Over the 25 years that the Explorer has been sold, it has progressively moved on up, from a basic, family-oriented rough wagon to car that today feels more sophisticated. Because of some of its equipment levels, it feels like it should wear a luxury badge. The 2016 Ford Explorer gets a major refresh, now it has more smoother bodywork, upgraded feature set, quieter interior, and a stronger 2.3L EcoBoost four-cylinder joining the engine lineup. If you think that’s all, you are wrong, with the new model, Ford is finally maximizing its potential with the introduction of a new Platinum model.
Engine, Performance, Specs
Three models (base, XLT, and Limited) will offer a 290-hp 3.5-liter V-6 engine mated to a 6-speed automatic, with a choice between front-wheel drive and intelligent on-demand four-wheel drive (including four terrain modes). This unit delivers 255 pound-foot of torque. The 2016 Ford Explorer Sport and Platinum models get the 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V-6, making 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. According to Ford the SUV will keep its class-leading fuel economy numbers, which are up to 28 mpg on the highway with the current 2.0-liter engine. The 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder unit has been replaced by the new 2.3-liter EcoBoost, pumping out around 270 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of twist. This engine is optional on base, XLT, and Limited models and for the first time it will allow pairing with four-wheel drive. The automaker has also introduced new engine sub-frame mounts that are tuned to reduce vibration.
Exterior and Interior Design
Ford has changed just about everything except the side sheet metal. With new front and rear styling, the 2016 Ford Explorer now has a more defined and stylishly detailed look than ever before. It appears that designers put a lot of effort to visually lift the front end, with a higher, more defined mesh grille, while the LED lighting rows provide accents and even the headlights have their own small radiator grilles. As far as the back goes, there’s a new spoiler and integrated exhaust tips, while the rear pillars are redesigned.
While there was no major redesigning of the interior, there are some changes that are noticeable. Almost all buttons have been replaced with touch-sensitive ones, and the armrests are softer and raised. Power-folding seats are now available, also a hands-free tailgate that is activated with a kick of the foot. The new 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum model gets a satin-chrome body side, satin-chrome mirror caps, dual-panel moonroof, adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support, lane-keeping, enhanced park assist, 500-watt Sony audio, leather-wrapped door and console inserts, super-soft Nirvana leather seats. The windshield and front door glass are now made from the acoustic glass, except for the base model.
2016 Ford Explorer Prices, Release Date
The SUV goes on sale this summer and despite all the improvements, the base model price will remain unchanged. The new 2016 Ford Explorer price is starting at $30,700. The XLT starts at $33,400, the Limited at $41,300 and the Sport at $43,300. The new Platinum model, which comes with every option available, starts considerably higher at 52,600 US dollars.