Home2011 Los Angeles Auto Show
Consumer Reports auto experts report from the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Ford Flex

What is it? The 2013 Flex comes with a variety of upgrades including the next-generation MyFord Touch infotainment system, rear inflatable seat belts, and a claimed fuel economy improvement.

Earlier this week, Ford announced changes to the MyFord Touch interface including a cleaner display and larger words. 

The new inflatable seat belts are designed to reduce head, neck, and chest injuries for passengers traveling in the backseat. Ford says they deploy in 40 milliseconds after sensors indicate a crash and otherwise operate like a traditional belt.

The Flex also will have an upgraded 3.5-liter V6 engine with the addition of twin independent variable camshaft timing. This enhancement increases output by 20 horsepower to 285 horsepower, and fuel economy is projected to increase 1 mpg to 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.

Other additions include collision-avoidance technologies, rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry, heated and cooled seats for the driver and passenger and a new Appearance Package.

When will it be available? Spring 2012.

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