19 Best & Worst Ford Flex Years: (Complaints, Recalls, Stats)

The Ford Flex has had its share of ups and downs throughout the years.

In this article, we will discuss the best and worst Ford Flex years, giving you a better understanding of which models to consider and which ones to avoid.

From customer feedback and reliability ratings, it’s possible to identify top-performing years as well as those that fell short.

The Best Ford Flex Year

The 2019 Ford Flex stands out as the best year for this model due to its high-reliability rating and improved gas mileage. As the final production year, the 2019 model brings together the best features and improvements from previous years, making it the ideal choice for consumers.

From 2013 to 2019, Ford Flex models consistently demonstrated solid performance, but the 2013-2018 models had lower reliability ratings compared to the 2019 model.

The 2019 Ford Flex offered buyers the option of All-Wheel Drive (AWD) or Front-Wheel Drive (FWD) along with a more refined interior and technological features.

Buyers who prioritize a smooth and user-friendly technology interface should consider the 2016-2019 Ford Flex models, as they come equipped with the Sync3 system.

The older My Ford Touch interface in 2014-2015 models was less user-friendly and not as well-received by consumers.

The 2nd Best Ford Flex Year

The second-best year for the Ford Flex is the 2018 model.

It stands out from its counterparts offered between 2013-2019 as it balances the reliability, features, and performance that car enthusiasts and families appreciate.

One important aspect of the 2018 Ford Flex is its improved reliability compared to earlier models.

It addressed many of the issues that were present in the 2013-2015 models, which are considered less reliable by many automotive experts.

In terms of features, the 2018 Ford Flex showcases a high level of convenience and versatility. The standard offering includes the SYNC 3 infotainment system, which is favored for its user-friendly interface and overall performance compared to the older My Ford Touch system.

This version of SYNC 3 supports:

  • voice-activated controls,
  • an 8-inch touchscreen,
  • Android Auto,
  • and Apple CarPlay

Ford paid extra attention to safety in the 2018 Flex as well.

It comes with available safety features such as adaptive cruise control, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and Ford’s MyKey system, all designed to build confidence in drivers and add an extra layer of protection for occupants.

Performance-wise, the 2018 Ford Flex offers a powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine with 287 horsepower and 254 lb-ft of torque.

The car is also available with an optional 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine producing 365 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque, providing substantial power and improved driving dynamics.

The 3rd Best Ford Flex Year

The third best year for the Ford Flex is the 2016 model. One significant improvement that sets this year apart from its predecessors is the updated infotainment system.

Ford introduced its Sync3 system in 2016, providing a more user-friendly touch interface and enhanced overall user experience when compared to the My Ford Touch system found in prior models.

Apart from the updated infotainment system, the 2016 Ford Flex continued to be a reliable choice, offering both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive options. It maintained its well-regarded spaciousness, comfort, and versatility from previous years, making it an ideal choice for families and buyers in need of a practical vehicle.

When it comes to pricing, the 2016 Ford Flex remains a viable option for those seeking a balance of quality and affordability.

It is generally possible to find a used 2016 Flex in good condition with a reasonable price tag, offering a cost-effective solution for those who are interested in this particular model year.

Other Good Years

In addition to the best year for the Ford Flex, which is 2019, there are several other good years for this model.

These years stand out for their reliability, performance, and features.

  • 2013: While the 2013 Ford Flex may have had some issues compared to other years, it still has notable features that make it a decent choice. The introduction of the all-wheel-drive option and improved fuel efficiency make this year appealing to some buyers.
  • 2014: The 2014 model year saw improvements in features and performance, such as upgraded SYNC technology and better interior materials. This year, the Ford Flex continued to offer all-wheel drive and improved fuel efficiency from previous years.
  • 2015: With minimal changes from the 2014 model, the 2015 Ford Flex remains a reliable choice. Its continued all-wheel drive availability and steady gas mileage make it an appealing option for potential buyers.
  • 2016: The 2016 Ford Flex stands out due to its smooth and comfortable ride quality. With both all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive options, this model year offers versatility for various driving conditions.
  • 2017: The 2017 Ford Flex maintains its reputation for a smooth ride and versatile driving options. Moreover, this year saw improved standard features, such as a rearview camera and SYNC 3 infotainment system, further enhancing its appeal.
  • 2018: The 2018 model again boasts a smooth ride and versatile driving options. Its reliability and feature enhancements, such as the updated SYNC 3 infotainment system, make it a top contender in the Ford Flex lineup.

When considering a Ford Flex, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each year. These additional good years show that the Flex has consistently offered valuable features and performance, making it a solid choice for buyers seeking a versatile and reliable vehicle.

The Worst Ford Flex Year

The year that stands out as the least desirable is the 2013 Ford Flex.

Even though the vehicle was generally appreciated by consumers for its spacious cabin and clear visibility, this particular year recorded an increased frequency of problems compared to other years.

One of the major issues related to the 2013 model involved the fuel delivery system.

There were cases where fuel leakage occurred, potentially leading to hazardous situations. However, it is important to note that not all 2013 Ford Flex units experienced this issue, and it highlights the importance of regular maintenance checks.

Besides the fuel system concern, another reported problem was with the electrical circuit, which in some cases could catch fire due to fluid seepage. Once again, it’s important to point out that this issue did not affect all units, but it does emphasize the need for regular vehicle inspections and servicing.

Despite these problems, the 2013 Ford Flex continued to be a steadfast and reliable vehicle choice when properly maintained.

Thus, when considering a pre-owned Ford Flex, it’s advisable to pay extra attention to these potential issues while keeping in mind that with routine care, many of these concerns can be mitigated.

The 2nd Worst Ford Flex Year

The 2010 Ford Flex has been identified as the second-worst model year for this vehicle. While this year’s model did not have as many issues as the 2013 Ford Flex, there were still some notable problems faced by owners.

One of the main concerns for the 2010 Ford Flex was the Power Transfer Unit (PTU) malfunctioning.

This issue could lead to a loss of power or even complete failure. However, it is important to note that not all 2010 models experienced this problem, and many owners did not report issues with their PTU.

Another issue found in the 2010 Ford Flex was related to the suspension system. Some users reported problems with the stability control or excessive tire wear due to alignment issues.

Once again, these issues were not experienced by every driver.

  • Power Transfer Unit (PTU) problems
  • Suspension and alignment issues

While these problems emerged in the 2010 Ford Flex model, it’s essential to remember that not all vehicles experienced them.

Consequently, one must carefully research and consider specific vehicles when purchasing this model year.

The 3rd Worst Ford Flex Year

2014 finds itself as the third worst Ford Flex year.

This particular model faced a few noteworthy issues that affected its overall reputation.

One of the primary concerns with the 2014 model was with the power transfer unit (PTU). Some owners reported leaking PTU seals, which led to costly repairs. These issues were not found across the entire line of 2014 Ford Flex vehicles, and some drivers had no such problems. As a precautionary measure, potential buyers of used 2014 Flex models should check for any PTU issues.

Another problem reported by some owners was related to the electrical system.

There were cases of malfunctioning interior and exterior lights, as well as issues with the infotainment system. Again, these concerns were not universally seen in all 2014 Ford Flex vehicles, and some drivers experienced no issues at all.

Despite these reported setbacks, many 2014 Ford Flex owners enjoyed their vehicles without major issues. It’s essential to keep in mind that car ownership experiences can vary greatly from one individual to another, and sometimes, certain issues might be found in a specific batch of manufactured vehicles.

Other Bad Years

Besides the 2013 model year, there are other Ford Flex years that have experienced issues worth noting.

Some of these years are:

  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2014
  • 2015

The 2009 Ford Flex faced challenges with its power door locks, occasionally not responding when the button was pressed. Furthermore, its navigation system also had problems.

In 2010, the Ford Flex was known to have had power transfer unit (PTU) problems, which could impact the overall driving experience. It’s important to keep in mind that not all 2010 models experienced this issue, but it did affect some.

For the 2014 model, issues with the factory-assembled brake system have been reported.

This problem could lead to safety concerns, but it’s worth noting that Ford may have addressed and resolved such problems in subsequent manufacturing.

Finally, the 2015 Ford Flex faced air conditioning (A/C) fan problems that may have led to discomfort during the hotter months for drivers and passengers. Additionally, it had issues with its electrical system setup.

Remember that each individual car may differ; thus, it is important to research a specific used Ford Flex before buying one to ensure you are aware of any potential problems.

Years with the Most Recalls

The Ford Flex, known for its unique design and spacious interior, has had its share of recalls over the years. Some model years stand out more than others when it comes to the number of recalls issued.

Notable Ford Flex years with recalls include:

  • 2009: Various issues including brake noise, fluid leaks at axle area, and transmission problems.
  • 2013: Regarded as the worst year for the Ford Flex, facing multiple issues and recalls.
  • 2014: Recalls include more than 12,000 Flex models due to reports of engine fires and over 10,000 vehicles for leaking sunroofs.

In February 2014, Ford issued a recall for the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine-equipped Flex models after receiving reports of engine fires. The recall affected more than 12,000 Flex models. Just a few months later, in May 2014, Ford issued another recall involving over 10,000 vehicles because of leaky sunroofs.

While no vehicle is immune to recalls, it’s crucial for potential buyers to be aware of any history of recalls associated with the model they are interested in.

It can help inform their purchasing decisions and ensure they acquire a reliable vehicle.

Common Ford Flex Problems to Look For

The Ford Flex has generally been reliable, but there are some common problems you should be aware of when considering this vehicle.

These issues can vary depending on the year, so being informed will help you make a better decision.

One issue faced by some owners is the premature wearing of brakes.

This problem is more frequent in the 2009 and 2010 models. Be sure to check the condition of the brakes before purchasing and be prepared for the possibility of needing to replace them sooner than expected.

Another concern with the Ford Flex is the MyFord Touch infotainment system, which was a common problem in the 2016 model. The system was known for being troublesome and difficult to use, but it was eventually replaced with the Sync 3 system.

You can easily check the system’s performance during a test drive to ensure that it functions properly in the model you are considering. I’ve done that myself many times.

Engine issues were more prevalent in the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Ford Flex models. They experienced higher rates of engine problems, leading to them being considered “years to avoid.”

Familiarize yourself with these engine issues and ask the seller if the vehicle has a history of such problems.

The 2013 Ford Flex model, in particular, stands out as having the most overall issues.

It is wise to exercise caution when looking at this year and perform a thorough assessment before committing to a purchase.

In summary, be aware of the common issues associated with various Ford Flex models to make a well-informed decision when buying. This will help you avoid any unexpected problems and enjoy the benefits of this spacious and versatile SUV.

Go Back: See best and worst years for all ford models.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.