Teen Drivers and the 2014 Ford Flex

The 2014 Ford Flex is a great car for families – it offers best-in-class Second and Third row head room and leg room, while still offering a large amount of cargo space, and optional upgrades that make the Flex easy and fun to drive. One concern that often comes up when shopping for a new family car is: “Will it be a safe car for my teenager to learn to drive in?”

This article will address common questions that parents have regarding teen drivers and the 2014 Ford Flex. You can use the links below to skip to a section that interest you, or scroll down to read the article in full.

MyKey System
Roadside Assistance and Warranty Information
Safety Features
Driver Assist Technology

MyKey System

The 2014 Ford Flex comes equipped with the MyKey system, which allows you to program individual keys with their own settings and tracking ability. With this system, you can create custom settings like:

  • Top Speed Limit
  • Maximum Audio Volume Limit
  • Persistent BeltMinder (which mutes the radio and chimes until all seatbelts are fastened)
  • Early Low Fuel Warnings

The MyKey system can also track how many miles are driven on a particular key, so when your teenager claims to be going simply to and from school every day, you can check how many miles were driven and confirm his claims.

In addition to the programmed MyKeys, you will also have at least one Admin Key, which will be able to program the other keys, as well as check in on all of the MyKeys (this is how you would check how many miles were driven).

This system is standard across all 2013 and 2014 Ford models, so even you don’t feel that the Ford Flex is the right fit for your family, you can find it on our other vehicles, like the Ford Escape.

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 Roadside Assistance and Warranty Information

With every new 2014 Ford Flex, and most Ford Vehicles, Ford offers a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile Powertrain Warranty and safety restraint coverage, and a 5-year/unlimited-mileage corrosion (perforation) warranty, all with no deductible. For more information, click this link: 2014 Ford Flex Warranty.

While the Ford warranties won’t cover things like accidents or theft, they do cover most of the mechanical parts and inner workings of the Flex, assuming that all normal scheduled maintenance is maintained. This makes buying a new Flex a great option for teens that are planning on taking their vehicle to college with them. Apart from scheduled maintenance, they won’t have to worry about any kind of major repair work on their vehicle like they would if they had bought an older vehicle without a warranty.

In addition, most new Ford vehicles come with 5-year/60,000-mile Roadside Assistance free of charge, which allows for:

  • Towing to the nearest Ford Motor Company dealership, or towing to your selling dealership if within 35 miles
  • Flat tire change (vehicle must have usable spare)
  • Fuel delivery (limited to two occurrences in a 12-month period up to 2 gallons of gas, 5 gallons of diesel)
  • Jump starts
  • Lock-out assistance (replacement key cost is customer responsibility
  • Winching (vehicle must be within 100 feet of a paved or county-maintained road

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Safety Features

The 2014 Ford Flex features six standard airbags, located in the front and rear of the vehicle, and designed to provide maximum protection in the event of an accident. They include:

  • Dual-Stage Front Airbags (2x) – Part of the Personal Safety System (explained below)
  • Safety Canopy System with Rollover Sensor (2x)
  • Front Seat Side Airbags (2x)

The Safety Canopy System with Rollover Sensor is a system of side-curtain airbags designed to provide head protection for all outboard seating positions, and are located in the roof side rail behind the headliner. These airbags deploy downward and outward toward the side-windows to protect the heads of passengers in all three rows. These airbags are triggered independently of the other airbags, and are activated either by side-impact collision or when a rollover has been detected.

The Personal Safety System usees an electronic front crash severity sensor, front outboard safety belt usage sensor, and a Front-Passenger Sensing System to tailor the airbag deployment to the severity of the crash, driver and passenger seat position, and safety belt use. This system is designed to provide maximum protection in the event of a crash, without over-deploying the airbags.

The Ford Flex also offers optional Second Row Inflatable Safety Belts, which are designed to provide second row passengers with better protection by spreading out the crash forces across an area five times greater than standard safety belts. These safety belts operate like normal safety belts during everyday use, but in the event of a crash, cold-compressed gas inflates the belts through a specially designed buckle from a cylinder below the seat. If these do deploy, the compressed gas cylinders are easily replaceable, but installation should be done only by a trained mechanic, to ensure that it works properly.

In addition, the 2014 Ford Flex is designed with Structual Safety Features, such as a collapsible steering column, energy absorbing side door trim, side-intrusion door beams, and an energy-absorbing crash structure.

The Ford Flex has been rated as a 2013 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), receiving the highest rating of “Good” for the Moderate Overlap Front Impact, Side Impact, and Roof Strength tests. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the Ford Flex a 4-star Overall Rollover Rating.

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 Driver Assist Technology

There are a number of Driver Assist Technologies available on the 2014 Ford Flex, including:

  • Anti-Lock Brakes
  • Reverse Sensing
  • Blind Spot Information System
  • Cross Traffic Alerts
  • Rear Camera
  • Electro-chromic Auto-Dimming Rear View Mirror
  • Rain-Sensing Windshield Wipers
  • Automatic Headlamps with Wiper Activation
  • Active Park Assist
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Collision Warning with Brake Support

There’s a lot to go over here, and if you would like more information on these, I’ve detailed them all in the Technology Options on the 2014 Ford Flex article. Briefly though, I will go over the last three.

Active Park Assist allows the vehicle to assist you with parallel parking. This is especially useful in the Flex because of its long wheelbase. If you haven’t driven a long vehicle before (or if you are just learning how to drive, like many Teen Drivers), this can be especially helpful and can serve to set your mind at ease when parking in a crowded downtown environment. You simply press the Active Park Assist Button while driving slowly and the Flex will automatically start looking for appropriately-sized parking places using sensors mounted on the front side fender. When a parking space is found, the Flex will alert you to take your hands off the steering wheel, and will give you specific instructions on using the accelerator and brake pedals. The Flex will then steer itself gently into the parking space, relieving you of any stress or worry about having to successfully parallel park.

Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning with Brake Support are optional features on the 2014 Ford Flex that use a camera and sensors mounted behind the rear-view mirror to scan the traffic ahead of you. With Adaptive Cruise Control, you can set the cruise control speed, and when you come up on cars moving slower than you, the Flex will automatically adjust your cruising speed to a preset follow distance (between 1.5 seconds and 3 seconds behind them). Then, when they are no longer in front of you, it will automatically resume acceleration back up to your cruise speed. Collision Warning with Brake Support uses the same technology to warn the driver and prepare the vehicle in the event that it detects a possible forward collision. If a possible collision is detected, red LED lights will flash on the windshield to alert the driver, and the braking system will be pre-charged, so that if the driver slams on the brakes suddenly, they will be maximally responsive.

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