The 2021 Ford Flex is a full-size crossover utility vehicle (CUV) that sits between the Ford Explorer and the Ford Expedition within the Ford lineup. Capable of seating up to seven passengers, the Ford Flex is one of the longest utility vehicles sold by the Ford Motor Company.
When it was first released in 2009, its goal was to offer all the convenience of a minivan in a more youthful and utilitarian design, all while paying homage to the “Woodie” station wagons of the past. The Ford Flex is regarded today as being one of the first crossover vehicles, currently the most lucrative automotive category.
New Ford Flex 2021
With the presence of the 2021 Ford Explorer and recently updated Ford Expedition, it is currently unclear if the Flex will continue to exist beyond the 2021 model year. Except for a few notable changes such as a mild facelift, the vehicle is virtually unchanged since it was first launched in 2009. The year 2021 marks the last year of production for the Ford Flex. In reality, production for this vehicle ended at the third quarter of 2021. Remaining inventory will be sold all the way to the end of the second quarter of 2021. As we write this, Ford has not announced a replacement for this vehicle.
It’s not a surprise that Ford is discontinuing the slow-selling Flex, particularly since the automaker decided more than a year ago to stop making all cars except the Mustang in favor of SUVs and pickups. The Flex is more of a tall wagon than a true crossover and was marketed as an alternative to the family minivan rather than as a utility vehicle. Still, it was appealing in an old-school kind of way, and we’re sorry to see it go. We appreciated it for both its quirky looks and its performance, most recently testing a 2016 all-wheel-drive model with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, but we said even then: “We like it, and always have, but Ford doesn’t sell many of them, and the model’s future is uncertain.” It’s certain now.
Ford had high hopes when it launched the Flex three-row crossover back in 2007 for the 2008 model year. Sure, its exterior design was not exactly conventional but it was one of the first crossovers on the market to offer three rows of seats and lots of interior space in general. Today, automakers are scrambling to get three-row CUVs on sale as fast as possible. Ford definitely had foresight but the Flex still failed to catch on despite its many positives. We already knew the Flex will be given the ax for 2021, making 2021 its final model year. What’s new for this 11-year-old crossover?
- Six (2+2+2) or seven (2+3+2) passenger seating.
- Full length glass roof allows for a well-lit and airy cabin.
- Available Sony 12 speaker sound system with subwoofer.
- Second-Row 60/40 bench seat with Autofold feature.
- The Flex’ styling is halfway between that of a sport utility vehicle and a large station wagon, with a clean, boxy and utilitarian look.
- Bold FLEX stamping above the front grille.
- Flex Limited sets itself apart from the rest of the Flex lineup with unique 19-inch wheels and full-LED headlights.
- Available black-painted roof, mirrors and wheels.
Ford Authority has compiled a list of the changes for 2021 and, not surprisingly, they’re not major. First up, Ford is adding two new exterior color choices, Agate Black and Stone Gray. Shadow Black and White Gold have been dropped. The trim levels, SE, SEL, and Limited have been carried over from last year. The only other difference for ’19 is for the interior and it’s very minor: the power converter 110V outlet is now called “110V/150W AC power outlet”. Yep. Ford decided to do that. And that’s it. The new 2021 Ford Flex is pretty much identical to last year. There’s not even a ‘Final Edition’ trim of some sort, which is kind of disappointing. Sales of the Flex hover at around 20,000-22,000 units annually for the past few years, but those figures are not particularly impressive when compared to the two-row Edge crossover, which last year sold 134,122 units in the US alone.
City – 14.7 L/100 km
Hwy – 10.2 L/100 km
3.5L V6 (287 hp/254 lb-ft); turbo 3.5L V6 (365 hp/350 lb-ft)
Engine | Aspiration | Horsepower @ RPMTorque (lb-ft) @ RPM | Transmission
3.5L Ti-VCT Cyclone V6 | Atmospheric | 287 @ 6,500 rpm254 @ 4,000 rpm | Six-speed automatic
3.5L EcoBoost V6 | Twin-turbo | 365 @ 5,500 rpm350 @ 3,500 rpm | Six-speed automatic
SE 3.5L Ti-VCT Cyclone V6FWD $28,315
SEL 3.5L Ti-VCT Cyclone V6FWD $31,030
SEL 3.5L Ti-VCT Cyclone V6AWD $32,480
Limited 3.5L Ti-VCT Cyclone V6FWD $36,030
Limited 3.5L Ti-VCT Cyclone V6AWD $37,480
Limited 3.5L EcoBoost V6AWD $43,730
Base curb weight (3.5L Ti-VCT Cyclone V6 – FWD) 4,439 lb
Base curb weight (3.5 Ti-VCT Cyclone V6 – AWD) 4,637 lb
Base curb weight (3.5L EcoBoost V6 – AWD) 4,828 lb
Cargo volume (behind third row) 20 cu-ft
Cargo volume (behind second row) 43.2 cu-ft
Cargo volume (behind second row) 83.2 cu-ft
Towing capacity 4,500 lb
The new Ford Flex 2021 is a full-size crossover that comes in only one body style no matter which trim level is selected. Total number of doors is five including the hatch. However, unique styling cues are applied to the Flex Limited model to distinguish it from the rest of the Flex lineup.
- Flex SE
- Flex SEL
- Flex Limited
The Ford Flex lineup remains unchanged for the 2021 model year. The model lineup is as follows:
FWDSE 3.5L Ti-VCT Cyclone V6
FWDSEL 3.5L Ti-VCT Cyclone V6
AWDSEL 3.5L Ti-VCT Cyclone V6
FWDLimited 3.5L Ti-VCT Cyclone V6
AWDLimited 3.5L Ti-VCT Cyclone V6
AWDLimited 3.5L EcoBoost V6
All variations of the Ford Flex ride on the Ford D4 platform shared with the following vehicles:
- Ford Explorer (fifth generation)
- Lincoln MKT
Sales for the Ford Flex are even more impressive with over 250,000 examples leaving dealership lots in 2018. Now that the completely redesigned Explorer has arrived, there’s simply no reason for the Flex to continue. What about a redesign instead? No need because the Ford Flex 2021 already offers three rows for a similar price. And, let’s face it, the new Explorer has a far more attractive and conventional exterior design than the Flex. But still, the Flex was somewhat ahead of its time and it had a good run.
Around and minimally changed since the 2009 model year, 2021 Ford Flex is a three-row, seven-passenger crossover available in S, SE and Limited trim levels. Intelligent all-wheel drive continuously monitors vehicle and driver input, predicts traction, and automatically delivers the precise amount of engine torque needed to all four wheels — even before slippage occurs. The technology is available for Flex with 3.5-litre Ti-VCT V6 engine and comes standard with the optional 3.5L EcoBoost engine. Available active park assist uses ultrasonic sensors to locate a parallel parking space; once a spot is identified, the system steers Flex into place with the driver controlling the gear shift, gas and brake pedals. The standard seven-passenger seating includes first-row bucket seats, a second-row 60/40-split bench seat and a 50/50-split bench third-row seat. Both rear seats can also be folded flat for storage room (up to 83.2 cu-ft of storage capacity). Flex also offers a six-passenger seating option. Choose second-row power-assisted bucket seats with a console or a pass-through to the third row.