Greene Ford Compares 2018 Ford Flex VS 2017 Dodge Grand Near Flowery Branch, GA

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2018 Ford Flex

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VS

2017 Dodge Grand

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 Grand Caravan 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 Grand Caravan 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 Grand Caravan doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Flex has standard 911 Assist, 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 Grand Caravan 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 Grand Caravan 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, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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 Grand Caravan:

 

Flex

Grand Caravan

Overall Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

POOR

Restraints

ACCEPTABLE

POOR

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

49

230

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

 

Steering Column Movement Rearward

11 cm

17 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Femur Force R/L

2.8/2.2 kN

13.4/4 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

100%/1%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Tibia index R/L

.53/.69

2.29/.9

Tibia forces R/L

.7/.8 kN

3.5/3.4 kN

Warranty Comparison

The Flex’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Grand Caravan runs out after 60,000 miles.

There are over 31 percent more Ford dealers than there are Dodge dealers, which makes it 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 a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Flex’s reliability 24 points higher than the Grand Caravan.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 22nd, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 31st in reliability. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 32nd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Ford 8 places higher in reliability than Dodge.

Engine Comparison

The Flex’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 4 more horsepower (287 vs. 283) than the Grand Caravan’s 3.6 DOHC V6. The Flex Limited’s optional 3.5 turbo V6 produces 82 more horsepower (365 vs. 283) and 90 lbs.-ft. more torque (350 vs. 260) than the Grand Caravan’s 3.6 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 Grand Caravan doesn’t offer a cap-less 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 Grand Caravan are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Flex has larger standard tires than the Grand Caravan (235/60R18 vs. 225/65R17). The Flex’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Grand Caravan (255/45R20 vs. 225/65R17).

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 Grand Caravan’s standard 65 series tires. The Flex’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Grand Caravan’s 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Flex offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Grand Caravan’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For superior ride and handling, the Ford Flex has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Dodge Grand Caravan has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Flex has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Grand Caravan doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

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 Grand Caravan doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The Flex’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (54.4% to 45.6%) than the Grand Caravan’s (56% to 44%). This gives the Flex more stable handling and braking.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Flex has 2 inches more front headroom, 1.9 inches more front legroom, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, 7.8 inches more rear legroom, .8 inches more third row headroom and .6 inches more third row legroom than the Grand Caravan.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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

The Flex’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Grand Caravan’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

Ergonomics Comparison

When two different drivers share the Flex (except SE), the optional memory system makes it convenient for both. Each keyless remote activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position, foot pedal distance and outside mirror angle. The Grand Caravan doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Flex (except SE)’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Grand Caravan doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Flex’s front power windows open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Grand Caravan’s front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

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 Grand Caravan doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

Intelligent Access Key standard on the Flex SEL/Limited allows you to unlock the driver’s door, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Dodge Grand Caravan doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The Flex SE/SEL’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Grand Caravan’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Flex Limited’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

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 Grand Caravan only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

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 Grand Caravan has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SXT/GT.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Flex has standard extendable sun visors. The Grand Caravan doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 Grand Caravan doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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 Grand Caravan 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 Grand Caravan 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. Bluetooth costs extra on the Grand Caravan.

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 Grand Caravan doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

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

The Flex is ranked first in its class and received the 2015 “Total Quality Award.” The Grand Caravan is not ranked.

The Flex was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 9 years. The Grand Caravan hasn’t been picked since 1998.

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