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.
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? 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.)
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.
(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.”)