Greene Ford Compares 2010 Ford Flex VS 2010 Acura MDX Near Cleveland, GA

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2010 Ford Flex

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2010 Acura MDX

Safety Comparison

The Flex offers optional SYNC, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The MDX doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies.

Both the Flex and the MDX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all-wheel drive.

Warranty Comparison

There are over 14 times as many Ford dealers as there are Acura dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the Flex’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The camshafts in the Flex’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The MDX’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that eventually needs to be replaced. If the MDX’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

The Flex has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The MDX doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2009 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 8th in initial quality. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 14th.

Engine Comparison

The Flex SEL/Limited’s optional 3.5 turbo V6 produces 55 more horsepower (355 vs. 300) and 80 lbs.-ft. more torque (350 vs. 270) than the MDX’s 3.7 SOHC V6.

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the Flex’s engines produce their peak torque at lower RPM’s than the MDX:


Flex 3.5 DOHC V6

4500 RPM

Flex SEL/Limited 3.5 turbo V6

1500 RPM


5000 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Flex AWD with its standard engine gets better fuel mileage than the MDX (16 city/22 hwy vs. 16 city/21 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Flex uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on Flex SEL/Limited for maximum performance). The MDX requires premium, which can cost 25 to 50 cents more per gallon.

The Flex has a standard capless 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 that causes pollution. The MDX doesn’t offer a capless fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Flex’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the MDX are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Flex SEL/Limited’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the MDX’s optional 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Flex SEL/Limited offers optional 20-inch wheels. The MDX’s largest wheels are only 19 inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Flex has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The MDX’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Flex’s wheelbase is 9.6 inches longer than on the MDX (117.9 inches vs. 108.3 inches).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Flex Limited AWD is quieter than the MDX:



At idle

40 dB

42 dB


71 dB

75 dB

70 MPH Cruising

68 dB

69 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The Flex has 13.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the MDX (155.8 vs. 142.2).

The Flex has 2.6 inches more front headroom, 1.9 inches more rear headroom, 5.6 inches more rear legroom, 3 inches more third row headroom and 4.2 inches more third row legroom than the MDX.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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



Behind Third Seat

20 cubic feet

15 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

43.2 cubic feet

42.9 cubic feet

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

Ergonomics Comparison

The power windows standard on both the Flex and the MDX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Flex is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The MDX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the exterior keypad. The MDX doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Flex has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the MDX only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Flex’s standard power mirror controls are mounted on the door for easy access. The MDX’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

The Flex SEL/Limited’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The MDX doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Flex owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Flex with a number “3” insurance rate while the MDX is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

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