2018 Lemon Aid New Car Reviews - People Carriers


The People Carrier category is one that encompasses vehicles that are essentially passenger cars that can seat more than five people.

While this segment proved very popular in other markets, it failed to find adherents in North America and is fast losing ground overseas as buyers clamour for vehicles with SUV styling. The only real sales success in this segment has been the Dodge Journey, which has always marketed itself as a crossover, and sells in large numbers.

With the Kia Rondo and the Mazda 5 discontinued and the other entries in the category past their retirement age, this segment is now essentially toast.

Dodge Journey  Kia Rondo  Mazda 5 
Ford Flex  Lincoln MKT   

2018 Dodge Journey

 


 

 

What’s new
No changes of note for the Journey in its TENTH year on the market. 

Performance
The 3.6L-V6 is strong, smooth and works very well with its six-speed automatic transmission. The 2.4L four has enough power to move the Journey at a reasonable clip, but except when cruising, the engine sounds harsh and wheezy. Good ride and handling for a vehicle of this type. The steering is nicely weighted but a bit numb. Elegant dashboard with clear gauges and logical controls. The cabin is carefully assembled from attractive components. Cabin space is ample in the first two rows, but the third row is meant for the small and agile. The second and third row seats fold to reveal a long, regularly-shaped cargo bed that is deep below the window line. Cargo space is tight when the third seat is up.
Comments
Two engines, a 2.4L four and a 3.6L-V6 are offered on front-wheel drive Journeys. Transmission choices are a four-speed automatic with the 2.4L and a six-speed automatic with the 3.6L V6. All-wheel drive is offered only with the V6-engined models. Even though the 17,000 Journey's sold 2016 made it the best-selling vehicle in this segment, sales were down a staggering 9000 units from the year before.     

Pricing
Very low MSRP with the Value Plus package. The SE Plus trim is very expensive considering what you receive but it includes features such as dark tinted glass, a cargo blind and a roof rack. The front-wheel drive V6 SXT is priced $3300 more than a 2.4L SE. All-wheel drive is a $4200 option on the SXT trim. Compared with the all-wheel drive, the GT all-wheel drive model is a bargain, The Crossroad trim is overpriced. Three-row seating is a $395 option on V6 Journeys but costs $1575 extra with the 2.4L four. Heavy depreciation on high-end models.
Reliability
Below average reliability on 2009-2011 models. Unproven 3.6L V6. Rapid brake wear on earlier versions of the Journey. 

Specifications


Body Style:  4SW
Occupants:  2/3, 2/3/2

Engines:
2.4L-4 (173 HP), 3.6L-V6 (283 HP)*,  

Transmissions: 4A, 6A*
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*

City Fuel Economy: 12.7L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy: 9.2L/100 km
Active Safety Features: None
Additonal airbags:: Knee airbag for the driver

Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000
Current Generation Debut: 2009
Country of Origin:  Mexico

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: P

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: 


2018 Ford Flex, Lincoln MKT

 


 

What’s new
Flex: no change for the Flex in its TENTH year on the market. MKT: Still with us despite virtually no sales. 

Performance
The strong base V6 in the Flex moves the car with authority but the EcoBoost Turbo delivers astonishingly rapid acceleration without any drama. Both engines are well-matched to the smooth, responsive six-speed automatic transmission. Compliant suspension, stable handling and nicely weighted steering make the Flex a pretty agile bus that excels on long highway runs. The dashboard has clear gauges and a logical centre stack arrangement. The rest of the cabin is very chic and nicely finished. The Flex features comfortable seats, and legroom is abundant in the second row and reasonable in the third row. All who travelled in the Flex were charmed by it, with middle row passengers feeling especially pampered. Unlike many three row people carriers, cargo space is quite good with the third-row seat up, and expansive when the second and third-row seats are folded. The Lincoln MKT is a smoother, quieter, more luxurious version of the Flex.

Comments
The Flex and MKT are built on the same Volvo-derived platform that also underpins the Taurus and Explorer. Considering they are both quasi-suvs built on the same component set, Ford has done a good job at differentiating the Flex from the Explorer. Except for towing capacity, the Flex, with more second-row legroom, a much more elegant cabin and easier ingress-egress, is a much nicer vehicle than the Explorer. Despite their inherent goodness, neither the Flex nor the MKT has been embraced by the public, with the Ford selling roughly 2600 units in 2016 and the Lincoln, a meagre 102, not enough to justify its being on sale. .
Pricing
Flex: All-wheel drive, standard on the Limited, is a $2000 option on the SEL and not offered on the SE. The cost to upgrade from the SE to the SEL is significantly overpriced for what your get but the Limited is reasonable value compared with an all-wheel drive SEL. At $6800, the turbo V6 engine is an outrageously expensive option. MKT: All-wheel drive and the turbo V6 are standard on all MKTs. Fully loaded, the MKT is roughly $6500 more expensive than a similarly-equipped Flex turbo. 

Reliability
Not rated due to insufficient sales. Unproven turbo V6. A Ford extended warranty is recommended if you plan to keep your car past the warranty period.

Specifications


Body Style: 4SD
Occupants: 2/3

Engines:
3.5L-V6 (287 HP Flex)*, 3.5L-V6 T (365 HP Flex and MKT) 
Transmissions: 6A
Drive Layout: Front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive*
City Fuel Economy:  14.7L/100 km
Highway Fuel Economy:  10.2L/100 km
Active Safety Features: Available blind spot and rear cross traffic warnings. Available adaptive cruise control with collision mitigation and brake support.
Additional airbags: None
Warranty: 3/60,000, 5/100,000 (Ford), 4/80,000, 6/110,000 (Lincoln)
Current Generation Debut: 2009
Country of Origin: Canada

IIHS Ratings:

Sml. Front: A

Mod. Front: G

Side: G

Roof: G

Rear: G

NHTSA Rating: