What Is It?
2016 Ford Explorer
What's New About This Model?
For 2016, the Ford Explorer gets revised exterior styling, a new engine option, updated safety features and a new top end trim level. All of its exterior and interior dimensions remain unchanged.
A new Platinum trim level is now the top-of-the-line model in the lineup. It's a fully loaded Explorer with unique trim features and a standard EcoBoost V6 engine and four-wheel drive.
The base, XLT and Limited trim levels come standard with a 3.5-liter V6 but can be upgraded to a new 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder. It replaces the previous 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine and is expected to deliver around 270 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. Also new is the option of combining the four-cylinder EcoBoost engine with four-wheel drive.
When Does It Go on Sale?
Ford expects the 2016 Explorer to arrive at dealerships in the summer of 2015.
How Much Does It Cost?
Base pricing on the Explorer won't change, so prices will start at $31,595. More detailed pricing for the rest of the lineup will be released closer to launch.
How Many Body Styles and Trim Levels Are There?
The Explorer remains a four-door midsize SUV only. A new Platinum trim level has been added for 2016 that brings the total number of trims to five: Base, XLT, Limited, Sport and Platinum.
The new Platinum trim is designed for shoppers looking for a fully loaded Explorer with a unique look. In addition to its standard twin-turbo V6 engine, the Platinum features unique suspension tuning, additional sound-deadening material, unique quilted seat leather, aluminum interior trim, heated second-row seats, a 500-watt audio system and 20-inch wheels and tires.
What Kind of Engines and Transmissions Does It Have?
- 3.5-liter V6 — 290 hp, 255 lb-ft of torque
- 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder — 270 hp, 300 lb-ft torque (est.)
- 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 — 365 hp, 350 lb-ft torque (est.)
- Six-speed automatic transmission
- Front- or four-wheel drive
What Unique Features Does It Offer?
New for this year are a number of unique pieces of technology. This Explorer offers cameras both front and rear that show a full 180-degree view on the dashboard screen. Not only that, but they also have their own washers to clear the lenses in bad weather.
For those who fear tight parking spaces, the Explorer also offers electronic park assist systems that will guide you into both parallel and perpendicular spaces. Parking sensors added to the front and side of the vehicle also give audible warnings if you're getting too close to another vehicle or a barrier.
What Models Will It Compete Against?
Chevrolet Traverse: Although it's older than most of its competitors, the Traverse is still competitive thanks to its spacious cabin, strong performance and smooth ride.
Hyundai Santa Fe: This three-row vehicle offers similar features and space along with a strong warranty and sharp styling.
Toyota Highlander: Recently redesigned, the latest Highlander has a family-friendly cabin with three rows of seating and all the latest technology features.
Should You Wait for It?
If the combination of the more powerful EcoBoost engine with four-wheel drive is exactly what you've been waiting for, then the 2016 is worth the wait. The rest of the changes are merely welcome updates to an already well packaged and fully featured three-row SUV.