The Keypad is something of a retro-fit, it looks like the old dealer-installed keypad for vehicles that didn't have the option available from the factory. I know they've had to patch the Ranger together for the US market and make it work as best they can without a major overhaul and that was one fairly obvious compromise they had to make.
In November I negotiated a good deal on a 2019 Nautilus with the wonderful (stand alone) East West Lincoln dealership in the Maryland 'burbs of DC. They then enrolled me with Lincoln in some promotional program and Lincoln sent me a $3.000 certificate I can use to further reduce my purchase price. My vehicle was supposed to have been built last week (I was able to get such an early build date because the dealer amended an existing lot order instead of putting in a spanking new one), and I'm hoping to get it before the end of the year. That huge promotion on a "new" (well, rebranded and refreshed) vehicle was a bit of a surprise, but a nice one.
I think those are two different markets. Someone who wants an early Bronco doesn't necessarily want all the modern amenities and the person who wants a new Bronco might not be happy with the rough edges of an EB. You could say the same thing about classic vs new Mustangs. There is still a market for both.
We keep hearing about insane deals that Lincoln Motor Company is making in order to move product and keep customers. They're spending a fortune to keep Lincoln going, at least until they can get enough new product in production and available to the public to see if Lincoln can be viable long term.
My Nautilus Reserve was produced on on Oct 23 and nothing. Dealer had no information. Finally last week I contacted Lincoln Concierge as I was going to cancel order. Last Wed they advised that vehicle was in production. Don't know if this is to fix problems or to start over again. Was advised that they would monitor the situation and would advise when vehicle was in transit. Also Lincoln extended free maintenance for additional 2 years for inconvenience.
My dad was an engine engineer who worked in Ford's Triple-E Building back in the "Total Performance" days. He was always bringing home stuff for us to look at. Thankfully, I kept some of these old SAE brochures. Here's one which shows the 1963 Ford Indy engine which was based on the then-new 260. I love that the test mule was a 1963 Galaxie.
Generally with Fords the heater box requires the whole instrument panel to be pulled. Not sure if that's the case with the CV or not but I can say from 2003 on there wasn't really any change to it so that should be ok to use for reference.
A crew cab F150 has a MUCH longer wheelbase than your flex. I am not sure what else you are comparing your Flex with but I suspect your Flex is perfectly normal. Toyota has a reputation for floaty suspensions and less body control....particularly on the older Camrys. The newer ones are firmer and handle better. I haven't driven a Flex but I suspect it is a compromise between ride and nice body control.....although it might be firmer that you like.