When you have a family of five finding the right vehicle is not always that simple. Having three young kids means needing space for car seats, stroller, and a diaper bag. And we haven’t even got to needing space for other items like groceries or luggage for when you go to visit grandma’s house. When I was offered the opportunity to test out a Ford Flex I was very excited. The Ford Flex is a 7-seater Crossover that has many family-friendly features combined with performance and style. My first new car purchase was a Ford Escape SUV that I loved dearly, but as our family went from 4 to 5 we outgrew that vehicle. I was looking forward to trying a vehicle that offers form and function with a little extra power and the Ford Flex did not disappoint. Here are my top five favourite family friendly features:
Five family-friendly features of the Ford Flex
Three car seats across
As soon as you have a child the first thing you start looking for in a vehicle is where the car seats can go. All of a sudden car seat anchors are a deal breaker for when buying a new vehicle. I am happy to report that we were able to fit three car seats across in the middle row of seats in the Ford Flex. Although my oldest could could graduate to a booster seat he still fits in his five-point harness car seat and I would rather keep him there for as long as possible for safety reasons. However this means that we have three car seats to contend with. Likely in the Ford Flex lives up to its name and has many different ways that you can configure car seats in the back two rows of seating. If you need lots of trunk space or just don’t want to squeeze in and out of the third row you can fit three car seats across the middle row. When you lay you lay the third row of seats flat you have a HUGE trunk space to fit everything you could possibly need to carry (um hockey bags anyone?). There are tether hooks in the third row as well so if you wanted to put a car seat in that row it is possible as well. It’s really up to what suits your family.
Blind spot detection
When I went from driving a more compact vehicle into a vehicle that was much longer I remember being worried about changing lanes. Your blind spots seem bigger and because your vehicle is longer, and having the confidence to get in and out of tight traffic situations does not always come easy. With the Ford Flex you have blind spot detection, so that if there is a vehicle or object in your blind spot at yellow indicator light comes on your mirror to show you that there is something there. I like having that additional peace of mind especially when you have additional obstructions like car seats that block more of your view and make your blind spots even bigger. I really appreciate features that help me keep my family safe on the road.
Rear View Camera
Once we had kids a rear view camera became a “must have” in my vehicle. I had read one too many stories in the news about accidents happening when parents could not see what was behind them while backing up. Beyond helping you see people the rear view camera comes in handy when backing in to parking spaces and getting around in tight parking garages. I love the rear view camera on the Ford Flex because it not only shows the view of what was behind you, but also gave gave indicator lines of where your vehicle is GOING based on wheel position. Genius! This makes revering into a parking spot so simple (and fast). You can easily park a longer vehicle like the Ford Flex with confidence using this rear view camera.
Hands-free… Everything with Sync3
The Sync3 software system that comes with the Ford Flex allows you to connect your phone with the vehicle for hands free calling, but the system offers so much more then that. You can control the music and even the climate controls all with voice commands. This allows you to keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. You can even use Sync3 voice commands for navigation, such as looking for nearby restaurants or coffee shops (a great feature when taking road trips with kids!)
Smart cruise control
I have always been a fan of cruise control as it helps me, ahem, follow the rules of the road. However it can be frustrating if you have to keep breaking and re-resuming it when you are driving on the road with other vehicles around who speeds may vary slightly from your own. As soon as I used the Adaptive Cruise Control in the Flex I was in LOVE! You can set your speed like with regular cruise control however with the Ford Flex your car will detect the vehicles in front of you and adjust your speed accordingly to leave a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. That means if a vehicle merges in front of you your car will adjust and slow down automatically until that car moves out of your lane and then it will adjust the speed back to where you had said it for. Like a said AMAZING. Using this feature felt a little like driving into the future, where my vehicle is going to have technology to stay safe (and calm) on the road.
I know I already have 5 family friendly features of the Ford Flex, but there are a couple of more things that I just had to mention. Anyone a fan of tailgating? Although this might be a feature that I would not use on a daily basis I did appreciate that the third row of seats can flip around with the push of a button so that they turn into tailgating seats. Perfect for going to the drive-in or even sitting to have lunch while at the park or beach. The gang enjoyed some ice cream in the “fancy seats” as Monkey called them.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the air-conditioned seats in the front row. With the summer that we had, having cooled seats was a welcome addition to long road trips that we often take to visit friends and family. And don’t worry once it gets cold you can turn on the heated seats and heated steering wheel to help keep you warm. I really enjoyed driving the Ford flex as it offered the features that fit perfectly with my family and and a little more power and handling that I like in a vehicle.
To find out more information about the Ford Flex check out Ford Canada’s website or connect with them on Facebook or Twitter. If you have any questions about the Ford flex make sure you leave them in the comments below, and I will do my best to answer them. What are you your must have features in your family friendly vehicle?