The crossover SUVs have become a dominating power in the automobile industry on most continents. Despite the pickup trucks are the best-selling vehicles in the US, the number of crossover and SUV models is multiplying significantly. The brands continue to introduce new models and electrification of its high-riding range but we saw also recently the revival of several iconic nameplates. However, despite the global SUV popularity, some models were not well received and they faced the discontinuation. The mid-size, seven-seat Ford Flex left production lines in November 2019. Recently, reports appeared suggesting an arrival of the 2021 Ford Flex. But is it really coming back?
All-new 2021 Ford Flex?
Numerous reports and speculations appeared recently on the net about the possible introduction of the new-generation 2021 Ford Flex but since the model’s discontinuation, Ford hasn’t hinted that possibility. While several Ford-badged prototype models have been spotted recently testing on the roads no one has been recognized as the new-generation Ford Flex.
Ford introduced the Flex in 2008 as the successor for the Taurus X but it also functionally replaced the Freestar minivan. The model changed its body configuration of the concept vehicle shown in 2005 from MPV to the tall wagon to better meet new market demands but it has never been well received. Ford had an initial target to sell about 100, 000 Flex models each year but the model reached 38, 717 sold examples in its best market year. In the last five years on the market, the number of sold units was below 25, 000.
Being actually more a tall wagon than true crossover or SUV, the Ford Flex didn’t stand a good chance on the market in the years of rapid popularity growth of the crossovers and SUVs. In that respect, considering a lack of the prototype model on the roads and without any clue coming from Ford, we are sure that reports about the arrival of the 2021 Ford Flex are far from reality. There are also no signs in the automobile industry that trends would change in favor of the models similar to the Ford Flex in the near future.
Achievements and Design
As the things now stand, the new SUV won’t enter a new-generation as the 2021 Ford Flex and that shouldn’t happen in the near future at least not in a similar form.
However, despite it hasn’t enjoyed high popularity, the Flex earned some good rankings and had good sides rated high by buyers. The Ford Flex was the number 3 most affordable large SUV as of late 2010 and it earned also the title of the most reliable large SUV and Ford’s most reliable vehicle. In the same year, the model ranked also as the large SUV that buyers would purchase again. However, in the years of the rapid SUV popularity that hasn’t proven enough to achieve Ford’s target sales.
The large-sized and wagon-like Ford Flex earned also high scores for its spacious and versatile cabin. The model offered also large cargo capacity with up to 80 cubic feet at disposal. A tall, wagon-like cabin provided also sufficient head-room and good outward visibility.
With the 3.5-liter turbocharged V-6 engine under the hood mixed with the all-wheel drive in some trims, the Flex provided also sufficient power and significant towing capability. The engine was good for 365 hp and torque of 350 lb-ft. The model allowed up to 4,500 pounds for towing. The base engine was a 287-hp non-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 unit. The Flex used a 6-speed automatic transmission in all versions. Both two- and all-wheel drive were available.
The 2021 Ford Flex won’t likely see the light of the day but Ford equipped the retired model with modern tech and high-comfort features.
Ford marketed the Flex with the Sync 3 infotainment system in all trims except the base and top grades were available with premium comfort features. The top-grade Limited version included a wood interior trim, leather upholstery, ambient lighting, navigation, premium Sony sound system, etc. Ford also offered ventilated seats, a heated and power-adjustable steering wheel, some active safety systems as part of the optional package. The model was available with adaptive cruise control, automatic parking system and forward-collision warning but lacked automatic emergency braking and other modern crash-avoidance technologies.
In the last model year on the market, the Ford Flex was available from $30, 575.