Ford Flex versus Mini Cooper: Sure, size doesn’t matter, but still — who’s the femmest one of all?


MASCULIN, FEMININ | Ford’s Flex, above, packs a lot in a little frame; Britain’s Mini Cooper, below, is a sweet ride especially if you like showing off your sensitive side.

CASEY WILLIAMS  | Auto Reviewer

From a distance, the brick house Ford Flex and adorable little Mini Cooper look like remotely related siblings — love children from the Chevy Nomad and BMW Isetta. Both have elegant floating roofs in contrasting colors and two-box designs, but that’s where the man genes and feminine tendencies diverge. The Flex is great for families and high-adrenaline lifestyles, while the Mini fits a boy and his man plus enough luggage for a weekend at Fire Island. More than that makes them butch and femme, though. Let’s compare their manhoods.


Flex: Your grandmother’s Country Squire, with some junk in the trunk.
Mini: A tiny little Brit with a tiny little hood.

Room for number of friends on-board:
Flex: 6 – Pack all you want, queens — there’s plenty of space for that road trip to your favorite White Party.
Mini: 3 – And don’t even think about taking your cosmetics case. Oh yeah, we know.

Flex: 365hp EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 pumping like eight.
Mini: 121hp 1.6-liter, down on just fours.

Shoe size:
Flex: 20-in. – probably covering for something else.
Mini: 16-in. – little feet don’t mean little ….

Need to change the radio?
Flex: Press button, tell SYNC what you want. Please speak clearly because she’s a little hard of hearing.
Mini: Do it yourself, bitch!

Painting dark shades:
Flex: Kodiak Brown sounds like the name of a bear in drag.
Mini: Hot Chocolate is not just a delicious desert, but age-appropriate for the twink who drinks it.

Alter ego:
Flex: Neil Patrick Harris — fam and all.
Mini: Perez Hilton, who just keeps shrinking.

Last facelift:
Flex: 2013, including a smoother face, less bling and Ford MyTouch infotainment.
Mini: 2007. She still looks like the same old gal with flashy eyes, only prettier.

Tugging strength:
Flex: 4,500 lbs. — enough for a couple of watercraft, a shiny little Airstream or that fast and greasy muscle car you covet.
Mini: Just put the plastic kayak on the roof.

Flex: Debuts first production rear inflatable belts, “sees” obstacles with rear cross path detection and blind spot warnings.
Mini: Built like an under-desk jewel vault.

Flex: Dynamic, can automatically slow and accelerate depending on traffic.
Mini: Like, whatever. Wake up and put your foot on the brake!

Gas mileage:
Flex: Up to 18/25-MPG; 16/23 with the steamy motor.
Mini: 29/37-MPG manual. Hand back a point if you’re lazy. You can have a lot of fun with 13.2 gallons aboard.

Greatest talent:
Flex: Keeping your drinks cool in the middle row
Mini: Using rear sonar (what?) to back into spaces that would pinch a heel. Air-conditioned glove box for candy and Kool-Aid seems to fit its size.

Hails from:
Flex: Canada, where men are men and boys marry boys.
Mini: Britain, where men are princes and they all bow to an old queen.

Base price:
Flex: $30,885.That gym membership can cost, especially when you power up with a turbo and all-wheel-drive.
Mini: $20,400. I may seem cheap, but see what happens when John Cooper works me over.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 14, 2012.