plus labor so $1100 to fix”

Michigan U., MI (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)
4WD/AWD components

“Rear drive shaft seal at transfer case leaked and had to be replaced”

Bill M., NH (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“LF wheel area started growling noise. ( PTU ) Power Take Off Unit shot. Replaced at $1841. OK after that”

Anonymous, OH (2009 Ford Flex SE 3.5-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Seat controls - movement

“The two-seat side of the 2-1 middle bench seat does not release 75% of the time, as in the seat cannot fold down to allow entry into the back third row seats. But it works once in a blue moon, mainly on days the dealer is scheduled to look at”

Troy B., NH (2009 Ford Flex SE 3.5-L V6)

“Second row seats on drivers side will not flip forward to allow access to third row seats. there is no part available to fix this. The only option is to purchase new seats. This is a feature that was seldom used since buying the vehicle. I did bu”

Della T., AB (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)
Sunroof

“leak”

Anonymous, NY (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)
Windows

“Power windows would periodically squeak going up or down The problem would come & go”

Anonymous, MD (2009 Ford Flex Unsure 3.5-L V6)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

“The computer causes hard shifts based on among other things, spark plug efficiency it appears. a single dirty spark plug made it seem like the transmission had issues. A diagnoses that cost $150, as the transmission technician was the one who checked it out. It was only after complaining that YES, it DOES shift hard a second time that he looked at the plugs”

Chad B., MI (2009 Ford Flex Unsure 3.5-L V6)

“The passive anti-theft system shut down the dash while driving, then if you stop it will not restart. It was a broken wire, and is now fixed”

Anonymous, CA (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“Died”

William D., FL (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Gauges

“tachometer doesn't work”

Anonymous, PA (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)
Keyless entry

“touchpad keyless entry has completely failed”

Anonymous, SC (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)
Warning lights

“warning lights go on and then go off. one of the warning lights was a skid light, when my car would suddenly go into a sudden swerve with no reason. this stopped when the car over heated and part of the computer that monitered the heating system has”

Anonymous, CA (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

“One sensor became defective and the system was repaired”

Mike O., IN (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)
Voice control commands

“The microphone was replaced by service bulletin around 2010. Stopped working again about 1 year ago and Ford would not repair under warranty so I left it broken”

Russell G., CO (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

“Broken gasket”

Anonymous, NJ (2009 Ford Flex SE 3.5-L V6)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

“Suddenly original engine stopped working”

Anonymous, NJ (2009 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Spark plugs or wires failure

“Car lost power at highways speeds. Bad plugs and wires”

Thomas H., CT (2009 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)
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