Explorer slots between Edge and Flex on the small side, and larger Expedition on the other end. This full-size crossover can seat up to seven passengers and still offer plenty of space, both for them and their cargo. 2016 Ford Explorer had just made its debut at the LA Auto Show and wears a new makeup after mid-cycle refresh.
Under the Hood
Besides a new look, Explorer now features new addition to its lineup as new range-topping Platimnum model joins current base, XLT, Limited and Sport versions. Also new is optional 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 engine which replaces current 2.0L option and puts up 270 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. Standard engine remains unchanged as 3.5L V6 still kicks and delivers 290 hp and 255 lb-ft of torque, while Sport models are reserved for stronger 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine making 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. Transmission was kept intact and 6-speed automatic gearbox is still standard across the board, while all models get the choice between standard front and optional all-wheel drive.
Design – Interior and Exterior
2016 Ford Explorer features new front end fascia with refreshed rectangular grille which comes in all-black or with chrome adornments. Headlights are now also conventionally rectangular, while foglights look like F 150’s headlamps. All this, together with revised bumper makes new Explorer looking much more serious. Around the back, it gets new roof pillars, tail-lights, exhaust pipes and new roof-mounted spoiler, while everything else pretty much remains the same.
Interior is also changed to some extent, but the biggest change is in new Platinum grade which further enhances Explorers’ refinement. Cloth and leather seats are standard yet again, while new top model gets Nirvana leather seats with wood cabin accents which are also available in Limited and Sport models as well. Platinum level also adds interior LED lighting, dual-panel moonroof and new Sony 500-watt sound system. Rest of the lineup doesn’t get more than 390-watts in 12 speakers, but still benefits from all available connectivity options like Bluetooth, USB port and auxiliary jacks.
All models but the entry-level one get the standard 4.2-inch touch screen display, while 8-inch upgrade with navigation is also available and brings HD radio and SiriusXM satellite radio and traffic too. Rearview camera, blind spot information display and cross-traffic alerts are optional, and so is adaptive cruise control, but only with top grades. Otherwise, whole lineup gets standard airbag system, stability and traction controls and anti-lock brakes.
2016 Ford Explorer Price and MPG
Ford stated that introduction of slightly bigger powertrain won’t have a great impact on Explorer’s fuel economy as 2.3L eco booster should put up 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Otherwise, base engine is still rated at 20 or 19 mpg combined with front or all-wheel drive respectively, while Sport models return the figures in 18 mpg combined range. Prices should remain the same for current lineup which is available between $31,000 and $44,000, while Platinum models should fit the bill someplace at the top.
2016 Ford Explorer is now even better vehicle with more possibilities in both powertrain and feature department without significant changes in fuel efficiency which is a good thing in this particular instance. This family crossover offers abundance of space and still comes with reasonable prices.