Top 10 cars for summer

8. Ford Flex

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    The 2013 Ford Flex, seen here at the LA Auto Show in Los Angeles this past November, is a solid people mover with more street cred than a minivan.
    Danny Moloshok/Reuters/File
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Not everyone can live with just four seats. For those who want to haul a few more kids, friends, or beach toys, the Ford Flex is a solid-looking people mover with more street cred than a minivan and more economy than an SUV. A modern rendition of a 1950s Woody Wagon with an almost Range Rover-esque face, the Flex comes off as a modern classic with heaps of utility.

The suggested retail price starts at just over $30,000 with the top-of-the-line spec coming in around $40,000. Fuel economy doesn’t seem great at 20 m.p.g. in mixed conditions, but considering you get seating for seven plus 20 cubic feet of cargo space (much more when you start folding down seats) it’s quite reasonable.

I love the different-color-roof option and sweeping chrome bars, but for those who really want to embrace “The Endless Summer” motif, a $900 “Woody” styling kit is available and apparently installable by the home enthusiast.

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