North Georgia Ford Compares 2016 Ford Flex VS 2016 BMW X5 Near Goodyear, AZ

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2016 Ford Flex

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VS

2016 BMW X5

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Ford Flex are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X5 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The middle row seatbelts optional on the Flex inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The X5 doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

To help make backing safer, the Flex’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The X5 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Flex and the X5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rear parking sensors, available collision warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

For its top level performance in the IIHS moderate overlap frontal impact, side impact, rear impact, roof-crush crash tests, and an “Acceptable” rating in the newer small overlap frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the Flex as a “Top Pick” for 2015. The X5 is not a “Top Pick.”

Warranty Comparison

Ford’s powertrain warranty covers the Flex 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the X5 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 11 times as many Ford dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Flex’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the Flex’s reliability will be 28% better than the X5.

Engine Comparison

The Flex Limited’s optional 3.5 turbo V6 produces 65 more horsepower (365 vs. 300) and 50 lbs.-ft. more torque (350 vs. 300) than the X5 s/xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Flex Limited is faster than the X5 s/xDrive35i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.:

Flex

X5

Zero to 30 MPH

2.5 sec

3.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

7.4 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.5 sec

5 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95.5 MPH

93.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Flex uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on Flex Limited for maximum performance). The X5 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Flex has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The X5 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Flex’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The X5 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Flex’s wheelbase is 2.4 inches longer than on the X5 (117.9 inches vs. 115.5 inches).

For better maneuverability, the Flex’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the X5’s (40.7 feet vs. 41.7 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Ford Flex may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 300 pounds less than the BMW X5.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Flex has 1.3 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front legroom, 1.7 inches more rear headroom and 7.7 inches more rear legroom than the X5.

The Flex Limited offers an optional rear tailgate seat that can be flipped rearward and used for tailgate picnics. (Do not use seat reversed while vehicle in motion.) The X5 doesn’t offer a rear tailgate seat.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Flex’s cargo area provides more volume than the X5.

Flex

X5

Third Seat Folded

43.2 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

22.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

83.2 cubic feet

66 cubic feet

The Flex has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The X5 doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Flex’s second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The X5 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

The Flex’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X5’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Flex offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The X5 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Flex’s exterior PIN entry system. The X5 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its BMW Assist can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The Flex (except SE) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The X5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Flex owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Flex will cost $2805 to $4830 less than the X5 over a five-year period.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Flex will be $19678 to $24036 less than for the BMW X5.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends the Ford Flex, based on reliability, safety and performance. The BMW X5 isn't recommended.

The Flex was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 8 years. The X5 hasn’t been picked since 2001.

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