With a distinctive boxy shape that combines elements of a SUV, minivan, and station wagon, the Flex is a very functional and versatile vehicle. The base 3.5-liter V6 engine has been updated over the years in an attempt to improve acceleration and fuel economy, but it still falls short on refinement. On the plus side, the ride is comfortable and the cabin is quiet and spacious.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls 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.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
NA
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
NA
2018
2019
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
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.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
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?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard.
Road Test

With a distinctive boxy shape that combines elements of a SUV, minivan, and station wagon, the Flex is a very functional and versatile vehicle. The base 3.5-liter V6 engine has been updated over the years in an attempt to improve acceleration and fuel economy, but it still falls short on refinement.

On the plus side, the ride is comfortable and the cabin is quiet and spacious. The EcoBoost twin-turbocharged V6 supplies effortless performance, especially welcome for towing. Rear-seat room is cavernous with a usable third-row seat and generous cargo space. But handling is clumsy and maneuverability is hampered by a large turning circle and limited rear visibility.

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 (287 hp)
  • 3.5-liter V6 turbo (365 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2016 Ford Flex owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"Water leak due - car was not sealed"

Anonymous, FL (2016 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Weather stripping completely comes off. It was not glued or properly installed."

Anonymous, TX (2016 Ford Flex)
Squeaks or rattles

"Dash rattle that dealer could/would not find or fix. I solved 95% by wedging a piece of would moulding between windshield and top of dash & quit complaining to dealer."

Charles M., OH (2016 Ford Flex SE 3.5-L V6)

"The Flex has a noise that the dealership can’t duplicate. The is not consistent or frequent but when it occurs it’s very annoying! I have researched the blog posts about the 2016 Flex .i found other owners also had this problem. I’m most frustrated by the dealerships attitude about the noise- they act like I’m making it up"

Anonymous, FL (2016 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)
Wind noise

"The door lock panel became loose in its housing. This is the panel used to access the vehicle without a key.."

Jeff M., NJ (2016 Ford Flex SE 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

Alignment

"Needed a front end alignment right from the factory"

Clarence H., MI (2016 Ford Flex SEL 3.5-L V6)
Shocks or struts

"Currently waiting to go back in after one strut was replaced. More noises started up when it was returned"

Mike O., IN (2016 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6 turbo)
Wheel bearings

"Noticed noise/vibration from front wheels. Took to Ford dealer who diagnosed issue was wheel bearing. Was fixed under warranty at no cost to me."

David T., CA (2016 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

Fuel gauge/sender

"registered fuel level incorrectly"

David M., MI (2016 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"O2 sensor replaced under warranty. Check engine light has come on 3 times since. Problem solved by buying premium gas"

Norma C., OH (2016 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6 turbo)

Climate System

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

What Owners Say

Automatic climate control

"Did not seem to heat properly - air it put out seemed cold. Dealer said it was fine."

Anonymous, PA (2016 Ford Flex SEL 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

Premature brake wear

"Needed brake pads at 19000"

Mary T., TN (2016 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

Loose interior trim or moldings

"Carpet became loose and exposed insulation and metal"

Brad N., CA (2016 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

Doors or sliding doors

"Alignment issues were noted upon delivery"

Mike O., IN (2016 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6 turbo)

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

External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"When connected to Bluetooth, when I take a call and try to disconnect, it still shows that I am connected to the call. My radio wont play and nothing else will work until I turn off and restart my car. Also, the radio stations I listen to has had the same song listed from a few weeks ago."

Shane O., ND (2016 Ford Flex Limited 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

CV joint

"CV joint boot failure. Passenger's side front. CV joint replaced under factory warranty."

Anonymous, ID (2016 Ford Flex Limited 3.5-L V6 turbo)

Engine Minor

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

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.

Engine Cooling

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

Engine Major

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

Exhaust

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

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

Transmission Minor

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

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