- The funky Flex crossover receives revised interior and exterior styling, but stops short of a full redesign.
- Power in the Flex's base engine is boosted to a healthier 285 horses, while the optional EcoBoost V6 stands pat at 355.
- The crossover also adds new technology including inflatable rear seatbelts and Ford's updated MyFord Touch infotainment system.
This year's Los Angeles Auto Show played host to the debut of a revised version of Ford's unique Flex crossover. Featuring updated exterior styling, an upgraded interior, new features and more engine power, the 2013 Flex is slated to begin arriving in dealerships this spring.
While the 2013 Flex features several revisions, its most noticeable change is updated exterior styling. In back, the crossover includes new taillight trim and a large "FLEX" badge across the rear hatch, while changes to the front end include an entirely revised fascia complete with new headlights, a single-bar chrome grille, an updated lower grille section and "FLEX" badging in place of Ford's "Blue Oval" logo on the hood.
The 2013 Flex also offers several upgrades to its cabin. A new multi-function steering wheel is added, while the crossover's center stack trades its traditional buttons for electronic panels similar to those included in the newly redesigned Ford Explorer. Other revisions include a new gauge cluster and upgraded seat trim with enhanced padding.
The 2013 Flex also receives upgrades under the hood. While the base-level crossover retains last year's 3.5-liter V6, power is increased from 265 horses to 285, while torque rises from 248 pound-feet to 253. Despite the boost, however, Ford says the gas mileage for the 2013 Flex's base engine actually improves by one mile per gallon over its predecessor. The Flex's turbocharged EcoBoost engine, which produces a muscular 355 horsepower, remains optional.
Ford is also adding a host of new technology to the Flex for 2013. In addition to an enhanced MyFord Touch infotainment system that's easier to use than its predecessor, the 2013 Flex features inflatable rear seat belts, radar-based adaptive cruise control, and Ford's Blind Spot Information System, which provides visual and audio alerts when a vehicle is located in a blind spot.
While Ford hasn't set pricing for the 2013 Flex, we expect it to be only slightly more expensive than its predecessor. That means base pricing will likely hover around $30,000, while upscale models can reach into the mid-$40,000 range.
What it means to you: If you can get past its funky styling, the Flex offers remarkable standard equipment, good engine choices and lots of interior room.
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