Why the Hell isn’t the Ford Flex More Popular?!?

By -

Ford Flex

The Ford Flex is an affordable, reliable, and incredibly useful vehicle. So, why aren’t enough people buying them?

We live in a world that seemingly has an insatiable appetite for SUVs. Automakers keep cranking out new models at a fervent pace, working overtime to capture coveted market share. And consumers keep snatching them up so fast production can barely keep up.

Ford has thus far struggled to keep ‘utes like the new Expedition and Navigator on dealer lots as they face unprecedented demand. Heck, even the EcoSport, which is essentially an overseas rebadge job, is selling like hotcakes.

But one SUV you never hear anyone talking about is the Ford Flex. Come to think of it, when was the last time you saw one cruising around your town? And if the answer is a while, you aren’t alone. We were thinking the same thing, and that gut feeling is backed up by hard numbers.

Ford Flex

Ford sold a mere 2,133 new ones in the month of September, less than any other SUV they offer. Heck, they even sold more Police Interceptor Utilities. The Ford Flex is nothing more than a drip in the overall SUV sales pan, which crested 61k units last month.

So it wasn’t really a surprise when rumors surfaced a couple of years ago that Ford would discontinue the Flex in 2016. Obviously, that never happened. And then, a year later, a new deal between Ford and Canadian auto workers union Unifor seemed to indicate that it would be cancelled in 2020. For their part, Ford would neither confirm nor deny this report. And it’s been radio silence ever since.

 

Also See: Can the Ford Flex be Saved before 2020?

 

So, for now at least, the Ford Flex is alive, despite its dreary sales figures. And it’s fair to question why more people aren’t buying them. For starters, it’s capable of carrying 7 passengers with ease, something that today’s SUV consumer covets. It also sits a couple inches lower than the Explorer and handles better.

Ford Flex

The styling, however, is one of those love it or hate it propositions. Some dig the retro station wagon appearance, but most prefer a more truck-like stance. But you certainly can’t argue over value. The Ford Flex is relatively inexpensive for such a large and spacious utility, coming in with a base price of just over $30k.

The Flex also routinely ranks highly in reliability scores and has scored the coveted “recommended status” at Consumer Reports multiple times over the last several years. They even say that it “combines SUV-like versatility with almost car-like driving dynamics.” So what’s not to like?

Regardless of these positive attributes, most consumers stick to more traditional SUVs. Thus, it would appear that the styling and more car-like stance render the Ford Flex to niche status. But even though things look dire on the surface, Ford apparently has a number of good reasons to keep it around.

Why the Hell isn’t the Ford Flex More Popular?!? continued…

Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other sites.

Comments ()