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mazdeuce
mazdeuce PowerDork
5/31/15 8:01 a.m.

The only hitch in just going and buying one is the Mercedes Metris that is coming in October. The passenger version seats 8, tows 5k and starts at $33k. It will be a dog compared to an ecoboost Flex, but might make a better cargo/kid hauler.

Ojala
Ojala HalfDork
5/31/15 9:43 a.m.

I hadn't heard of the Metris, but when I looked it up I realized it is just a renamed Vito. I have driven one and in my opinion it is not comparable to a Flex. It is much closer to a Transit Connect xl which is slightly smaller but much cheaper. Or you could get the much bigger Transit for the same price as the Mercedes. In any case a Town and Country stomps all over a Vito in features and doodads any day of the week at the same price point.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
5/31/15 11:18 a.m.
mazdeuce wrote: In reply to gl21133: How is the interior on the new high zoot models? The 2011 base model we poked around was a bit of a plasticy piece of crap. Everything I read says the high end ones are much better and the post redesign ones are even better.

My dad has one that looks exactly like this, which I suspect is a pretty high end model, though no Ecoboost. I thought that the interior was ok, but still a noticeable step down from being Honda quality. It always seems as if domestic manufactures aim to make switchgear that looks like high end stuff, but as soon as you touch it, you find that the quality is just not there.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
5/31/15 11:20 a.m.

In reply to mazdeuce:

Ordinarily when someone mentions that they might be interested in a Flex, I tell them to make sure that it will fit in their garage. I'm pretty sure that you'll be okay.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce PowerDork
5/31/15 12:45 p.m.

I'm guilty of cross shopping things that don't make sense. Last spring I would have bought a Nissan van if the sales manager wasn't a d-bag, and then ended up with the V-wagon. The Metris and the Flex are different and appeal to me for different reasons, but they both appeal to me. As well as the full size Transit. Lots of stuff too, really.

DILYSI Dave
DILYSI Dave MegaDork
5/31/15 2:46 p.m.

My last cross shopping was S197 Mustang versus Chevy Volt.

gl21133
gl21133 New Reader
5/31/15 8:23 p.m.

If you're looking at the Metris, have you considered the Transit Connect? I saw a recent review (that I can't for the life of me find) that made me intrigued. My wife has been asking for better fuel economy (that is one of the few downsides of the boosted Flex) and if she ever gets serious I may take a harder look at one.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce PowerDork
5/31/15 8:40 p.m.

Transit Connect only tows 2k lbs which makes it a non-starter as a replacement for my truck which has racecar tow duties. They're pretty cool though.

gl21133
gl21133 New Reader
5/31/15 10:13 p.m.

Fair enough. FWIW, Flex tows without issue. My E250 is my official tow rig, but if I can get away with it, I steal the Flex.

bgkast
bgkast UltraDork
5/31/15 11:46 p.m.

What about the regular transit?

xflowgolf
xflowgolf Dork
6/1/15 7:52 a.m.

Also currently shopping Flex' for new vehicle for wife.

They're love/hate on styling, and fortunately she loves them. She wants something with 3rd row, and I'd like something that can do light duty hauling (small boat, VW on tow dolly, etc.).

The only knock I have, which isn't really a bad thing, is that the resale value in the configuration we want is very strong. (awd, factory tow package, heated leather, 2nd row buckets)

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler SuperDork
6/1/15 8:29 a.m.
xflowgolf wrote: The only knock I have, which isn't really a bad thing, is that the resale value in the configuration we want is very strong. (awd, factory tow package, heated leather, 2nd row buckets)

Depending on how you feel about the styling, the Lincoln MKT is mechanically identical to the Flex, and it's resale seems to be a bit softer. As in, the prices are pretty much the same, but the Lincolns are of course loaded to the gills in base form. I think it's a better value from a used-car perspective.

gl21133
gl21133 New Reader
6/1/15 8:40 a.m.
Tom_Spangler wrote: Depending on how you feel about the styling, the Lincoln MKT is mechanically identical to the Flex, and it's resale seems to be a bit softer. As in, the prices are pretty much the same, but the Lincolns are of course loaded to the gills in base form. I think it's a better value from a used-car perspective.

I personally dislike the MKT styling, it kills a lot of the fun of the big toaster that the Flex is. FWIW, we owned an Element prior to the Flex, we like fairly angular vehicles.

I also assume the interior space is smaller due to the slope of the rear and sides, but I have no empirical or anecdotal data to back that up.

mazdeuce
mazdeuce PowerDork
6/1/15 9:16 a.m.
Tom_Spangler wrote:
xflowgolf wrote: The only knock I have, which isn't really a bad thing, is that the resale value in the configuration we want is very strong. (awd, factory tow package, heated leather, 2nd row buckets)
Depending on how you feel about the styling, the Lincoln MKT is mechanically identical to the Flex, and it's resale seems to be a bit softer. As in, the prices are pretty much the same, but the Lincolns are of course loaded to the gills in base form. I think it's a better value from a used-car perspective.

I already own a Cadillac, might as well look at a Lincoln. I will explore this avenue. Thanks.

xflowgolf
xflowgolf Dork
6/2/15 8:06 a.m.

I also read the factory tow package isn't that hard to add to anyone comfortable with the majority of GRM-esque projects.

The oil cooler is available from Ford, with the revised lower radiator hose to make it all plug and play. The rear hitch involves removing and cutting the rear bumper cover, but the hitch is a bolt in affair, and it comes with a template for cutting, and a trim bezel that pops in place to trim it out.

Wiring is easy enough with aftermarket trailer kits.

bravenrace
bravenrace MegaDork
6/2/15 8:10 a.m.

This is an interesting thread, as my wife is in love with the Flex. Has anyone cross shopped a CX9? I don't care for the looks, but when we looked at one at the auto show, we really liked the interior, and the space in the rear looks similar to the Flex.

jstein77
jstein77 SuperDork
6/2/15 8:30 a.m.

What is the real-world gas mileage on the Flex? The EPA estimate of 18 mpg is pretty abysmal.

I found a local dealership with 3 new 2014 models in stock. Not selling well?

mazdeuce
mazdeuce PowerDork
6/2/15 8:40 a.m.

There are functionally zero on the lots in Houston. The dealer I talked to had two inbound with one of them sold. I very seldom see them on the road, so I don't know what the deal is, but I couldn't find a new one on the lot at the three closest dealers.

jstein77
jstein77 SuperDork
6/2/15 8:43 a.m.

Must be a regional thing. Here in central Florida, I'm seeing more than a few unsold 2014 models.

bravenrace
bravenrace MegaDork
6/2/15 8:47 a.m.

In reply to mazdeuce:

Car and Driver put the Flex on it's "10 best cars that nobody buys" list. I think most people want that high up position of the explorer, and the Flex is also more expensive. My local Ford dealer hasn't had any new ones in stock for 6 months. Yeah, they are slow selling, but they can't sell them if they don't have them! Fortunately, there are quite a few lightly used ones in my area to choose from, so that's probably the route we'd go if we choose to buy one. I do know that for me it would be the limited AWD ecoboost or nothing.

TGMF
TGMF New Reader
6/2/15 9:29 a.m.
jstein77 wrote: What is the real-world gas mileage on the Flex? The EPA estimate of 18 mpg is pretty abysmal. I found a local dealership with 3 new 2014 models in stock. Not selling well?

Depends what drivetrain configuration you're asking about. From my experience with FWD NA engine, its about 22-23 MPG highway, 19-20 around town. No idea on EB engines, and I'm sure theres a couple MPG penalty for AWD as well.

iceracer
iceracer PowerDork
6/2/15 10:29 a.m.

I saw one the other day that reminded me of a school bus.

Filled with young people, even the driver.

May have been a church group ?

dj06482
dj06482 SuperDork
6/2/15 11:52 a.m.
bravenrace wrote: This is an interesting thread, as my wife is in love with the Flex. Has anyone cross shopped a CX9? I don't care for the looks, but when we looked at one at the auto show, we really liked the interior, and the space in the rear looks similar to the Flex.

Last year we were at CarMax in Orlando, FL and looked at just about every mid-size SUV with a third row seat. I remember looking at the CX-9 and being very disappointed at the actual space in it. In terms of space, the ones I was most impressed with were the GM Traverse/Acadia/Enclave and the Flex. One nice thing about the Flex was that the floor seemed low relative to the seating position in the second row, which would help with comfort as our children get older.

bravenrace
bravenrace MegaDork
6/2/15 11:59 a.m.

In reply to dj06482:

For us the important thing is the cargo area, which is what I should have said instead of "rear". The CX9 has 100.7 cu ft versus 83.2 for the Flex.

xflowgolf
xflowgolf Dork
6/2/15 12:24 p.m.
bravenrace wrote: In reply to dj06482: For us the important thing is the cargo area, which is what I should have said instead of "rear". The CX9 has 100.7 cu ft versus 83.2 for the Flex.

That's a little bit misleading though...

From: Review Specs

"The 2015 Mazda CX-9 has 17.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row of seats, 48.3 cubic feet with the third row folded and 100.7 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded."

where-as the Flex has...

source data: Flex Specs

"The 2015 Ford Flex has 20 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row of seats, 43.2 cubic feet behind the second row and 83.2 cubic feet with those rows folded down... The front passenger seat, as well as the second- and third-row seats, fold flat."

So in day to day use, with 3rd row occupants (picking up grandparents at the airport for example), the Flex actually has more room in the "trunk" while full of people. With the 2nd row up only (how most CUV's probably are 90% of the time), they're very similar. With the front passenger seat folded, it'll likely swallow up the oddball long boards and such from a Home Depot run better than the CX-9 unless that also has a folding passenger seat.

It does have less total cargo room if you're driving it around like a cargo van, and I suppose if you're packing the thing full of peanuts you can fit more in a CX-9, but my hunch is that you're gaining cubic volume because of a taller cabin profile.

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