Product Reviews

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While the Flex's unique looks divide our staff, we all found it extremely practical. It's effortless to hop in and out and drives more like a car than a traditional SUV. The 355-hp engine in our high-trim version delivers effortless power and palatable fuel economy. It rides comfortably and is quiet. Handling is secure. The second-row seats afford limousine-like stretch-out room.
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 (sec.) 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

While the Flex's unique looks divide our staff, we all found it extremely practical. It's effortless to hop in and out and drives more like a car than a traditional SUV. The 355-hp engine in our high-trim version delivers effortless power and palatable fuel economy. It rides comfortably and is quiet. Handling is secure. The second-row seats afford limousine-like stretch-out room. Unlike other competitors, the third row can decently accommodate two adults. Demerits include so-so rear visibility and a wide turning circle.

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)
  • 3.5-liter V6 twin-turbo (355 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2010 Ford Flex owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

“Left rear wheel toe issue. Not resolved until we took it to another dealer”

Anonymous, CO (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6 turbo)

“Going over bumps creaking sound”

Anonymous, MB (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“Steering abnormally hard at slower speeds and turning. Had to replace power steering pump and steering gear. Also replaced PTU seal in front end”

Douglas S., MT (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)
Shocks or struts

“The strut mounts in the front had to be replaced”

Anonymous, MI (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“Right rear shock leaking at 130k miles. Replaced both”

Anonymous, FL (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“need replacement after 28000 miles”

Anonymous, OK (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“Bearings both sides. Thank god for extended warranty”

Jason B., ON (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6 turbo)

“One rear shock completely blew out and the other was leaking causing steering and tire wear issues”

Aaron T., UT (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)
Springs or torsion bars

“Had to replace the torsion bar”

Anonymous, CA (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6 turbo)

“rattling noise”

Anonymous, MI (2010 Ford Flex SE 3.5-L V6)

“Transmission leaks around the right front wheel axle”

Anonymous, IN (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“The first failure was a leaking seal on the rack and pinion. Ford only sells the assembly. Instead of a $5 seal which would fix the problem, had to spend $700 on new assembly. Second problem was with a linkage $400. Two universal joint on link - one”

John J., NB (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“continuous steering wheel vibration”

Anonymous, PA (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“Essentially the entire undercarriage was in bad shape, through normal driving. Tie rods, control arms etc. The dealership gave us a massive estimate ($5000+tax), but let us drive the vehicle home. I took it in the next day to a local garage that I”

Kerry W., ON (2010 Ford Flex SE 3.5-L V6)

“Front tie rod shot on both side. Thank god for my extended warranty”

Jason B., ON (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6 turbo)
Tire wear is uneven

“We live in a community with uneven roads , driveways, etc. with 20 inch rims and large tires tire ware is fast and uneven....and therefore costly to replace”

Anonymous, CA (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6 turbo)
Wheel bearings

“Replaced 9 bearings”

Warren D., PE (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“both sides went bad (grinding noise) and had to be replaced”

Anonymous, MI (2010 Ford Flex SE 3.5-L V6)

“Bearings wear out prematurely. Have been replaced multiple times in 44000 miles of driving”

Anonymous, MA (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

“ABS Module Failed”

Anonymous, PA (2010 Ford Flex SE 3.5-L V6)

“rear brake locked on”

Anonymous, NB (2010 Ford Flex Unsure 3.5-L V6)
Calipers

“rear calipers seized ,new caliper right side, and left and rotors had to be changed. Falling year right side seized and again replaced rear calipers and rotors. this happened for a 3rd time but I don't remember which side , all in a 4 year period”

Ralph L., ON (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“Worn out. Had to be replaced (front only)”

Roy V., NC (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“Rear calipers and master cylinder went without warning 2nd set of brakes with only 66000 miles”

Anonymous, MI (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6 turbo)

“My rear brake calipers were frozen. Had to be replaced”

Anonymous, IL (2010 Ford Flex SE 3.5-L V6)

“calipers froze on left rear one year then froze on the right rear the next year”

Anonymous, ON (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“one rear caliper seized at 36,000 kms other rear caliper seized at 120,000 kms all rotors needed replacement at 120,000 kms”

Pat O., ON (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)
Premature brake wear

“Ford dealer installed brakes only lasted 20,000 miles”

John L., WA (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“Brakes were fine, then all of a sudden on the next visit to the dealer the pads were bad and the rotors had to be replaced”

Larry R., NJ (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“Known defect where the calipers freeze the pad, wearing out the brakes prematurely. There was a recall originally, but the problem has happened twice now”

Anonymous, MA (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“rear brake pads are completely worn out at 25000 miles, damaged one rotor”

Steven G., MI (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“brake not releasing and rubbing pads”

Anonymous, NY (2010 Ford Flex Unsure 3.5-L V6)

“Worn out. Had to be replaced (front only)”

Roy V., NC (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)
Normal routine brake wear

“Had brake pads changed”

Anonymous, MI (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“Seems brakes needed work earlier than expected”

Anonymous, MA (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6 turbo)

“Brake Parts were replaced due to normal ware at about 75000”

Anonymous, FL (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)
Parking brake

“Freezes in winter”

Anonymous, PA (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“The parking brake cable was rusted seriously enough to require replacement at a cost of $500 as I was told the entire assembly had to be replaced”

Al M., BC (2010 Ford Flex Limited 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

“Passenger side blows hot even when AC is on and driver side blows ice cold”

Justin M., OK (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“Two of the air mix actuators have failed, one cost of $250.00 to replace due to its location. The other one was right behind the glove box and was $20 to fix”

Anonymous, GA (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“Blows hot on passenger side even when auto contorl is set to cold”

Donn T., NY (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6 turbo)

“Front passenger side blows hot air when air conditioner is on”

Anonymous, GA (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“twice had to replace dual climate air diverter motor”

Anonymous, CA (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6 turbo)

“Last Spring, the passenger side air vents were blowing hot air all the time, when the A/C should have been on. Our local dealer did a great job, they fixed the problem”

Anonymous, NY (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“Had two blend door actuators fail within 6 months. One was very easy to replace the other one was difficult to replace”

Anonymous, PA (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6 turbo)

“Blower stopped working at 15k miles no air came through system in the middle of winter”

Anonymous, NY (2010 Ford Flex SE 3.5-L V6)

“I believe the dealer had to replace the blower motor, when the car started blowing hot air”

Anonymous, NY (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)
Heater system

“At 125,000 miles, the climate control system started making clicking noises every time it was turned on. It is caused apparently by the heating/ac vents automatically opening and closing and the plastic gears that work the vents have become stripped. The plastic gear parts are only a few dollars but the job requires removal of the dash, a total expense of over $500”

Anonymous, CA (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6 turbo)

“Passenger side had no heat - dealer found that mice had gotten in and chewed something”

Joe D., ON (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“Hot air did not come out on the passenger side when the heat was on”

Tom K., IL (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“Air conditional has a leak that causes a whistling noise when in use”

Thomas E., CA (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“Had the A/C serviced at a Ford dealer, and the refrigerant began leaking almost immediately after, and we had to have it fixed a couple months later”

Anonymous, NY (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)
Electrical failure

“The Flex has a known history with front brake caliper noises. Repairs were done under warranty but they still appear. This appears to be something Ford can't fix. Performance does not seem to e affected. The climate control system will shut it”

Doug S., AB (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6 turbo)

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

“U joints are welded in 1400 $ for a new drive shaft or 75$ for a new u joint”

Warren D., PE (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“one of the all wheel drive shaft universal joints seized. could not replace just the joint. needed a new drive shaft $1,500 + install. Ford does not sell small parts, just assemblies”

John J., NB (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)
4WD/AWD components

“PTU Failure, known issue that is overlooked on a few years”

Anonymous, NY (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6 turbo)

“Transfer case leaked since car had 10000 miles with the leaking oil falling on the cat converter causing a petroleum smell that was undetected by Ford service. This could have been a potential fire issue. Ford knew of issue-did not acknowledge!”

Dennis G., ME (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“Transfer case failure”

Anonymous, OH (2010 Ford Flex Limited 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

“Back up camera would go black sometimes when activated”

Tom K., IL (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)
CD player

“Player failed would not eject cd”

Frank S., UT (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“Stopped working and I get an error code”

Anonymous, OH (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)
Rear entertainment system (e.g., DVD player, rear screen)

“One of the DVD screens would not turn off. It had to be replaced twice, on warranty, before the replacement fixed the problem”

Richard S., KS (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)
Voice control commands

“Does not ever recognize commands”

Anonymous, CA (2010 Ford Flex SE 3.5-L V6)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

“Paint started peeling off from areas close your doors trim”

Anonymous, GA (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“There are numerous spotting in the paint that are unable to be polished or removed without totally destroying the surface”

Shain J., GA (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

“The bottom edge of the lift gate is rusting through.gate will need to be replaced”

Jon C., WI (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“The paint around the front and back wheel wells on the passenger side has flaked off and rust is evident underneath. The warrantee expired at 100k, but has until August timewise. Very frustrating”

Kerry W., ON (2010 Ford Flex SE 3.5-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

“The problem was the transfer case needed replacement. Vehicle had all wheel drive system”

Jon C., WI (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“Became noisy needed replaced”

Rex W., IN (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

“Required rebuild after three tries at getting rid of minor buzzing problems that were concerning but never left us without transportation. In the end, found burnt clutch packs from slippage due to solinoid control problems I think.Rebuilt under warra”

Anonymous, ON (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)
Torque converter

“Replaced as part of the full rebuild to ensure no contaminants in the system from the burnt clutch packs”

Anonymous, ON (2010 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

Headlights

“condensation inside one headlight , no visible cracks or openings . I was told that the solution is to replace headlight case at cost of $1000.00 . if the condensation hits the high density bulb , and blows it ; dealer says replacement of bulbs and headlight case will be $2000.00”

Pat O., ON (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)
Keyless entry

“Keyless entry pad fell off car. The has occurred twice. Covered by extended warranty”

Thomas E., CA (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)
Gauges

“Gas gauge does not function”

Anonymous, GA (2010 Ford Flex SEL 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 drains stop up quickly and the front floor boards flood”

Anonymous, TX (2010 Ford Flex SEL Unsure)
Wind noise

“Front windshield has been replaced 4 times in 5 five years and cracks each time in the same spot, right edge center and spreads outward”

Anonymous, MD (2010 Ford Flex SEL 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

“Rear seat fold-down latch broken & replaced”

Brett L., MN (2010 Ford Flex SE 3.5-L V6)

“The second row seats are unable to be folded down to allow for the addition space that this feature was created for. This truly was a key feature in the decision to purchase the vehicle”

Shain J., GA (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

“Sync got stuck of phone mode”

Anonymous, AZ (2010 Ford Flex SEL 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

Fuel gauge/sender

“Around 75 miles to empty the dash would beep, the low fuel light would come on and state 0 miles to E and the gas gauge would be as if the car was turned off, but you could still drive. Sent in for repair three times before it was fixed”

Aaron B., NE (2010 Ford Flex SEL 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

Coil

“High cost to replace due to layout of engine. RBI leader did go 135,000 miles without a tune up. Would actually consider this a normal wear item”

Anonymous, WV (2010 Ford Flex Limited 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

“At 121,000 miles engine required complete replacement. Began spewing blue smoke, two of the six cylinders had almost zero compression. Turbos had also failed. Total cost of replacement was $12,000. All required oil changes and maintenance had been performed. Remanufactured engines for the 3.5L Turbo Eco Boost V6 are NOT available by any of the three major U.S. engine rebuilders--they told us they consider the engine design of that engine with internal water pump and piston rings that are to”

Anonymous, CA (2010 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6 turbo)

Engine Cooling

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

What Owners Say

Antifreeze leaks

“A coolant hose failed suddenly and all coolant drained from the car very quickly. I refilled it with two gallons of coolant and it was all gone by the time I got it to the mechanic”

Anonymous, NY (2010 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Engine knock or ping

“Required new Oxygen sensor”

Anonymous, IN (2010 Ford Flex SE 3.5-L V6)

Transmission Minor

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

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