Rare Taste And The Replacement Thereof.

So I got a new Flex.

It was not an easy process, as nearly everyone hates the Flex but me. And furthermore, those few that do not hate it want theirs to be painted in shades of my self-forbidden colors. I promised myself many years ago that I would never own a colorless car. Colorless cars include all cars that are white, black, beige, silver, brown, or gray.

It’s completely unacceptable.

Unfortunately, 85% of the world disagrees with me on this issue. (PLEASE SOMEONE teach me why you would buy a colorless car. I know you all have them. So speak up and explain yourself.)

(Slate is acceptable as long as it has a modicum of blue in it.)

So. Another thing about the Flex is that they come in infinite myriads of option combinations, and I am very particular about the options I want. I have extremely picky, unusual, and exquisite taste.

Roof rack or no? Definitely not. The roof racks make them look like 1982 station wagons.

Sunroofs or no? Must have sunroofs. Otherwise the two back rows feel like the innards of a submarine.

Interior color? Dark. I had light before and my children were the masters of trashing it.

Wheel type? I need fancy wheels. Because I’m a fancy girl.

Heated seats or heated AND cooled seats? C’mon now. I’m not that much of a diva. And I’ll most likely never want a cold butt.

SO MUCH TO DEAL WITH.

After the wreck (there I go mentioning THAT again), I began my search rather quickly. I knew it would be tough, because it took months last time to find what I wanted, and people seem to be coming around to loving the Flex way too slowly. I formulated my options, decided what I wanted, and started sifting.

I preferred dark blue. I wanted the “appearance package” (aka cool wheels, dual tone seats, and black roof), it had to have navigation and all of the previously mentioned options. I was open to the various seating options – we’d had a pass-thru second row before, which made it easy to get to the third row, but did cut down on our passenger count. And really, how often do we use the third row? Not often enough.

There were a few used Flex possibilities out there, but absolutely none in the state of Alabama, of course. I began contacting dealers. I remembered at this point how much I despise most car salesmen. Most were pushy, never had the information I needed, and knew nothing of the beloved Ford Flex.

My favorite exchange was this one:

1. I filled out a contact form, asking pertinent questions.

2. That night, I received an email from the sales manager asking if I’d been helped. I responded back that I had not, and asked the questions I had already asked once (like, “How much does this vehicle cost?”)

3. One day later, I received the exact same email again. I responded, “I responded to your last email with questions. I have not been contacted yet except for two emails from you asking if I’ve been contacted. I would really love to know the price of this vehicle. Thanks!”

4. I tried the Live Chat option on the website. It connected me with Michelle. I asked Michelle “How much does this vehicle cost?”, Michelle asked me to hold, came back ten minutes later and said, “I don’t know – it doesn’t say on the website.”

5. One day later, I received, again, the exact same email. I responded, “This is the third email that I’ve received to ask if anyone has answered my questions, all three of which I have responded to to say no, my questions have not been answered.”

I was never able to find out the price of that Flex.

There was one used Flex in the country that fit my exact descriptions. It was in West Virginia, at a dealership which housed one of the nicest salesmen I’d ever talked to. Like, he actually seemed to care about my situation more than he cared about getting commission – it was shocking.

(If any of you happen to be in West Virginia and need a car, please buy a car from Terry DeLisi at Cole Chevrolet.)

I had it all worked out with him – the price, the fact that I was going to fly one-way to get the car and they would pick me up at the airport – everything. But ultimately, as I continued my search and my injuries got worse, it became very clear that a car-buying road trip was not a wise decision.

But in a quite thoughtful move, Ford came out with their Friends and Family sale about that same time, which marked down the new Flexes considerably. AND I figured out that Ford has a Pricing Loophole – if you buy the SEL model with the upgrades that make it a Limited, you save thousands of dollars.

(The only things I didn’t get were those cooled seats that creeped me out and a heated steering wheel. I live in Alabama. I don’t need a heated steering wheel.)

So I decided that a New Flex in town was wiser than a Used Flex in West Virginia.

With the help of a blog reader, Chris had already found a fantastic car salesman in town, Jimmy Blue at Ernest McCarty, when he bought his Mustang (something we’ve yet to tell you all about – he was supposed to write a guest post months ago but I suppose he’s busy or something? I dunno.) So Jimmy and I began a collaborative nationwide search for a new Flex that was what I wanted, which proved just as difficult – or even more so – than finding a used one.

We couldn’t order a new one because the assembly line had already been shut down for 2015 models, and had not yet started to produce 2016. There was literally not a single dark blue Flex like I wanted on any dealer lot in the eastern half of the country. I even had Ford’s wonderful Twitter experts helping me. So I decided to widen my acceptable color choices to include Ruby Red, which happens to be the exact shade of Chris’ Mustang.

And we finally found one in Georgia, which Jimmy graciously had delivered to me.

And she is beautiful.

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And yes – matched Chris’ Mustang – all the way to the black roof. We’re starting to look like a Ford commercial. They should totally pay us.

Who Wore It Best Fords

Who wore it best? Obviously my beautiful Flex.

And as a bonus, Noah doesn’t feel the need to wear these in my car. (Wind. It’s a nasty adversary.)

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So the new Flex is basically like the old one, which means that she’s THE perfect car for a Mom who refuses a minivan. But the new one is updated, clean (I’m bribing the children to pick up after themselves by only letting them listen to their playlists if there’s no trash in the backseat), and a fantastically smooth and comfortable ride (which my neck really appreciates.)

I still haven’t figured out all of her quirks – such as how to set the default startup radio input – somehow it always cranks up on a Hispanic radio station and makes me laugh. It also has an auto-start button, but I have a problem with mixing up my auto-start button with my garage door button. Two is too many when it comes to important buttons. (Good thing I’m not in Nuclear Control.)

It has navigation, as did my old Flex, with the added feature of telling me the speed limit on most roads – something I highly appreciate. And it has little lights on the rear-view mirrors to warn me if a car is in my blind spot – pure brilliance. Why didn’t they make those years ago??

So overall, she’s pretty special – and brilliant.

And the most important detail…her name is Margo. Because I just had to match Chris’ car so well.

national-lampoons-christmas-vacation-todd-and-margo

(Editor’s Note: Chris’ Mustang’s name is Ruby Sue, so clearly we’re mixing our Christmas Vacation metaphors. But it works.)

(“Why isn’t your car named Todd, Chris??” “I don’t KNOW, Margo.”)

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Comments

  1. Kelly Lacey says:

    While I do not understand your Ford Flex love, I am glad to hear it all worked out for you. That being said, my next vehicle is going to absolutely have heated seats, steering wheel and outside mirrors… but the cooling seat,. yeah, I could do without that as well.

    Oh, and the reason why I own a beige coloured vehicle is due to our climate. In the winter when my car is sporting a combination of snow, slush, sand and road salt, the mess it is not as noticeable on my beige coloured vehicle. ;o)

  2. I own a dark grey car because charcoal grey is my favorite color. I’m the total opposite though – I would never own a car that wasn’t dark grey or black. I had a dark maroon Camry once, but she made up for her color by being standard and a tank and one of my favorite cars, despite the fact that my dad bought her super cheap after I totaled my graduation present (a black truck.)

  3. Love it! Now I can once again spot you while driving around town. Ben and I had matching blue cars when we met, and then matching colorless (silver) cars later, only because we got really, really good deals on them – we did not actually want silver. I drove to Tuscaloosa to buy a red car when I did decide to get a new one – I could not abide another colorless car. I once looked around the parking lot at my work and everything was so boring! Dang! Also, once upon a time, Ben drove a blue Scion XB and wrecked it, then, later, searched all over and found another one, in green – his favorite color, and had it transferred here for us to buy (CarMax). So what I am saying is, I completely understand! So glad you were able to get something you liked. I hope you’re feeling better.

  4. Guess what? I’m a Flex lover too! I JUST saw my first one about a month ago and it was love at first sight. Do you know what its towing capacity is? We would need to be able to pull a camper.

  5. Heather Neufeld says:

    I totally understand the option of cooled seats. If I could have them here I would sit in them all day and never get anything accomplished! Ever. As it is I sometimes take drives in the truck just to have AC in my truck.

    Love the new Flex- hopefully you won’t have to duct tape any parts on! Looking forward to going for a drive!

    :) (and yes… Ford should pay you as it definitely looks like a commercial!)

  6. Bryan and I have few criteria. One, must fit all passengers. Two, must have low mileage. Three, must be somewhat inexpensive. Color, brand, options, we don’t care. As long as it drives and doesn’t break, we’re happy.

  7. Personally, I love my silver car! It hides dirt well. My husband has a navy blue car and I swear that car looks dirty the second it leaves the car wash. I also think colored cars show scratches.

  8. I love that they match. We have white cars because we buy whatever is available and that we can afford. We don’t have the opportunity to be picky in our cars right now, unfortunately.

  9. I drive a black car because that was what was available (we always buy used), but my favorite color is silver. It hides salt and snow wonderfully in Wisconsin.

    You killed it with the Christmas Vacation reference!

  10. Those are some sexy cars right there. I have car envy.

    Our cars are silver and white because…well, that’s what color they were and they’re what we could afford. Practicality trumped style. Someday I will be able to be picky about the color of my car. Of course someday I might have an all-wheel-drive minivan. When that day comes I will sure as heck be picky about the color. Yes, I am a crazy person who actually WANTS a minivan. I will fly that freak flag high. When my family moved to Colorado my parents had an all-wheel-drive GMC Safari minivan and that thing was a snow beast. Only got stuck once and that was in over a foot of snow.

  11. A colorless car offers anonymity! I have an easily spotted mini cooper convertible (yes, with 2 kids. I refuse to get rid of it!). But everyone knows where I am and where I’ve been. No stealthy operations happening by me!

    Congrats on the new car, hope it treats you well.

  12. Oh she’s beautiful!
    I agree with the colorless cars – why??
    I drive a Caravan because when I bought it I didn’t know the Flex had a third row. Had I known, I would have absolutely bought one! I love them!

  13. Love the color & that they match!

  14. Love the matching cars! My husband and I drive matching Fords…a white Edge and a white Fusion. Nothing beats white when it comes to hiding dirt-which you think would be counter-intuitive, but it totally works!

  15. Angela in Arizona says:

    excellent Christmas Vacation references. Living in AZ, the sun is brutal to dark cars: I had a dark green car and it started to fade after only 5 years! Also, dark cars generate more heat and when it’s 119, you don’t want MORE heat. White and silver are the way to go!

  16. I am very unlike you when it comes to vehicles. I prefer white or some light beige/silver color, and I am most definitely planning to rock a minivan for my next vehicle! Have you used stow and go seats before? They are amazing!!!! My color preference is two-fold: 1) lighter colors are cooler in the Alabama heat. I was once a personal assistant many years ago and drove my boss’ black Audi with leather seats every day, and it was the worst! Pretty sure I got some third degree burns from that car. 2) I don’t want our cars to clash with our house exterior. Is that weird that I notice that? I sometimes see vehicles that look really garish next to houses, so I don’t want to run into that situation!

  17. Heated steering wheels?? I did not even know there was such a thing, but that would be SO handy for a Northwest car. My hands are always freezing when I have to drive in winter. I barely touch it with my fingertips until the car gets warm, or if my car hasn’t been in the garage I have to wear gloves. Brr. We are still debating on a new car. The Ford Flex is an option, but doesn’t seem any roomier than the Pilot which is my favorite car ever. We’ve been car shopping for months and have basically come to an impasse. We hate minivans, but I refuse to drive a beast (Expedition, Suburban, etc). So we’re just going to keep our Pilot until we can find something we agree on. T did take out one of the seats in the middle so we kind of turned it into a SUVan. Makes it so much easier for the girls to get in the back! I agree about the colorless cars, but my filter is much smaller…no white, no black.

  18. I’m in VA but only about 30 minutes from that WV dealership. If we’re ever in the market for a new car I’ll have to check them out. However I prefer a tan/goldish car. I almost never wash my car so it’s better if the car is already the color of dirt.

  19. Jen in Jersey (for now) says:

    We have cooles seats in our (red) car and they are the bomb in the summer! they keep you from sticking to the seats in sweat inducing weather. I love our (fake) leather seats, but only because they are cooled!

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