About a year ago, I wrote an open letter to all car manufacturers.

I asked for something that didn’t yet exist, but that was desperately needed for us new (and somewhat egotistical) generation of Moms – an SUVan.

Just like those that grew up in station wagons didn’t want to buy a station wagon when they became Moms (hence the rise of the Minivan), many of those of us who grew up in minivans shudder at the thought of owning one ourselves.

I know that not everyone feels this way, and I have the utmost respect for those who can rise above the minivan-gag-reflex (because the minivan, without question, most definitely has amazing superpowers that I am positively jealous of), but I am sure that I personally would instantaneously age by 10 years the day I drove a minivan off the showroom floor.

(Although does ANYONE actually drive a car off the showroom floor? It seems rather fraught with liability issues on the car dealership’s part…but it sounds really exciting.)

ANYWAY, just when I thought that none of those car manufacturers paid me ANY attention at all (a terrible tragedy of injustice), a new automobile started to catch my eye: The Ford Flex.


The Flex seems to have everything I requested in my letter: low to the ground like a minivan but without losing the definitive shape of an SUV, a minivan-length interior, and a definite edge to it that would make me feel like I was not compromising my anti-minivan convictions.FlexInterior

Granted, I’m not typically a Ford-Type girl (I tend to be attracted to the Honda/Toyota types), but if Ford is the only one that pays attention to me, well, flattery gets you everywhere.

Maybe all of this car interest is because I’m finally nesting. After all, a Mom’s nest-on-wheels is quite as important as her nest-at-home.

And, Chris can’t really get onto me for nesting, because he is absolutely overcome with nesting-for-his-male-child plans, and has already given me a schedule of which I must make room-decor decisions so that he can paint the walls of the nursery for me before the full advent of football season.

So, I mentioned my newfound interest to Chris, who, unbeknownst to me, had also been paying attention to the Flex – because he found them to be quite the most ghastly new car on the road.


And I realized: This is the type of vehicle that is so new and so different than anything else out there that it is bound to be polarizing. Everyone is going to hate it or love it.

So what do you think? Hate or Love?

Is it the answer to those of us who quest for a Non-Minivan Minivan?

Don’t worry about my feelings – I’m certainly not buying one anytime soon.

(Unless Chris pushes me too much on that room decor schedule…)

I’m thinking a nice Mediterranean Blue would be nice:MeditBlueFlex

Although I think Ali would have other plans:PinkFlex

Okay. Besides the Fuchsia, love it or hate it? Cast your vote – after all, it might help shape the further revolution of the SUVan.

33 thoughts on “The Possible Dawn of the SUVan?

  1. I fear I fall in the I HATE these catagory :) Sorry – like the idea but I shudder when I see one -my neighbor has one… ugh! I'm an SUV girl all the way though (and we are also not a Ford family) so I'm biased! But that being said it does look like a nice interior!

  2. I have seen a couple on the road and I don't htink they're so bad. I think I would probably drive one.
    I had this same dilemma. I drove a Chrysler (oh my goodness I can't even remember the name of it now, I've tried to wipe it so totally from my brain) and I thought it was a good not a station wagon, not a minivan. But everyone called it a minivan. Everyone. Now I just drive a car. Plain old no doubt car.

  3. Hmmmm. I will have to take a look at one at a dealership I think. I remember going to look at the Element with my mom, thinking it was the UGLIEST thing I had ever seen…. and by the time I had crawled all over it I was totally in love.

    If only they didn't have those weird doors which are so unfriendly to anyone attempting to maneuver small children into the vehicle. The Ford Flex kinda looks like an Element… without the weird doors…. /ponder

    I will have to crawl all over it and see. I guess that puts me int he undecided category… though I don't imediately hate it, which could be the same thing as love.

  4. Have you sat in one? It is unreal, so spacious and non-minivan-ly awesome (I too have the "I'd rather walk than drive a minivan" complex). I used to mock the Flex, thinking they were (ahem) stupid lunchbox looking things, and then my husband convinced me to just sit down in the driver's seat of one when we were shopping for my new (much cheaper priced) car, and it was unbelievable! We're now seriously considering getting one in a few years, because it WAS the perfect minivan options without the van. And I'm totally digging that pinkyred color!!

  5. I think it's okay, but I would still rather have a minivan for two reason: 1) I love the sliding door aspect of minivans. I'm really tired of trying not to ding my neighbor with my door while hoisting an infant seat into my backseat. 2)I like how (as a parent) you can climb from the front seat of the car all the way to the back row without having to stop. It looks like the back row of the flex would be totally cut off from the front, so if you needed to hand them a snack on a trip or whatever, you'd have to stop and get out. I don't love the look of the Flex, but obviously I don't care about the look/image so much since I want a minivan so badly :).

  6. Oh No! I hate it! They're just really weird looking to me. I'm with you though, decades away from a van if ever. I love my ford explorer, it's huge! It has the same amount of room as my neighbor's toyota van but hers is easier to get into the very back of. Look into the Toyota Venza or the Chevy Traverse. I really like that Chevy (even though I'm not a Chevy gal). We are getting Jason a Ford F150 (4 door) in December and I'll sell my old Maxima and only drive my explorer.

  7. I definately like the inside of it, but the verdict is still out on the exterior. HOWEVER, Rachel you are always one to pull off a "new" look such as this. I definately think that the Mediterranean Blue would compliment your Greek genes nicely!

  8. Ford seems to pitch this thing as a gadget car (which I would think Chris would love!). I love electronics, but I shy away from cars with lots of them. First, I don't want a car that depends on them to operate. Second, electronics fail frequently and when they are custom fit into cars, they are expensive to repair/replace. Thirdly, even though it may look like an SUV, I'd bet it has typical car/mini-van construction which means less safe.

    Do yourself a favor and buy an F150 SuperCrew cab. You'll be safe and Chris will feel manly! ;-)

  9. Hmm…can't say I like it. You really don't know what you're missing with a minivan. So much easier to get wee ones in and out of carseats not having to bend over or lift up. I don't think I've aged 10 years by driving my minivan. :) I love it. And those automatic doors? Sheer genius when you've got a buggy full of groceries and a restless kiddo.

  10. I think I have a love/hate relationship with it. I LOVE the interior! All that room looks like mom-heaven. :) But I'm afraid I hate the outside. I've never seen one on person so I might change my mind, but from these pictures it reminds me of a pimp mobile. Maybe that's just the fuscia one. Haha :) I definitely have a minivan gag reflex, and we didn't even have one growing up. My mom started the SUV revolution I think. :)

  11. Hate it! Sorry! It looks like a box on wheels and I just can't get past that. But what do I know – I drive a minivan ;-)

  12. I think in an effort to keep it from looking like a minivan they went to far in the "boxy shape" department. One of the many reasons I don't like minivans is because they are SO round. I owned a Honda Element and I never did get over how boxy it was, I bought it for practicality and not looks. I too am not a Ford fan, all Honda's and Toyota's around here and I don't have a need for a "minivan" yet. I don't love it or hate it and I definitely think it has potential.

  13. I find them to be really ugly myself. BUT our realtor, a lovely 50+ woman with no kids, bought one early this year and is in LOVE with it. Enough that her adoration made me reconsider my ugly stance.

  14. HATE! It looks like a Scion mated with a Hearse aka a box on wheels. I'm too young (not dead) to be seen in something like this.

  15. It looks like an old fashion station wagon to me. I like the vehicle you have, tell me if you decide to sell. A vehicle is to get us from one place to the next safely, and if we are lucky enough convenient. Mini-vans are very convenient. Can you tell I do not care about vehicles? I know I will never have another 2-door, UGH. FYI, my Daddy and I went to a Chevy dealership one time and "drove a car off the show room floor".Of course, this was about 40-45 years ago.

  16. Have you looked at the Buick Enclave? I never thought I would drive a Buick, but I *LOVE* it! Plus you get checked out a lot. By 90+ year old men, but still. :)

  17. I really like the Flex and it's on my medium list of considerations for our next car. I'm a little surprised at how expensive it is – maybe I'll feel differently when I test drive it.

  18. My initial reaction when I saw the picture was hate, but then as I studied it closer and read more about it, I kinda like it!

    I agree with Lindsay about those 2 very important features that a minivan has that the Flex does not!

  19. Speaking as a mom who has found herself driving a minivan much sooner than expected…
    1-You just might come around to the idea of a minivan (after 6 months or so) when you realize the size, packing capabilities, and the "extras" that Lindsay mentioned.
    2-I think the Flex is u.g.l.y. However, I've never been in one or driven it. Maybe it would win me over too….???
    Nah, probably not.

  20. hate group here. While I too hate the look of the minivan, that thing looks like an SUV for my grandmother! Ewwwww.

  21. So, ya, I LOVE THIS CAR!!! Probably cuz I have one. :) I've had the SUV (Audi Q7) and I haven't missed it one single day since I've gotten the Flex. There is so much room and it's NOT a minivan. Go and visit one, sit in it and you will be amazed.

  22. I like it. It looks like a giant mini cooper to me and I love those. I'm not much of a car person so Im probably not the best one to ask, but I would be proud to drive it…well, except for the fuscia.

  23. Here's another option for you. We got a Venter trailer (check out ventermidwest.com) because we had a car full of kids and no room for luggage. It is AWESOME! We can put all our kids in the car (we still require a van or SUV due to having a lot of kids), and pack the trailer full of stuff when we go on vacation, or when I need to do some major shopping at Sam's, or when I don't want to fill the car up with stinky soccer gear. You can pull it behind a little fuel-efficient car and only pull it around with you when you really need the extra space. I think it's a great option for the My-family-is-expanding-but-I-don't-want-to-drive-one-of-THOSE! crowd.

  24. Not so fond…of course, I am a Honda girl through and through and I completely dislike Ford with a deep and definite passion. We have a Civic and an Element. And the Element is perfect. When the kid comes along it will be super easy to clean, i.e. hose it out since everything in it is waterproof.

  25. Totally like it. I would buy one..however, I will ask my totally cool children..all 4 of them.
    And, by the by, I love both colors. Ali definitely has great taste..totally for a princess. And, you'd look beautiful in the teal one. You'd rock it, Rach. Go for it!
    5 of our 6 family members are going to be on "Family Feud." We're taping Aug. 19..shows start airing in Sept. Go to their Facebook and/or Twitter account. Steve Harvey is the new host. They have moved the show to Universal Studios at Orlando, FL. Katie twittered and that is how we got on..sent it a video..and…soon the adventure begins. Only drawback..OUR BEAUTIFUL RACH, who is due around Sept. 5, won't get to go. :(

  26. Just read in the paper today that Ford has redesigned it's popular Ford Explorer for 2011. It is built on a car chassis. Take a look, it is low to the ground, drives like a car, but is an SUV body. Loving it!

  27. Hate it. Come on over to the dark side… we will all graduate to something else eventually — Greg retains hope for another spin in a Nissan Z300 T-top. Afterall, those kids should eventually be able to open their own doors, pass snacks, and climb into regular seats (regardless of the number of rows). I would like to mention, though that after travelling with 6kids in a Tahoe for a few weeks, I would say that is definately NOT the way to go if you have more than 2 carseats to handle. Your family and grandma headed to the beach should be fine, though. :)

  28. Meh. I'm with you on the anti-minivan thing, but in my head I don't want to want a car at all. So I have issues even with an SUV although we often cart home a ridiculous amount of stuff from Home Depot (like our bathtub! Or six giant things of insulation).

    I'm definitely a Ford person although we just got a VW Golf which I would love unreservedly if only it was a Ford (sigh – and here I thought I was not influenced by brands!!!)

    I don't think the Flex would even fit in our driveway.

  29. Well, due to the overwhelming consensus, it looks like if I ever DO decide to buy one, the used prices should be low!!!

  30. I have one, and answer the same to everyone that asks me, "I love it FROM THE INSIDE". The exterior looks haven't grown on me, but man, the space, the ride, the comfort, and it's NOT a minivan. :-)

  31. HOLY COW! I've been begging for an SUVan for years! I want third row seating that is easy to access. Can you just SEE a grown adult flipping over the middle row to get into that last row of seats? I don't want to be seen in a mini van (although I've driven a friend's and it was quite nice) I know it's shallow but I NEED an SUVan!

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