Any Ford Flex Users?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Any Ford Flex Users?

    Hi everyone-
    I'll be using a Ford Flex for the Sea Otter & would like some feedback...

    It seems like a great roomy MTB/traveling SUV ideally suited for a road trip.

    Can anyone give me some specific details (good & bad) on theirs?

    Bringing 2 people/2 bikes & all the usual camping gear, etc.

  2. #2
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    i love that car...my wife and i test drove one a while ago...nice power and super comfy.

    we have sold a bunch of roof racks for the flex, and the thule 480 traverse rack system is a super solid foundation on the naked roof.
    you can add bikes, easily...either fork mount like the thule peleton (a great value) , or upright, like the thule sidearm, and still have room for a thule cargo box in the center for extra gear.

    i'd be happy to help you put together a system.

    take a look at some pictures of the ford flex roof rack on our blog. this is a 480R system, which uses the aero bars....here is a ford edge roof rack sytem, that uses the standard thule rectangular bars.
    i'm not a huge fan of aero bars when mounting bikes...they require adapters, which i feel weaken the system a little bit. some people just really like the style of the aero bars....i prefer function over fashion.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, I already have a rack & I'm looking for daily-driving/road trip specific info on the Flex.

    Has anyone ever had to sleep in the back? Hi-way gas mileage? Comfortable long distance?

    Will it fit bags, camping gear, ice chests, etc., etc. with room to spare?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shredr
    Hi everyone-
    I'll be using a Ford Flex for the Sea Otter & would like some feedback...

    It seems like a great roomy MTB/traveling SUV ideally suited for a road trip.

    Can anyone give me some specific details (good & bad) on theirs?

    Bringing 2 people/2 bikes & all the usual camping gear, etc.

    I own a Taurus-X, not a Flex. But they're on the same Ford chasis and effectively the same car with a slightly different shell. The Flex has a touch more room overall in the cabin -mostly in the second row, and slightly less cargo room behind the third row, but otherwise they're near identical cars. Outside the Flex looks like a box car (or maxi-Mini) and the Taurus X looks like a crossover / station wagon thing.

    I got a rear hitch for the four bikes. I use an overhead cargo box (Yakima Skybox 16) for extra gear. If not camping, I can put two more bikes on the top rack instead of the cargo box, and can carry six people and six bikes, and their biking gear (but no extra for camping).

    We took my Taurus-X to Moab/Fuita/Goosbery wtih Rensho, jdubs, and grrah a couple years ago (four total). We brought all our tents and camping gear and four bikes on the rear rack. I think everyone was very comfortable in spite of some of us being tall. (I'm 6'1" and jdubs is something like 6'4".)

    I even enjoyed riding in back as Renso drove a lot. I had lots of leg room either front or back. I got to watch movies on the "Family Entertainment System". My car has three zone heating. We could also play music up front seperate from the two selectable channels on the headphones in back. The Flex has even more room in the second row.

    The Moab trip worked out well, and we could even see out the back window as all the gear was only up to the rear seat, but we deliberately went light on camping gear. The car probably has as much room as you can get without going to a minivan or large SUV. The car was slightly over max recommended weight with all the people, gear, and bikes. But it drove well (with the tires pumped up to near 40 psi). The Taurus X is indeed a car chassis and is much nicer handling than a truck or SUV.

    On the Moab trip going over lots of mountains and usually driving 75 to 80 MPH, we only got 18.5 MPG overall. But I've done lots of local trips (to Ft. Ord, Annadel,...) with friends and four bikes on the back and typically get over 22 MPG doing 65 to 70 MPH. On flat freeways I can get over 26 MPG under 70 MPH, but there's always hills.

    I also got ~22 MPG when driving to Oregon for MBO last August with my family of four at around 70 MPH. We took lots of big camping gear and four bikes and again were still able to see out the rear window. My kids in back were so comfy watching movies and listening to music they didn't want to get out for the one rest stop we took on the 9 or 10 hour drive. I had to insist they get out, eat something, stretch their legs and go to the restroom.

    Coming back from Tahoe once, I got 26.5 MPG for the four or five hour trip while driving around 70 MPH, and even getting caught in a lot of stop and go traffic near Tahoe. But of course, a lot of that was downhill. Going up to Tahoe, I only got something like 21-22 MPG.

    With only two people, you'll feel like you're traveling within a big cavern. The car will handle great. You'll get gas mileage in the low 20s if you drive around 70 MPH. You'll be able to take everything you want including coolers, tents, kitchen sink, whatever. With the second and third row seats down, you'll have over 6' of length to sleep in the car. You'll be riding the whole time in just about the highest comfort you can get.

    I indeed think the Taurus X / Flex is probably one of the nicest MTB touring vehicles for the combination of comfort, space, mileage, and handling. It's why I bought the car. Go for it.
    Last edited by BigLarry; 02-27-2010 at 04:54 PM.
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

  5. #5
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    Good job! BigLarry

    Thanks BigLarry-

    Great info!!!

    Exactly what I needed to know. Appreciate it!!!

  6. #6
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    Ground Clearance and Mileage update

    The car has a high chassis with 8" or more clearance underneath, except the bigger V-6 engine manifold sticks down with only 6.5 or 7" clearance. Less with load. (And yes, I got under the car with a ruler.) In Goosberry, some of the roads were pretty nasty with big rocks and about the only time an SUV might have been nice. But we just made sure the big 4" and 6" rocks we drove over weren't dead center, thanks to the skill of Rensho.

    I bought just a Front Wheel Drive (FWD) version to get 1 MPG better mileage. I don't see the need for AWD in CA, as good tires (like good snow tires) usually make up for the difference. And tires help in all directions - turning and stopping too. So far, I haven't found an SUV essential for MTB. In general, my feeling if the road is getting that rough to really need an SUV, it's time to park and pull off the bikes and start the MTB ride.

    I just got back from a bike trip today to Ft. Ord from San Jose, about 1 hour each way. I stayed right near 65 MPH on the highway and noted my mileage was ~28 MPG with two bikes on the back. But the hills and local traffic would knock the average down as low as 26 MPG at one point. Overall, I got 27.1 MPG on the indicator for the trip when I pulled in the driveway. However, I've calibrated this meter (by gas usage and miles on tank fill) and found it's accurate at 20 MPG, but reports 0.7 MPG too high around 25 MPG. So in reality, I probably only got 26.3 MPG on this trip with two bikes on the back. Still not bad.

    The best mileage I've seen is when for fun I once drafted a truck at ~60 MPH on the flat Hwy 101 from SF to San Jose. One the car meter, I got around 32 MPG average!

    Thinking more about the low 18.5 MPG mileage we saw on the Moab trip, we never drove less than 75 MPH on the highway and often around 80 MPH or faster (with cargo box on top and 4 bikes on the back). We figured with the four of us splitting the bill and the reasonable mileage even at that speed, we'd just go as fast as appropriate for the long straight desolate highways. BTW, the Taurus X / Flex with 265 HP did just fine going up the steep mountains at 75 MPH with the extra heavy load. The only suffering was to MPG.

    OK, I suspect you've got enough info now.
    Last edited by BigLarry; 02-28-2010 at 07:00 PM.
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

  7. #7
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    Good job!

    Thank You.

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