It is coming back. The company announced the discontinuation of the SUV positioned between the Explorer and Expedition. However, the delay in the production of Bronco caused the return of the 2021 Ford Flex. Well, we don’t expect big things from the mid-size model. It is positioned in this class, although the vehicle is more than 200 inches long.
The styling of the vehicle is the same ever since its arrival in 2009. However, the boxy look is eye-catching, although the Flex is missing some aggressiveness. The SUV will carry over the same design, which is not used by other vehicles in the same company. Bold styling will be replaced with a modern look when the Bronco hits the market.
The 2021 Ford Flex interior will suffer the most changes. The company announced its discontinuation, but the recent series of events will make the Blue Oval manufacturer bring back the SUV for a season or two. First, the Bronco was postponed, and then the COVID-19 pandemic caused another delay.
2021 Ford Flex Interior Changes
The cabin of the Flex was always spacious. The SUV is a seven-seater by default and the upholstery is covered by a cloth. Optionally, you can make the 2021 Ford Flex a six-seater by picking captain’s chairs for the middle row. Also, leather is available at the top trim. If you don’t need so many seats, you can turn the SUV into a minivan by folding rear seats. That way, you can create up to 84 cubic-feet of cargo space. With the second row up, the capacity is still good enough – 44 cu.ft.
The Sync3 is the infotainment system for the Flex. It comes with a lot of services. The touchscreen display is standard, as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Unfortunately, one of the best features the SUV offered in the past is dropped – you can’t purchase the entertaining package for rear seats anymore. Multipanel Vista Roof is definitely something worth buying. It is a difference-making feature that will open the roof for all passengers and make the overall impression more than stunning.
Under the bonnet of the 2021 Ford Flex will lay a 3.5-liter V6 engine. We know its high-output configurations boosted by turbocharged systems. For the Flex, the drivetrain is naturally-aspirated and creates 287 horsepower. It also adds 255 lb-ft of torque and both numbers are on the average levels for this class. Still, the fuel economy is very poor thanks to its size. With 19 mpg combined, Flex cannot compete with more efficient rides. This is one of the reasons why it was discontinued. Also, Ford is now using mostly smaller displacements with the turbo setup. A 200-inch long SUV is too big for a turbo-four unit.
Additional option for the 2021 Flex will be a 3.5-liter turbo. Again, it is not the same configuration we can find on flagship models. For example, the unit can provide 400 or 450 hp on some versions of F-150 truck and larger Expedition. On the Flex, it delivers ‘only’ 365 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. A few years ago, engineers paired both units with a six-speed automatic transmission. In 2021, the SUV is probably getting a new 10-speed gearbox. It can improve efficiency.
Versions and Equipment
The previous edition of the Flex SUV had three trim levels SE, SEL and Limited. We believe the same lineup will be available when the vehicle shows up again for the next season. The entry-level package comes with a power-adjustable driver’ bucket, keyless functions, cloth, 17-inch wheels, and dual-zone air condition system. Bluetooth, USB port, and standard Sync were all the infotainment system could offer.
The 2021 For Flex will add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for sure. Previously, these services were part of the SEL trim. These were not the only infotainment upgrades. Another USB port was there, and the Sync3 system replaced the basic one. Larger wheels were outside, and inside we also got heated front buckets and push-button start. Optionally, buyers could get all-wheel drive, but only on the SEL and Limited models. The latest one comes also with a power-folding rear row.
The highlight feature is the Multipanel Vista Roof. Besides front seat heating, there is also ventilation and a heated steering wheel. Hands-free tailgate blind-spot monitor, leather interior, navigation, improved voice commands, and premium Sony sound are optional upgrades which will be available through single orders.
What’s After 2021 Ford Flex?
The future of the 2021 Ford Flex depends on the arrival of the new Bronco. The mid-size SUV was already discontinued since the legend was supposed to return in 2020. Nevertheless, the delay is making the Flex coming back, although the Bronco could appear every day. The good thing about the Flex is that prices are staying put, no matter how many updates the interior brings. A new 10-speed transmission is also not affecting the base MSRP, which will start around $31,500.