Ford Flex, the Mommybloggermobile.

It took Obsession.  Overanalysis.  Focus.  Dedication.  And…

– 635 days from the time I first blogged about it.

– 50 days from the time we decided to buy to actually find one that met all of our criteria and price point.

– 177 miles driven to purchase it.

But I finally have one of my very own.  The most disliked car in all the universe, The Ford Flex.

(I mean, Ford doesn’t even promote this car.  Even they hate it!!  Lucky for them, there’s a me in the world.)

But.  Without further ado, I am so pleased to introduce you all to Flexi,

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The Space Toaster.

Space Toaster

“Why??”, the people ask.  “WHY would you buy such an ugly, unpopular vehicle?? You could stick wood trim on the side of it and it’d be a 1978 Brady Bunch Station Wagon!!”

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Because I understand that no one can appreciate her beauty but me.  And I’m okay with that.

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Because I don’t mind being way off the trend curve, and Flexi is A Geek’s Paradise.

Because I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of her abilities (I can’t wait until I have the opportunity to read her many manuals!! And make an excel spreadsheet of all of the things I need to try!!  And then check them off the list with glee!!), and she completes me, in a way that only an Artificial-Intelligence-Automobile could do.

She knows things.

She knows when we cross time zones and automatically adjusts her clocks so that I don’t get confused.

She knows if it’s dark outside, and she automatically darkens her rearview mirror so that your bright headlights don’t damage my sensitive eyes.

She knows when my phone is in the car and automatically plays music from it via Bluetooth.

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She knows when my phone rings, so she mutes the radio and displays the caller’s name on her screen.

She knows that I have an intense fear of locking my keys and my children in the car, so she has a keypad on the driver’s door that I can use in just that sort of situation.

She listens to me.

She listens when I tell her to call Gramamma.  She asks me whether she’d like me to dial Gramamma’s cell or home number, and then she calls her.  And my kids can talk to Gramamma.  And hear Gramamma.  Through her speakers.

She listens when I tell her to turn up the air.  Or down the radio.  Or to play a certain song off of my phone.

She opens and closes her own trunk with the click of a button, saving me from the pain and agony of trying to close a trunk one-handed while holding a squirming 22 pound baby.

She talks to me.

She tells me how to get to where I’m going.

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She tells me if she isn’t feeling well.

She shows me how I’m doing while backing up, and strongly urges me not to hit things in my path.

She saves things.

She records my CDs and keeps them on her hard drive so that when I’m all alone in the car, I never have to remember to pop out VeggieTales to make room for Leona Lewis.

She keeps up with my cell phone’s call history and phonebook, you know – because she’s nosy like that.
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She makes the children happy.

They have more than enough personal space, but can still reach each other to share slobbered-on snacks.

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They have a cheery amount of light, thanks to three rows of sunroofs.

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And again, they can talk to their favorite people through the speakers.  Who would need anything else?

She tells me about her last owner.

Chris and I drove to Atlanta late Friday night, got very little sleep, then bought Flexi and drove her back home Saturday.  Somewhere around the state line, we popped in Ali’s “King George and the Ducky” to record it onto the car’s hard drive.

(You see, Ali had a Moment of Great Panic and told my Mom that she didn’t want us to get a new car after all because then she couldn’t listen to her favorite Veggie Tales CD!! And this COULD NOT be happening to her!!)

So we thought we’d really impress her and put it on the new car permanently – as the first album.

But as we were listening to “My affection for these duckies isn’t getting any stronger!!” and trying to figure out how to record it, we popped over to the “Jukebox”, and discovered that Flexi’s former owner hadn’t deleted her music collection.

189 songs.

And, based on the 189 songs left on the car’s hard drive, Chris used his Sherlockian powers of stereotype and nicknamed Flexi’s former owner The Urban Lady.

It was all R&B. Old R&B. New R&B. Greatest Hits R&B. Live R&B. Let’s Get It On R&B.  Girl Power R&B.

No rock. No rap. No country. No variation. No statistical outliers to throw him off the trail, like Wham! or David Hasselhoff Live in Branson.

And, all of a sudden, Flexi watched as it’s two new suburban homeschool owners went from VeggieTales to an hour of passionate yet awkwardly white car-dancing to Ne-Yo, Whitney, Mary J. Blige, and Jennifer Hudson, and then contracting romantic feelings while listening to Brian McKnight, Luther Vandross, and Lionel.

And we now have Date Night music for the next five years.

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God Bless You, Urban Lady.

Back to Flexi…

She’s Polite Like That.

She knows that when you use windshield fluid, it always drips back down onto the windshield post-wiping, so she performs a … “Courtesy Wipe” two seconds later, thereby saving my vision from unsightly skid marks.

Courtesy Wipe

…Perhaps she can even teach my kids a thing or two.

Leave your comment below!

Comments

  1. Well, I’m sold! I might even just move in there. I could call it driveway camping and all my Scouts could not argue with that logic, right?

    Flexi sounds delightful. I couldn’t tell, but how many does she seat total?

    • Ours seats 6, but you can get them with a bench seat on the second row, and those seat 7. We really debated back and forth about that one for quite a while – the ease of getting to the third row is nice, but the extra seat would be nice, also. But since ultimately what made me interested in the Flex was the second row bucket seats and low-to-the-groundness, we stuck with my instincts.

  2. Kitty Engle says:

    I got to see one live and in person yesterday when we went to eat. I did not think is was ugly, I actually liked and the inside looked great. Just glad the owners did not come out as I was nosing in their car.

    • nosing “IN” their car?? IN?? That could be dangerous… Flexi knows all and she might have a dagger handy waiting to protect herself….

  3. I have seen these around and actually think they are cute. *gasp*

    • Something has definitely changed in the public opinion since I first wrote about them two years ago. That or everyone is just being nice now that I own one. I haven’t decided which yet.

  4. I never heard of this car but I don’t think it is bad looking at all and the color is great. My car talks to me too and helps me navigate,talk hands free all of that is awesome. The only problem I have with my car…the DVD player…it only works if you are stopped for safety reasons. Who wants to sit in their car and watch a movie…

    • Yes, ours doesn’t play DVDs at all. We really went back and forth about whether we wanted them in the backseat or not, but finally didn’t get them – Ali is really good at listening to things-on-cd, and we wanted to keep it that way while we were in the car.

  5. gosh. I almost want to marry it.

  6. Sarah R in WI says:

    Wow, you have me sold and we’re not even in the market for a new car! Those features are amazing and I like the space in the back for your kids plus guests. Is Flexi very long?

    • She looks really, really long, but it doesn’t feel like it when you’re driving. And from what we can tell from parking it in the garage, She’s about 6 inches to a foot longer than my Honda Pilot.

  7. Yeah I would love to have one. That sounds ideal for me. I have never seen one but I would love to have one.

  8. Out of all those crossover type cars this is the best looking one. I like it and I love the color of Flexi. My best friend who is expecting her first baby had to trade in her beloved Mustang and got a Ford escape which is the smaller one, so I got to experience some of those neat features this weekend. Like talking through the speakers.

    • Yes, I’m pretty amazed at the techiness of Ford in General. You’d think that Honda and Toyota would get on board, seeing as how the Japanese are supposed to be way ahead of us in technology, but they’re just not there yet – at least not that I’ve seen.

      • Well, I must state that Toyota has arrived. The new Sienna at least has auto headlights to automatically adjust from high beam to low if they sense an oncoming vehicle and it also senses if you are too close to another car and will slow itself down without any input from the driver. The Sienna will allow you to connect your phone via bluetooth and talk over the cars speakers for a lovely public chat for all in the vehicle. However, I think you have to have your mp3 player/ phone plugged into the car for it to play your song list, but I love how the cd insert is hidden behind the nav screen. Ok, there is my two cents worth, and we don’t even own a new Sienna…

  9. Angela in Arizona says:

    And it’s not a minivan!! Looking forward to more geek updates about the abilities and tricks of Flexi – the not minivan.

  10. We bought a van this weekend, too! Not as fancy as Flexi, of course. You’ll love the light from the sunroofs. We had them in our Quest. Happy-making.

  11. Wow. Do we need to leave you alone for another moment with Flexi? I’m glad you found her. Sounds like she has enough bells and whistles to keep your geeky side busy for a while :)

  12. I actually like this car and had it on my short list.. The husband hated it. But when looking for a non-minivan with captain seats and a 3rd row while preserving some storage in the back, this comes up in your search.

    Plus Lynette on Desperate Housewives drove one :)

  13. YES. Tears of laughter. And I do love the new ride!

  14. Sounds like Flexi is Siri’s long lost sister!

  15. You didn’t get a car! You got a new best friend!

    And one who does “courtesy wipes” at that!

    Who knew you could buy those?

  16. Seriously, i never knew that this car was that hated.
    My husband and his dad do some car dealership thing so sustain our families. i will have to ask to get me this car and all because of YOU!!!!
    And i was dreaming of a minivan with automatic doors but this car seems much better.
    Would you say that it has good space for a sit in stand? I have 3 girls. Do one on the far back seats folds down to fit the stroller?

    • Apparently it’s not hated quite as much as it was two years ago – that or I did a good job of explaining her greatness.

      Yes, there’s room behind the third row for a stroller, and yes, the third row can either half or completely fold down for endless cargo space.

      Also, you can get one with a second row bench seat if you need the extra passenger space.

  17. ….you could be the new Ford Flex rep. I’m in love.

  18. Leanna Thompson says:

    Oooh I want one and have since I first saw them. Too bad I have to pay off my house before I can get a new car.

  19. The good thing about having a vehicle everyone else hates is you don’t have to worry a lot about car theft. We actually tend to celebrate the first dings and scratches we get as not only do we not have to dread it happening any longer, but with the other sorts of cars one finds here in Orange county we know nobody is going to steal our dinged up Mazda Protege thats sitting next to an Audi, Lexus or BMW.

    • Ha! We don’t live in a “Car-ie” town (we live in a Foodie town), so I love to go to places like Atlanta and Southern California to gawk at all the cars…

  20. I love the color and the sunroofs!! Do they all open fully or is the driver’s just a tilt? I love how much room you have with middle bucket seats. My husband and I were just talking this last week about what type of car we would get when it finally comes time to replace my Outback, I may just have to look at one of these.

  21. awwww-sum. I want my next house to be as great as Flexi.
    the sun roofs alone have me sold…get a tan WHILE driving down the road?! uh, yes please!!
    btw…if I buy one does it come with your adorable and well-behaved children in the back seats? cuz if so, I’ll take one!! :)

  22. Eleanorjane says:

    That may just be the most American car I’ve ever seen! It looks like it’s the size of a trailer, like you could all just sell your house, move in there and live! Are you planning to have another couple of kids to fill it up? :)

    • I admit it. It’s most certainly quite American. And no, no more plans for more people to fill it – then we’d have to get a bigger one!!

      (Us Americans also find it necessary to have approximately twice the amount of house and vehicle than we need on a day-to-day basis.)

  23. Forwarding this to my hubby right now, I’m sure he’ll love it even more now (he not-so-secretly wants one)! I’m jealous at the room between your captains chairs, if I want to access the 3rd row in my van we have to go through the liftgate :(

  24. This about scares the socks off of me. I don’t want a touchscreen, a gps or my car to know about my phone. I noticed that you didn’t mention a backup camera, but I would be willing to bet it has that too. I’ve never hit anything backing up, but I guarantee that a backup camera will facilitate that with ease. I want a plain vehicle, with an analog clock and round, usable vents and knobs and buttons.

    Sigh. But I do agree it is ugly. The toaster image made me giggle. But people have said the Pt cruiser is ugly too, and I like my Pt.

    It has an analog clock.

  25. Flexi. is. AMAZING! Congrats!

  26. Darn it! I may be a little jealous of some of those features and starting to like it. Maybe you should be employed by their advertising department.

  27. Haha, love the picture of the toaster! And she’s actually growing on me. I still think she looks a little odd, but at least it’s not a minivan! T would definitely go for it just because of the sunroofs (sunrooves?).

    All those features are crazy! I don’t know if I could handle that much technology in my car though! My request when we bought the Pilot was a car with automatic locks and windows since I’d never had that before! Haha. Flexi might totally overload my not-so-technology-savvy brain!

  28. Oh no! Ford has implemented courtesy wipes now? That’s one of the few things that drive me crazy about our VW Golf as compared to all the Fords we had before. I’m never *quite* sure if I’ve put the wiper in the exact right position to make it stop wiping. For a long time I’d try to turn it off, then it would trick me into thinking it wasn’t right via courtesy wipe. So I’d change it.

    Hate that feature. Almost enough to figure out how to turn it off (apparently tgere’s specialized software for that!)

    Our “must have” feature was heated seats. That and traction control. Can you tell we live in the frozen North?

    Cute toaster though :)

    • Heated seats was a must for me as well. I LOOOVE my seat to be cozy! But Chris hates it because I leave it on and then it feels all nasty to him. Oh well…my car. :)

  29. laughing laughing laughing. what’s the deal with the toast? that was so funny. and the “let’s get it on r&b.” my kids were like “what?!” when i started laughing out loud during despicable me. you are just so fun.

    • One of my readers (Sarah) said it looked like a Toaster. And Chris said that the color combo and the antenna made it look like a Jetson’s space vehicle. Hence, the Space Toaster!

  30. I had never noticed the Flexes around Bham until I read this post. Now I see them everywhere and notice them all the time. Today, I was driving home from work and I noticed a blue one at the intersection near my kids’ preschool. I was like, “that looks like Rachel-from-the-blog’s Flexi.” As I drove through the intersection I looked at the driver and said, “that IS Rachel-from-the-blog’s Flexi–and that’s Rachel!” Then I felt like the baby bear from Goldilocks or better yet, a groupie–a Grasping Groupie, if you will– got embarrassed, and knew I had to confess to make myself feel less weird. So, uh, sorry about that! Anyway, I like your car!

    • That’s awesome!! We must live near each other – I only went to the grocery store yesterday! I’m proud that I have a unique enough car to now be spottable on the road.

  31. I just found you at the Alabama Bloggers linkup! I like the Ford Flex, and I’d buy one if we had the money for it. Good choice!

  32. Ah Rachel, you kill me. David Hasselhoff Live in Branson.

  33. I love the Flex we just bought, Rachel. Thanks for emailing me back and forth last week about it. I read this post again today and learned something new – I knew nothing about the courtesy wipe and I love it!
    And one question for you – I’m HATING the head rests because it pushes my head forward and hurts my neck. I have a very sensitive neck and my husband thinks I’m crazy. Has that ever been an issue for you or Chris?

    • I DO remember that issue. Now I don’t know if I got used to it, or I figured out how to fix it. I’m thinking that I got used to it. Or maybe I put my seat back some? I don’t remember – but at any rate, I don’t think about it any more.

  34. Jonathon says:

    Hopefully the Flex is the last of Ford’s big blunders. Ford originally intended to sell over 100,000 Flexes in its first year; sales were barely over 14,000 units. The designer of the Flex was fired from Ford before the vehicle even went into production. Is there any wonder why he was fired? I was stuck with a Flex for seven days as a rental. I can tell you the seats in that thing were awful. I was left with an achy back and a numb rump sitting in those cheaply made crappy seats. The ride on the Flex was stiff, there was wind noise, the visibility was dreadful and the instrument panel design was a nightmare. What a horrible vehicle! I was embarrassed to be seen driving around in that damn Flex. I felt like I was some lowly ghetto dweller driving around some distasteful box on wheels with the ugly, big, rims and black glass. I understand that Ford will dump the Flex in 2015! And to think of the dullards who’d forked over 40K for one of those POS Flexes! Go figure…….

  35. Krystal says:

    Huh! This must have been before I started reading your blog. Thanks for the info! haha Our Honda Odyssey does pretty much all of those things, too! Except we only have one sunroof. Bummer.

  36. My husband got his 2012 Flex at auction it was a repo. The Flex sticker price was $43K and we got it for only $19K with only 25K on the odometer major depreciation on Fords but it has been a pretty good suv except for some electric problems broken window lifts ABS and leather on seats wearing fast. My husbands dream was to make are Flex a rolling DJ club on wheels! Yeah he toitled day and night with his buddies putting in amps and HUGE sub woofers 2x 19inch Now we got aFlex with a 25,000 watt sound system! I love it when were at a traffic stop and are music is really bumping hard and we get those dirty looks from snobby people in there Mercedes Benzes and BMWS… my husband just cranks up the music louder and grinning LOL! Gotta love a suv that can be a techno night club on wheels looking cool in jet black”)

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