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New Ford Flex, with 7 Person Seating, Looks Great!

 
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My brother paints the Ford Flex in Oakville, ON, so I saw this car when it first made an appearance quite a while ago. Seating 7, capless fuel filter, and somewhat retro styling, I thought this was just a fantastic vehicle. But when I saw it, they hadn't set a price.

The Ford Flex - Kewl Car with Seven Passenger Seating

I know that to get a car that seats seven, you usually have to put out some big bucks. My fear was that this great looking car with great potential would be appropriately priced right outside the budget of the very target audience Ford was looking at. Did you ever see the episode where Homer creates his own car, called the Hommer? (ala the Hummer) I figured Ford would do something equally silly here.

Well, it looks like they priced it under $30,000 - 28,295 to be exact, which seems like a very reasonable price for a good family vehicle. And with gas mileage for the Ford Flex being 17/24mpg, it's not out of this world bad on fuel economy either.

As a BMW & Dodge owner from a GM town (Oshawa), I love to bash Ford. But deep down inside, I really would love to see Ford return to their dominant place in the car industry. Maybe this Ford Flex is the answer to Ford's problems? Or maybe it's just a competitor to Dodge's successful PT Cruiser (and GM's copy of the PT Cruiser called the HHR), hitting the market 10 years too late? Of course, the PT Cruiser was just a 'compact' car, an inch smaller in length than the Dodge Neon. (Neon =You hit your knee on this, you hit your knee on that.) This is considered a full crossover vehicle, so perhaps the comparison is a little ill suited. Still, it has that retro feel that was popular 10 years ago. Better late to the party than never.

Will the Ford Flex be dubbed the Ford Failure? Or will it be Ford's Future? I hope the latter.

Pat, what do you think?

-Cameron McKenzie
[ June 08, 2008: Message edited by: Cameron Wallace McKenzie ]
 
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Originally posted by Cameron Wallace McKenzie:
Maybe this Ford Flex is the answer to Ford's problems? Or maybe it's just a competitor to Dodge's successful PT Cruiser (and GM's copy of the PT Cruiser called the HHR), hitting the market 10 years too late?



Its really late, the PT Cruiser is about to be retired. Don't know about the HHR. Its more of a mini-van than a SUV, but perhaps that is what we need.

Ford has to design and sell cars. Not trucks. GM and Chrysler need it too. Cars, not trucks, SUVs, crossovers, pseudo-station wagons. Cars.

Ford also needs to kill the Mercury line, and make some Lincolns that are not just Fords with different grills.

Interesting that both Car & Driver and Road & Track have new pony cars on the cover. They are three years late for them as well. We really need a Challenger with a Hemi with gas over $4 a gallon?
 
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Originally posted by Pat Farrell:
Its really late, the PT Cruiser is about to be retired. Don't know about the HHR.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the HHR go away. Judging from the number of sightings compared to the PT, it's been a colossal failure -- at least here in the Southern US.

Of course, the change in automobile climate brought on by fuel pricing may change things drastically.

Ford has to design and sell cars. Not trucks. GM and Chrysler need it too. Cars, not trucks, SUVs, crossovers, pseudo-station wagons. Cars.

Indeed. Fuel-efficient cars that don't seem like econo-boxes.

Interesting that both Car & Driver and Road & Track have new pony cars on the cover. They are three years late for them as well. We really need a Challenger with a Hemi with gas over $4 a gallon?

Granted, it takes many years to get a new design through the pipeline, but one might think that the car manufacturers would have had contingency plans for fuel prices to go bonkers. They seem to have been caught asleep at the wheel.
[ June 08, 2008: Message edited by: Bear Bibeault ]
 
Pat Farrell
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Originally posted by Bear Bibeault:
Granted, it takes many years to get a new design through the pipeline, but one might think that the car manufacturers would have had contingency plans for fuel prices to go bonkers



The current Car and Driver has an editorial about how long it takes, I forget exactly, his point was that its longer than the EPA gave them to improve the mileage. Roughly 5 years for a small change, 8 or more for a complete "platform"

The lack of contingency is actually reasonable. They were making tons of money, all of their money, from trucks and SUVs. If they spent the design money for efficient, small cars, no one would buy them, and thus the management would get flack for wasting valuable engineering time.

In the world of $2/gallon gas, Americans have spoken clearly, they want big, fast, comfortable vehicles.

What no one expected was for $2/g gas to become $4/g gas so quickly
[ June 08, 2008: Message edited by: Pat Farrell ]
 
Bear Bibeault
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Maybe I'm just more of a planner than most, but I'd have had fuel-efficient vehicle plans in the wings for just such a situation that could put into play quickly. Of course they may be doing just that and keeping mum, but somehow I think they were caught by surprise.
 
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That's not a car, it's a bus.
 
Pat Farrell
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Originally posted by John Smith:
it's a bus.



and it gets great mileage for a bus.

To get back On Topic, the OP says "brother" paints these cars. I thought all cars were painted by robots. Does this mean that the OP's brother is a robot? Does that imply that the OP is a robot too?
 
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To get back On Topic, the OP says "brother" paints these cars. I thought all cars were painted by robots. Does this mean that the OP's brother is a robot? Does that imply that the OP is a robot too?



Are we back on topic yet?

Actually, the Flex looks like an extended cab version of the Scion. A big shoe box imho. The industry has the ability for fuel efficient vehicles. For instance, I drove a '91 Chevy Beretta a few years back. It had a v6 3.1 motor and was pretty sporty. It topped out at 105 mph and also averaged 29 mpg. That's a little smaller engine than the Flex, but you would figure after 18 years, they could've tweaked a few more mpg's out of it. I traded the Chevy in for an '01 Audi TT 4-cyl turbo . I don't know what it topped out at because I chicken'ed out at 105 mph with headroom to go. As powerful as it was, it still got 25 mpg average. Now I drive a more practical truck which gets 15-20. Haven't nailed the mpg average yet. Another v6 though.

Aloha,
Doug

-- Nothing is impossible if I'mPossible
 
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The Flex looks like a POS. I've been shopping around and looking at crossovers from all the different manufacturers and for the money and what you get the Dodge Journey (also optional 7 passenger) is the best out there. And it looks nice too. I really like the latest Lexus crossovers but they are way overpriced.
 
Cameron Wallace McKenzie
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I actually stuck my head into a Dodge Journey on Sunday, just poking around the Dodge dealership. Thought it looked good, but didn't realize it had optional seven passenger seating. And for less than $20,000 - impressive.

The flex definitely has a unique design. But these love it or hate it designs often work. The PT Cruiser and the Chrysler 300 were both somewhat risky designs that people either loved or hated, and subsequently, both sold extremely well. Of course, the same could be said for the Aztec and the Magnum, neither of which are manufactured anymore.

The Flex does sorta look like a bus, doesn't it? The Ford Flexi-bus? I still like it, though.

-Cameron McKenzie
 
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Originally posted by Cameron Wallace McKenzie:
I actually stuck my head into a Dodge Journey on Sunday, just poking around the Dodge dealership. Thought it looked good, but didn't realize it had optional seven passenger seating. And for less than $20,000 - impressive.



If you found a journey for less than $20K I want to know:

a) where?

or

b) What are you smoking and where can I get some?
 
Cameron Wallace McKenzie
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Dodge Journey Website - MSRP of $19,985

Says the MSRP is $19,985 with current incentives. I didn't dig any deeper than the landing page, but Dodge would never put out a misleading price to try and draw in customers.

-Cameron McKenzie
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