1.12.2010

Ford Flex with EcoBoost Review


Looking for a Ford Flex? Here's a tip: Make sure this badge is on the tailgate.

EcoBoost transforms the Flex from adequate power to impressive power...replacing the standard 262 horses with 355...at a penalty of only one city mile per gallon and two highway (dropping from 17 to 16 and 24 to 22). Torque is way up too...from 248 pounds per foot to 350.

How'd they do it? Well, EcoBoost is a twin-turbo...taking the 80s favorite means of boosting power without sucking down prodigious amounts of fuel and doubling it. Hopefully, they've addressed the issues that caused turbos to fall out of favor, but I'd change the oil more than the owner's manual recommends just in case.

I liked the Flex the first time I drove it, but having some power makes it all that much better.

This time around, the tester was a top of the line SEL All Wheel Drive...and that means it wasn't cheap: Base price $36,115...$7,600 more than the entry-level model. Fortunately, Ford kept the options down to...well, one. Rapid Spec 208-A AWD adds 20 inch bright painted aluminum wheels, a convenience package and a 12-speaker Sony sound system for $3895.

That put the price, before destination and delivery at $40,010...but there's a "Rapid Spec Savings" discount of $845...so the ultimate bottom line is $39,940.

That's a chunk of change for a Ford...but a lot of people spent that and more for Expeditions when they were in fashion...and this drives a lot better than the Expedition ever did.

By the way...five-star crash ratings all around...four star rollover.

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