A couple of months back, MT's Detroit editor, Todd Lassa, said in an item introducing the Ford Flex Titanium that you could option it into the 50K range -- right smack in the Lincoln MKT's wheelhouse.

The MKT, in case you aren't up on MK nomenclature (and really, who is), is Lincoln's version of the Flex, and it's supposedly more luxurious and otherwise gloriously differentiated from its Ford sibling. But tack on the Flex Titanium package with the EcoBoost engine option, and suddenly, there's not so much differentiation going on here short of the sheetmetal.

For a vehicle that starts right around 30 grand, the Flex is generally meant for the people-moving masses, a hipper (depending on what you consider hip) alternative to the minivan set, with lots of room for multiple humans and their stuff. But when you want it all, and you don't want it from the Lincoln dealer, you can now turn to the 2011 Ford Flex Titanium.

We recently had the chance to roll in a Titanium-clad Flex for a couple hundred miles around metro Detroit. The white platinum metallic tri-coat sprayed ($495 option) tester with a black top hat and the 3.5-liter EcoBoost option started at $45,195. Add on the paint, active park assist ($550), the second row 40/40 auto fold seats ($750), panoramic vista roof ($1495), second floor console ($100) with the refrigeration option ($795), and a $775 delivery charge and voila: This particular model checked in at $50,145. And that's without other options such as the entertainment package, which would push it even further past that magical 50 grand mark...

When the Titanium rolled up with its polished 20-inch aluminum rims shining and white tri-coat gleaming, there were plenty of snickers at the sticker. Okay, so this Flex is far from a value proposition, but it does have enough flash and dash to justify its price tag -- to a point.

Let's start with the flash part. Step inside this Flex, and you'll immediately notice the black leather seats with slick-looking white Alcantara inserts. This particular model also featured lots of slick black trim pieces, most definitely a step up from the garden variety Flex. In addition to the optional features, the Titanium comes with a raft of standard equipment, including a navigation system with real-time traffic updates, Ford's Sync, Sony audio system, Sirius satellite radio, backup camera, and power adjustable pedals.