Highlighted by a new “Platinum” trim level, the Explorer—the bestselling SUV in North America for the last 25 years—arrives a more luxurious, well-equipped and stylish vehicle than before.
Well, that last one–“stylish”—depends on where you’re sitting. There’s no doubt that the last Explorer was distinctive in its own right, perhaps even more so than it is now. The crazy lights, grille with optional body coloured inserts and rounded lines have given way to a more Range Rover-esque grille (with active grille shutters), the headlights are a little more reserved (and equipped with LEDs on some trims) and the front splitter gets larger foglights than the outgoing model’s round items. At the rear 3D LED headlights up the ante in the luxury department, as do the Platinum’s standard 20-inch wheels.
The big news for many is that the 2016 model will now be available with Ford’s new 2.3L EcoBoost turbo V6, already being used in the new Mustang; it’s expected to make 270 hp and 300 lb.-ft. in this application. Those looking for more power can go with either Sport ad Platinum models, which get a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 expected to make 365 hp, 5 hp more that what’s made by the Hemi V8 in the Dodge Durango Citadel.
Intelligent AWD returns unchanged from last year’s model. That’s no bad thing, because it remains a capable system that will get you out of most sticky (or muddy, or slippery) situations thanks to its four-mode set-up. Consisting of Normal, Snow, Sand and Mud, iAWD monitors wheel speed, steering angle and throttle inputs to determine both what the conditions and driver require. There’s even a new gauge display to let you know what’s going on underneath
Further pushing the luxury envelope, the Platinum Series gets what Ford’s says is the softest leather they’ve ever offered in a production car. Real wood inserts and real metal trim plus a digital gauge cluster complete the updated styling package.
The 2016 Explorer will go on sale summer of 2015.
Images 2016 Ford Explorer