Greene Ford Compares 2016 Ford Flex VS 2016 Nissan Quest Near Flowery Branch, GA

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2016 Ford Flex

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2016 Nissan Quest

Safety Comparison

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 Quest doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The Flex Limited offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The system also pre-charges the brakes to begin deceleration more quickly. The Quest doesn't offer a collision warning system.

The Flex offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Quest doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

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 Quest doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Flex offers optional SYNC ®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Quest doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

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

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Ford Flex is safer than the Quest:



Overall Evaluation



Head Neck Evaluation



Head injury index



Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

11 cm

21 cm

Chest Evaluation



Hip & Thigh Evaluation



Femur Force R/L

2.8/2.2 kN

12.3/5.9 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L



Lower Leg Evaluation



Tibia index R/L



Tibia forces R/L

.7/.8 kN

1.8/1.3 kN

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ( IIHS) performs roof strength tests. In that test the Flex earned the top rating of “Good” because its roof supported over four times the Flex’s weight before being crushed five inches. The Quest was rated lower at “Acceptable.”

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 Quest is not a “Top Pick.”

Warranty Comparison

There are almost 4 times as many Ford dealers as there are Nissan dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Flex’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Flex has a standard 650-amp battery. The Quest’s 550-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 12th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

The Flex’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 27 more horsepower (287 vs. 260) and 14 lbs.-ft. more torque (254 vs. 240) than the Quest’s 3.5 DOHC V6. The Flex Limited’s optional 3.5 turbo V6 produces 105 more horsepower (365 vs. 260) and 110 lbs.-ft. more torque (350 vs. 240) than the Quest’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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 Quest doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Flex’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Quest:



Front Rotors

12.8 inches

11.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.1 inches

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Flex has larger standard tires than the Quest (235/60R18 vs. 225/65R16). The Flex’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Quest (255/45R20 vs. 235/55R18).

The Flex SEL’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Quest S/SV’s standard 65 series tires. The Flex’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Quest SL/Platinum’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Flex SE has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Quest S/SV. The Flex’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Quest SL/Platinum.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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

The Flex has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Flex flat and controlled during cornering. The Quest’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

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 Quest doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

Passenger Space Comparison

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 Quest doesn’t offer a rear tailgate seat.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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

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 Quest doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The power windows standard on both the Flex and the Quest 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 Quest 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 Flex’s exterior PIN entry system. The Quest doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

The Flex Limited’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Quest’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

The Flex has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The Quest has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SL/Platinum.

The Flex’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Nissan only offers heated mirrors on the Quest SL/Platinum.

Both the Flex and the Quest offer available heated front seats. The Flex Limited also offers optional heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the Quest.

Optional air conditioned seats in the Flex Limited keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Quest doesn’t offer air conditioned seats.

On extremely cold Winter days, the Flex Limited’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Quest doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Flex Limited offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Quest doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Standard SYNC AppLink for the Flex allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, tagging songs to buy them later and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Quest doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the Flex, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Nissan doesn’t offer wireless connectivity on the Quest S.

The Flex 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 Quest doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Flex owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Flex will cost $430 less than the Quest over a five-year period.

The Flex will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the Flex will retain 44.16% to 46.27% of its original price after five years, while the Quest only retains 39.07% to 43.63%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Flex is less expensive to operate than the Quest because it costs $549 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Flex than the Quest, including $7 less for front brake pads, $111 less for a starter, $110 less for fuel injection, $91 less for a fuel pump and $176 less for front struts.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends the Ford Flex, based on reliability, safety and performance.

Strategic Vision rates overall owner satisfaction with vehicle quality. With a Total Quality Index of 864, Strategic Vision rated the Ford Flex 27 points higher than the Nissan Quest for 2015. The Flex is ranked first in its class and received the 2015 “Total Quality Award.”

The Flex was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 8 years. The Quest has never been an “All Star.”

The Ford Flex outsold the Nissan Quest by over two to one during the 2015 model year.

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