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We have a Flex and love it. We got a base model that was 1-2 years old for $19k. There is plenty of room and the seats are really comfy. The handling is good to, it is based on the Taurus platform.

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The Flex might not be the most popular car out there, but I've read that it has one of the highest owner loyalty rates (ie, people who bought a Flex before buy one again). I've also read that they are most popular out on the west coast where people tend to buy more imports than domestics. There was even a rumour that the redesigned Flex doesn't have a Ford badge on the front because most are sold in California where domestic nameplates have a bad reputation. 

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The Flex might not be the most popular car out there, but I've read that it has one of the highest owner loyalty rates (ie, people who bought a Flex before buy one again). I've also read that they are most popular out on the west coast where people tend to buy more imports than domestics. There was even a rumour that the redesigned Flex doesn't have a Ford badge on the front because most are sold in California where domestic nameplates have a bad reputation.

I see a lot of Flex's out here in California. Haven't noticed a missing badge. I'll pay closer attention.

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Your 1995 has plenty of computer controlled functions, and it doesnt cost a bagillion dollars everytime it has an issue.

Cars continue to advance, and along the way, there are people who choose to gripe about it. In the 80s and 90s, yes there were a lot of people saying exactly wjat youre saying, many of them using the new-fangled Taurus as an example. Is it more expensive to fix a 95 Taurus vs. a 65 Galaxie? Yes. But which one is more trustworthy? Which one is more likely to start on the first try in the dead of winter, after having sat for three weeks? Which one handles better? Which one has power AND decent fuel economy (instead of one without the other)? Which one is more comfortable? Not the least of which, which one is safer?

In virtually every way possible, the newer car is better. Anyone looking at both objectively will concur. Yes, I appreciate old cars, and Im one of the few who would daily drive an old Galaxie, but the fact remains that, generally, newer cars are better.

I love my 95, but I love the 2012 quite a bit. Like the 95, it has a great combination of ride, handling, comfort, power and economy. 50K+ miles in, and the only warranty issue (only issue period) we had it in for was a rear door handle inop, which had nothing to do with technology.

I was on an automotive discussion board a few years ago, and most of the guys on there agreed that automobiles hit their peak in the late 1970s. Lol. So, handling like a couch, no sense of egronomics whatsoever, 13 mpg out of a V-8 struggling to produce 140 hp trying to lug around 10 tons of iron, all with interior room comperable to a 1990s Civic thanks to a gigantic drive shaft tunnel and doors 12 feet thick, lol. Automotive nirvanna! Oh yeah, and a giant clock instead of a tach or temp gauge, plastic "wood" dash, 14 inch steelies with cheap tin wheel covers wrapped in baloon tires that rubbed their whitewalls on the pavement if you swerve to avoid a kid at 25 mph. Cup holder? Lol, hold it between your legs so the sweat from the soda makes you look like you wet yourself when you step out of the car.

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Wow, great input, love all the discussion. Thanks. We looked at the Flex when it first came out. Way too enormous, it was bigger than some NYC apartments I've been in! The reason I don't particularly care for SUVs is because they are so huge and they usually ride and handle more like a truck. I love wagons because they truly are cars.

My mother thinks I should send the wagon to Vegas and have someone totally re-do it. She watches too much tv, I think. lol

The Flex is large, but it rides and handles like a car. Its center of gravity is not very high compared to a "real" suv. It is a car underneath, actually as others pointed out, its a Taurus underneath. MPG is good, too, with a very small penalty for choosing the EcoBoost over the reg AWD. Edited by JohnTaurus
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I see a lot of Flex's out here in California. Haven't noticed a missing badge. I'll pay closer attention.

The newer ones just say Flex on the front, and they have just a small oval on the lower rh side of the lift gate, clearly stolen from a 90s Tempo or Explorer, lol. I like the early ones better, style wise.

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And how is that better than mediocre ride, an engine so high-strung it needs to hit 4000 RPM before it'll go anywhere, no rear headroom, a massive tach that 90% of drivers don't need at the expense of useful gauges, hard plastic dash designed to look as cheap as it is, 18" wheels with rubber bands for tires that cost you a few grand every time you hit a pothole, and seats that are less comfortable than church pews?

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Im not sure what car youre describing, but i wouldnt judge the ride too harshly, considering you dont get seasick on a curvy road, nor do you get tired of squeeling tires as you round each curve at 10 mph below the speed limit, lest all that "road hugging weight" cause your back end to try to swap with the front.

50k miles, no blowouts from pot holes or anything else. Rides as smooth as glass, especially compared to the wallowing whale of a car it replaced, an 08 Grand Marquis, which shook its dash and doors everytime you hit a bridge expansion joint. Driving it through New Orleans was embarassing because I had people from out of town in the car. Everything shook like a heroin addict in withdrawls.

And, reving to 4,000 rpm to make power is preferable to an engine that couldnt rev to 4k to save its life (speaking of a 70s car, not the 4.6).

Ive heard you make a similar comment about modern emgines before. I guess if you just read specs, you could conclude that the engine only makes power at high rpms. Thats true of a Honda or Toyota 4 cyl, but not of the Duratec 3.5. It might make its peak power at a high rpm, but it isnt lacking anything at lower rpms.

But, lets line it up next to a 75 LTD, see which one gets to 60 quicker (not even counting the 5 mins of warm up the wheezing, strangled lump of iron in the LTD requires since its not injected). While were at it, have the LTD try to keep up on a track, but put the same amount of fuel in each car. The LTD will be 3 laps down when it sputters to a stop, the Taurus will still be flying, the driver listening to SiriusXM or streaming music from his phone via SYNC instead of a crackling, whiny (no bass, and just the 4 tiny speakers) version of Sunny and Cher on the only AM station you could find.

I realize you like old cars, I appreciate that, but there is no denying that theyve come a long way in every possible way. More power, which is plenty accesable, with the mpg thats better than a late 80s automatic Escort. A well balanced ride and handling, and seats that support you instead of trying to swallow you, or toss you to the other side of the car in every lh curve.

Appologies for the typos, best i can do on this device, only using my thumb, lol.

Edited by JohnTaurus
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 My mother thinks I should send the wagon to Vegas and have someone totally re-do it. She watches too much tv, I think. lol

I like the way your mother thinks. I'm all for 'building the car for the owner'. I just better not have a 60" t.v. screen in my back seat. :)

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I think people are missing the point... If I were Pro-Carburetor by the way, I don't think I would own all EFI vehicles including my motorcycle...

 

The electronics and modules on a 95 are there to make the vehicle run great.

 

But the electronics in a new car? Such as Electronic Throttle Control? That has malfunctioned in my van at least once, fixed it by restarting my van thankfully. But once the icon came up on my dash for it malfunctioning, my accelerator quit. Never had a mechanical throttle fail me.

 

Electronics do wear out or break. But I have a right combination of good and reliable. Hell, even EGR Valves instead of being vacuum operated are now controlled by a module. They're going to go bad eventually. And when they do, the cost of repair will be higher. That's my point. I've had brand new to the point the car was just too controlled by computers.

 

 

Cars are purposely being over engineered to make service costs higher, so when the car gets older the owner gets convinced just to sell it rather than try to service it. Becoming more and more of a disposable society. Final thing to take away, if you do get a modern car, it's still true to this day with domestic car parts being cheaper than imports.

 

Point is, trying to help a forum member try to address concerns with a current car rather than just getting it replaced.

 

On subject though if you do go modern, The Flex looks too much like an oversized Scion xB. Look at its silhouette, and they look pretty much the same. No true distinction on them. But it is the only true "wagon" Ford offers. The Ford Escape after all the recalls looks nice too, to me that's a wagon, but they call it a crossover.

 

That's just my $0.02

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I think people are missing the point... If I were Pro-Carburetor by the way, I don't think I would own all EFI vehicles including my motorcycle...

The electronics and modules on a 95 are there to make the vehicle run great.

But the electronics in a new car? Such as Electronic Throttle Control? That has malfunctioned in my van at least once, fixed it by restarting my van thankfully. But once the icon came up on my dash for it malfunctioning, my accelerator quit. Never had a mechanical throttle fail me.

Electronics do wear out or break. But I have a right combination of good and reliable. Hell, even EGR Valves instead of being vacuum operated are now controlled by a module. They're going to go bad eventually. And when they do, the cost of repair will be higher. That's my point. I've had brand new to the point the car was just too controlled by computers.

Cars are purposely being over engineered to make service costs higher, so when the car gets older the owner gets convinced just to sell it rather than try to service it. Becoming more and more of a disposable society. Final thing to take away, if you do get a modern car, it's still true to this day with domestic car parts being cheaper than imports.

Point is, trying to help a forum member try to address concerns with a current car rather than just getting it replaced.

On subject though if you do go modern, The Flex looks too much like an oversized Scion xB. Look at its silhouette, and they look pretty much the same. No true distinction on them. But it is the only true "wagon" Ford offers. The Ford Escape after all the recalls looks nice too, to me that's a wagon, but they call it a crossover.

That's just my $0.02

*side note* when we last had the Escape in for service, I had struck up conversation with the gentleman behind the counter. He informed me new BMWs are even brake by wire now.

As far as the Escapes are concerned, we've got a 2012, which is the last of the 2nd Gen. We love it, bought about a year ago, and was perfect in pretty much every way. Until we had our second child. We then quickly realized we were strapped for space. My two kids, wife, and I all fit with our stuff, but there is no room left over. We haven't tried taking a road trip in it with both kids yet, not sure how well it'll do with extra overnight stuff.

Short Story: we love it, but we're already eyeing bigger vehicles.

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Brake by wire....

 

 

What a scary world... :ph34r:

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Kevin must have never had a throttle cable snap on him. What do you do when that happens. You either rig up some sort of rope or string line that would be very dangerous or call a tow truck.

Point is that both have their downfalls.

I'm not sure what Stocker is talking about a engine needing 4k rpm to move the car, all these new turbo motors make peak power below 2500rpm and pull like freight trains through the entire rev range.

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Right?! Like... have you tried a boosted GDI engine? It typically has amazing low RPM torque.

 

Plug much? Lol  :P

Edited by ShelbyRacer78
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I personally have never had a throttle cable break on me. I've had a 94 Escort LX with 300+ miles on it where it was kind of getting stuck. Some PB Blaster fixed it after that and never had an issue during my ownership.

 

The closest real wagon you can get from Ford is the Focus Hatchback, which actually sells pretty well it appears. I did drive a 2014 Focus Hatchback, and by then the transmission had been built properly with good clutches, and it was an amazing car. But the amount of electronics and computers just doesn't sit right with me.

The Focus had the electronic power steering, the electric throttle, the huge CAN-BUS network, and honestly, it wouldn't be the hardest car to service, but not the easiest for a 4 banger. The test of time will show if these electronics will be fine. But electronic throttle I still don't trust after what happened with Toyota. It's a computer, computers malfunction. A wire could short out, and the PCM Might read a certain resistance, and open the throttle to a certain point. Who knows? A module in the CAN-BUS Network might malfunction and cause the power steering to go out.

 

I'd rather wait for now. I have the right amount of electronics on my car, that are not dependent on each other, but together they make my car run well. If a car's life can be extended, that's my goal now. Preservation of older vehicles to have a great service life, and cheap upkeep.

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Kevin must have never had a throttle cable snap on him. What do you do when that happens. You either rig up some sort of rope or string line that would be very dangerous or call a tow truck.Point is that both have their downfalls.I'm not sure what Stocker is talking about a engine needing 4k rpm to move the car, all these new turbo motors make peak power below 2500rpm and pull like freight trains through the entire rev range.

This.

I had the throttle cable bind up in the 96 Aerostar, sticking about half or perhaps 3/4 of the way down. I stood on the brakes with both feet to slow it down. I managed to drive it on home, very scary though.

BTW: I had noticed the problem getting off the highway, and the rest of the drive home was on a country road with little or no traffic, otherwise, Id have had it towed. I had to keep steady pressure on the brakes to keep it around 45-50 mph, I was afraid to let it go any faster, and it was all i could do to keep it that slow.

Thank God it didnt happen in town where I might have hit someone or something.

Edited by JohnTaurus
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Let me just say that I DO appreciate old cars, even some from the 70s. However, Im more than happy that today's "luxury" options are made up of things that make the car better, like climate control, heated/cooling seats, even navigation and a sound system that actually sounds good from the factory, instead of vinyl roofs and wire wheel covers.

I like some big, old school RWD cars (Buick and Oldsmobiles just before they swithched to FWD and, in the process, lost everything that made them cool), but for everyday driving, Ill take a Taurus (almost ANY Taurus) without hesitation.

My dream car collection has room for a RWD Buick LeSabre coupe. I cant promise that I wont put skates and a candy paint job on it, though. Lol. I am actually a fan of Datsuns from the 70s, Id really like to have a B-210 hatchback with the 1400 cc/5-speed dogleg trans (so I can make an African Datsun 140Z clone) and a 620 or older pickup. I also absolutely love the tiny Honda Z600 coupe, although its FWD. Another 1970s car I like include the Mercury Zephyr with a 200 I-6 (Loved my 78 Z-7), and I have this crazy idea of putting a (Ranger or Aerostar's) Vulcan in a Pinto or Bobcat runabout, with a hotter cam of course.

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