I’ve been dithering over what to get to replace the Avalanche since well before I had it paid off.  I was looking for something that could carry at least four people and two dogs and that would be easier for the dogs to get into and out of, particularly since Malcolm (the Collie) is not coordinated enough to climb like Boots can.

I finally got serious about it last week and decided to take a really close look at the Ford Flex.  It’s lower to the ground, has room for 6 or 7 people (depending on the chosen options), and the rear seats can fold down for the dogs.  After checking with my credit union to line up financing, I went to Five Star Ford (NRH) last Friday afternoon and spent about three hours with a lady from their credit union/fleet department test driving a couple of models (the SEL and Limited).  She was very easy to work with and (unlike the ‘regular’ part of the dealership) didn’t try to pressure me into taking what’s on the lot or any particular options.  She took the time to look around the area and find a Flex with the exact options that I wanted.  In particular, I wanted a Flex Limited with the 40-40 second row but without a console (and especially without that silly refrigerator option).  I also wanted the dark blue (what Ford calls “Kona Blue”).  It turned out that there was exactly ONE model within 300 miles, located at a dealership in Houston.  She called them and arranged a dealer trade.

So, as of 6:00pm yesterday, I traded in the Avalanche and I am now the owner of a 2011 Ford Flex Limited in Kona blue with silver roof:

Flexter?  Needs a nickname... Flex from the back.

It’s a little strange to NOT be driving a truck or SUV, since I’ve been driving them since 1993.  But I think this is a good compromise.  It’s got nice upright seating, and you can see fairly well, but you don’t have to climb into and out of it.  Another plus is that the second row seating has a lot of legroom.  I put the driver’s seat all the way back and was still able to easily get in and out of the second row (and had lots of room to stretch out).

Besides, I wasn’t using the capabilities of the Avalanche to its fullest: I haven’t towed anything in many years (since I moved to Keller) and I used the AWD maybe twice in the 7 years I had it.  So I really couldn’t see getting another SUV.  If I need to tow or haul, I can rent a truck or get a hitch fitted to the Flex when the need arises.

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