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2010 Ford Flex Introduction

The Ford Flex is a full-size crossover utility vehicle that can seat up to seven adults and carry luggage or groceries at the same time. It's the modern-day equivalent of what used to be the family station wagon, but no old station wagon can match the comfort, utility, capabilities or driving enjoyment of the Flex.

The Flex has three rows of seats, with a standard 2-3-2 layout or optional 2-2-2 configuration. It's built on a passenger-car platform, as opposed to that of a body-on-frame truck, and thus has the basic stance and friendly driving characteristics of a car.

The Flex is larger and roomier than the Ford Edge, and its three-row seating allows it to carry more people, and in more comfort. Its passenger-car platform makes it lower and more carlike than the Explorer or Expedition, and thus easier to drive and live with in daily use. Competitors for the Flex include the Chevy Traverse, GMC Arcadia, and Buick Enclave, though they are quite different in a variety of ways.

Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 17/24 mpg City/Highway for a front-wheel-drive Flex, 16/22 mpg for an all-wheel-drive model, and that's on Regular 87 octane gasoline.

For 2010, the major change for the Flex is the availability of Ford's strong EcoBoost turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine. EcoBoost utilizes advanced turbocharging technology to deliver the fuel efficiency of a smaller engine with the power and performance of a larger engine. EcoBoost includes two turbochargers and direct fuel injection. The 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost engine in the Flex is rated at 355 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, yet with no penalty in fuel economy compared to the standard non-EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6, which is rated at 262 horsepower. In the Flex, the EcoBoost engine will be available only with all-wheel drive.

Also new for 2010: Active Park Assist, an Autofold 60/40-split second-row bench seat, MyKey programmable vehicle key, Trailer Sway Control, tilt-telescoping steering wheel. SYNC comes standard on the SEL trim level, navigation is standard on the Limited trim level.

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