Well, as most of you know we had been car shopping for about two months. We were looking for a 7/8 passenger SUV/CUV to expand into. Our previous car was a 2007 Maxima and while it preformed beautifully in its role it was simply too small for the changing needs of our family.
Lets start with this, we literally test drove everything in the class aside from the updated Sorento.
Four came out on top and we narrowed it down from there.
#4 and 3 were the GM vehicles Acadia and Enclave. Both were great with the new updates but they still lacked in a lot of areas. Mainly in technology and interior packaging. We hated the second row seats as I couldnt sit comfortably up front with an adult behind me. The floors pushed the second row occupants knees high up into the air and thus you needed even more legroom than provided. The third row was also quite disappointing. Access to the third row was also poor as we even had a salesmen say to us that they didnt stock many 8 passenger configurations because people hate to move the seats to get in the back.
All in all, I can see why people purchase them and why they are so popular but there were just too many drawbacks for us to consider one.
#2 was the Pathfinder. It was a great well rounded vehicle. I can see why Nissan sold 200% more than last year. Although they only sold a little over 6k units it was very hard to find a dealership that had many in stock. Interior size is decent and the second row felt spacious. It was lacking in the look department for us and not even offering a projector HID setup was a very large turnoff.
#1 ended up being a Ford Flex. We went into a local dealership to look at them only to be ushered into the Explorer before even sitting in a Flex. I immediately set the driver seat and jumped in the back seat only to find it majorly cramped and I couldnt even shut the door. Neither one of us liked the looks nor the drive feel of it.
We then got to mess around in a Flex. First impression is that its literally huge on the inside. Headroom? You got it. Hip room? Check. Leg room? Massive. I did the driver seat test once again and not only did I have ample room but I had almost 4" of room between the driver seat and my legs. Styling? Take it or leave it. As a previous owner of a Terrain we are accustomed to the boxy look but the Flex is literally a tall wagon. It drives more like a car than an CUV which is a huge plus. Technology? Check as well. Safety? Good to go as well with it being an IIHS top safety pick and ours is equipped with the second row inflatable seat belts.
Our Flex is a Limited with the 301A package that has
- Active park assist
- adaptive cruise
- control and collision warning with brake support
- 10-way power heated and cooled front seats + power-tilt/-telescoping steering column
- 3rd-row vinyl 50/50 split bench seat with one-touch PowerFold® tumble with tailgate feature
The main reason to get the 301A was for me to have cooled seats. Im insanely hot natured and even with dual climate control I freeze my wife out. The best part about the package though is the adaptive cruise. Its an insanely amazing technology. A little nerve racking the first few times you let the vehicle stop itself but it works great.
The powertrain is just the standard 3.5 V6 with 287 HP and 254 TQ. As much as I loved the Ecoboost it was just out of our price range as it added almost $4k to the price. The 3.5 V6 does a very good job on getting the vehicle to move out if you want it. No, its not a speed demon its faster than the majority of vehicles in the segment and doesnt have that top heavy feeling you get from most CUVs. Then throw in the fact that you do not have a compromised view out of the vehicle at all. Rear glass is large. Rear side panel glass is large. If you want to see out of it you literally can as Ford went with practicality on that and I really applaud them for it.
It has the dune interior and the color is called Ginger Ale Metallic. It seems really gold in pictures but in real life its just slightly gold with a very green undertone. Really a great color.
All in all our Flex listed for $44,015. The OTD price was right under $38k. The Flex wasnt even on our list in the beginning and after joking about going to look at it we have one in our driveway.