2010 AWD Limited Ford Flex

The name suggests flexibility which, to me, suggests compromise. But the look of the AWD Limited Ford Flex is as uncompromising as possible without falling on your sword. Accustomed to your typical crossover capsule shape, I find the Flex’s unique and comically refreshing. Here’s why.

The only other car it looks like is the Mini Clubman. Consider their similar shoebox shapes and white two-tone lids. Of course the Flex is vast — over 5 metres long. So comparing Clubman to Flex is like that movie where Danny Devito and Governor Schwarzenegger were separated at birth.

Maybe the movie comparison needs changing. (Don’t worry; the Flex comes with DVD player and headphones for the passengers.) Imagine a Clubman designed for Hagrid to ferry all his little chums from Gryffindor about in.

The real point?

It seats 6 very comfortably. The back row disappears into the floor, transformer-like, creating even more space. Two roof vents keep those aforementioned 5 metres from becoming cavelike. Add to that the panoramic sunroof and you get a breeziness that’s almost like a convertible. Speaking of panorama and enormity, the park system option is a must-have to keep from scraping it.

From cowpower
It’s pricey but you’re surrounded by comfort and luxuries. There’s a veritable stampede of leather. The seats are large — loads of legroom — plush like the ultimate home theatre. See DVD player, above. All this bling keeps passengers distracted while you push the engine hard. Which you can do.

To horsepower
All-wheel drive gives back some sensation of the road that fades the higher up you sit. The 6-speed sport tuned transmission allows paddle-shifting — taking you further into the drive experience. The paddles are right at your thumbs, so it’s more like texting than shifting, but still more satisfying than automatic trannie.

Best of all, the 3.5-litre V-6 engine has some testosterone, producing 355hp@5700 rpm and enough torque to tow a village. But the Ecoboost engine is 35% more efficient than your basic V-6.

So, maybe it’s called Flex because of all that politely hidden muscle?

Base Price: $46,599
As Driven: $58,809

This is a test