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Filed under: Wagon, Crossover, Ford, First Drives, Design/Style

Freshly Tweaked For A Second Life

Ford has not been long known for polarizing design. The company's styling philosophy has read more closely along the lines of "cheap and cheerful." But when it brought out the Flex in 2008 as a 2009 model, Ford started down a road of trying to be more expressive, emotional and evocative in the design of its crossovers and SUVs, not just with the Mustang.

For Ford, the Flex has been one of those hollow victories. The people who buy it love its Mini-Cooper-on-a-high-protein-diet look, especially with the available two-tone paint jobs, and the comfortable packaging and cruising ride they get without bumping up to a frumpy minivan. The trouble is that there haven't been enough of those happy buyers taking the plunge.

Ford sold just 27,000 Flex models last year, down 20 percent from the year before - not exactly one of CEO Alan Mulally's homeruns. Also, its marketing has been confused since its debut. Ford initially pitched it as a cool urban crew wagon - think Funkmaster Flex. The advertising Powerpoint presentation actually said "No dog drool." No kidding. The high-concept ads were all shot at night on city streets. It bombed. Soon after launch, we saw families and even a dog or two in ads.Continue reading 2013 Ford Flex

2013 Ford Flex originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 23 Mar 2012 12:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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