Ford Flex: Nifty Design, Poor Timing

Despite a bold look and top-drawer fit and finish, the new Ford Flex is struggling on the sales floor

There are a half-dozen Ford Flex crossovers lined up in the front of Varsity Ford along Jackson Avenue in Ann Arbor, Mich. It doesn't look like people are beating down the doors to drive them away. But let's be fair. Any crossover/SUV scoring 17/24 mpg (19 mpg combined) isn't exactly as hot as Springsteen tickets right now. That's a shame because the Flex combines terrific utility with a nifty-looking design, and it has an overall upmarket feel that should have made it a hit for Ford (F). But it hasn't been. Through the end of June, only 1,379 Flexes have been sold, according to Automotive News, making it the worst-performing light truck in Ford's lineup.

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