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Old 02-08-2011, 06:30 AM   #15
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Fingers crossed that they do - my little 3.0 diesel was putting out 407lbs torque, great engine with clean exhaust...

I think they would sell like crazy in the F-150/1500 & SUV markets!
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:35 AM   #16
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Would not get a truck w/o 4X4. Ours has been in auto 4X for week's now,due to our local weather.(Chicago)
Have also had to tow thru mountains in May with Snow .Southern Ill.in Nov. in Snow/Ice.Etc.
Even wet Grass/Mud in campgrounds can cause traction problems.
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:54 AM   #17
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Even wet Grass/Mud in campgrounds can cause traction problems.
Agreed - go 4x4 if you can!!!
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:32 AM   #18
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I've towed my Argosy Minuet (obviously much lighter than a modern 28' AS) with both a Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT (well, not at the same time) with the Ecoboost V6, essentially the same engine that is going in the trucks. This is the most impressive gas powertrain I've towed with, better even than a HEMI Jeep Grand Cherokee I've also used recently. Power is readily available and builds very smoothly. At least with my light trailer, under heavy throttle it pulled along like most vehicles behave unladen.

One thing though - I haven't really seen a fuel economy benefit to towing with this engine compared to a V8.

I've only ever needed four-wheel-drive once - and that was parking on wet grass on a hilly field. I managed with what I had. It was never a problem in state or federal campgrounds, even during a very rainy cross-country trip in 2009.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:04 AM   #19
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I've towed my Argosy Minuet (obviously much lighter than a modern 28' AS) with both a Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT (well, not at the same time) with the Ecoboost V6, essentially the same engine that is going in the trucks. This is the most impressive gas powertrain I've towed with, better even than a HEMI Jeep Grand Cherokee I've also used recently. Power is readily available and builds very smoothly. At least with my light trailer, under heavy throttle it pulled along like most vehicles behave unladen.
I would love to have a Flex, it is a fabulous car IMHO. Acres of space, fit and finish like a high-end Japanese car, and personally I love the looks. Sadly, my wife doesn't agree on the last point. At all.

I would imagine that it will see a lot of use as a limo, stretch or otherwise.

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One thing though - I haven't really seen a fuel economy benefit to towing with this engine compared to a V8.
Well, the Flex doesn't get great mileage to begin with (17 city, 24 highway, 19 combined as per the EPA), but when not towing, it's got to be better than a pick-up or large SUV, no? Certainly beats them hands down in terms of comfort and passenger capacity.

Plus, what are your driving habits? Do you do tow your TT most of the time, or drive without it? I suspect that for many, 95% (or better) of the time, they drive without a TT behind them.

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I've only ever needed four-wheel-drive once - and that was parking on wet grass on a hilly field. I managed with what I had. It was never a problem in state or federal campgrounds, even during a very rainy cross-country trip in 2009.
This is an issue that has to do with the buyer's projected use. No vehicle is best for every use.

The Flex is FWD, so might beat out a 2WD pick-up in many slippery situations, but it must be noted that if one drives in snowy mountains or wet, hilly fields frequently, a 4WD vehicle would be a definite asset.

I wonder how long it will be before Ford decides to put a small V-8 into a Flex model...?
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:28 AM   #20
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The Flex is FWD, so might beat out a 2WD pick-up in many slippery situations, but it must be noted that if one drives in snowy mountains or wet, hilly fields frequently, a 4WD vehicle would be a definite asset.

I wonder how long it will be before Ford decides to put a small V-8 into a Flex model...?
Actually the Flex with EcoBoost is AWD. Only the lower-power engine is available with FWD. If something happens to my '05 Legacy GT Wagon while the Flex is still available, it will be the first car I test-drive.
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:36 AM   #21
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LOL. We strongly considered buying a Flex (my employer owns it) when we recently bought another Odyssey. But my wife couldn't deal with the styling.

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Well, the Flex doesn't get great mileage to begin with (17 city, 24 highway, 19 combined as per the EPA), but when not towing, it's got to be better than a pick-up or large SUV, no? Certainly beats them hands down in terms of comfort and passenger capacity.
I just recently towed with the Flex. All highway, cruising slightly above the limit. I averaged 12 mpg with it - within 1 mpg of what I got with my T@B and a Silverado 5.3 or the Grand Cherokee V8 and the Argosy. Like you said, the Flex isn't the best on fuel economy to begin with. I do better towing with my Odyssey - 15 mpg is typical.

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Plus, what are your driving habits? Do you do tow your TT most of the time, or drive without it? I suspect that for many, 95% (or better) of the time, they drive without a TT behind them.
Sure - totally agree with that. But the EPA numbers I've seen for the F-150 don't show a huge benefit from the Ecoboost V6 over the 5.0-liter V8. The Ecoboost is being billed as the top level engine, combining both performance and slightly better fuel economy.

Quote:
Flex is FWD, so might beat out a 2WD pick-up in many slippery situations, but it must be noted that if one drives in snowy mountains or wet, hilly fields frequently, a 4WD vehicle would be a definite asset.
In routine driving, yes. Towing the trailer in a wet, grassy, hilly field - no. I was towing with my Odyssey in that situation and it wasn't optimal. But being fair, 2wd trucks were having problems too in that situation. (Wet grass is a tough surface, even for dedicated off-road vehicles.)

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I wonder how long it will be before Ford decides to put a small V-8 into a Flex model...?
The combo I'd like is an Ecoboost V6 in the Explorer - after all, its the same platform as Flex. Instead they're doing a four-cylinder turbo that will be front-wheel-drive only and can only tow 2000 lbs.

Tom
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Old 02-08-2011, 02:34 PM   #22
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I'd go 4WD. Over the years, beside bad weather, I've needed it on sandy beach sites and as stated, wet grass and mud. Perhaps even more importantly, having a low set of gears is really nice when maneuvering uneven or hilly sites. The strain on the transmission is releaved so much when jockying in the low set. My answer may be different if I had a sub-4000 lb trailer. However, I do remember at least 2 instances on Michigan beach sites where I would've buried the rig w/o 4WD.

BTW...a locking differential is well worth the relatively low cost, whether you go 4WD or 2WD.
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Old 02-08-2011, 05:08 PM   #23
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btw...a locking differential is well worth the relatively low cost, whether you go 4wd or 2wd.
Amen Brother!
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:10 PM   #24
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I would love to have a Flex, it is a fabulous car IMHO.
Agreed, I would have bought a Flex to tow our Safari, but the 18 gallon (US) gas tank killed it for me. (We're looking for a Chevy Traverse instead).

As for gas mileage, as I understand it turbo's don't get any better gas mileage than standard fuel injected versions with similar displacement....the only thing the turbo gives you is more HP. Given the complexities of turbos, I'd wait a few years before giving one a try.
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:30 PM   #25
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I would like to thank all of you for the great replys and sharing your experiences. I feel more comfortable after reading your posts. The jury is out on 4x4. I need to weigh the additional cost to the probable application. Once we get the truck we will drive our Prius as much as possible and make every effort to limit the F-150 to towing. Thanks again for all of your good advice.
John and Joy Dibble
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:44 PM   #26
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Seems to me that I noticed somewhere that a 4x4 pickup got about 3 MPG less than a 4x2.
If you worry about fuel economy you should be sure to confirm this.
Al
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:58 PM   #27
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Seems to me that I noticed somewhere that a 4x4 pickup got about 3 MPG less than a 4x2.
If you worry about fuel economy you should be sure to confirm this.
Al
Not true any more. Modern 4WD systems turn nothing extra in 2WD. So, other than carrying an extra couple hundred pounds of weight, there is no more drag on the powertrain than 2WD. Maybe a couple tenths of fuel economy penelty, at most.
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:59 PM   #28
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AWD is a different story.
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