Friday, November 6, 2009

Review: 2010 Ford Flex EcoBoost turns it up to 11

2010 Ford Flex EcoBoost

We were headed on a road trip, because that's what you do when the summer draws to a close and something as gigantic as the Ford Flex rolls into your driveway. Destination: Brooklyn. Five miles into the journey, the Sony audio system belts out the Beastie Boys' "No Sleep Till Brooklyn," and the two sub-five-year-olds in tow agree. But we had an ace up our sleeve: our Flex SEL tester was packing a six-shooter augmented by Ford's EcoBoost turbo system, good for another 100 horsepower over the standard model. If the trip was going to be hellish, at least it would be short.

There's newfound muscle to... flex.There's a price premium to pay for the heavy breathing, but even at $40,000 as-tested, the kitted out Flex stickered for less than expected, and mitigating drawbacks seems to be a running theme with the EcoBoosted Flex. Its EPA estimated fuel economy in all-wheel drive trim of 17/24 16/22 mpg city/highway, is exactly the same as the unboosted Duratec 3.5-liter, but there's newfound muscle to... flex. A turbocharged engine immediately makes thoughts of premium fuel dance through your head, but nope, the direct-injected V6 is happy to perform tricks on regular, though Ford recommends you run higher octane for maximum performance.

In search of some kind of glaring downfall, we kept the Flex EcoBoost for a while, trying to suss out what penalties you might ultimately pay for the added brawn. Follow the jump to see how the big Ford fared.

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