Ford is updating its Explorer for the 2016 model with a new premium trim level and a long list of updates that customers have been asking for.
The new design is a subtle update that works to improve the overall aerodynamic efficiency of the SUV by five percent. Along with a new grille and restyled rear spoiler are new headlights with LED light bars and new taillights. Active grille shutters also close at speed to reduce drag.
The new-for-2016 Platinum trim level takes the Explorer up-market with 20-inch wheels, satin chrome accents and a unique satin chrome grille, along with unique runners along the side and integrated exhaust pipes.
Ford is looking to deliver a true premium experience with the Platinum model which comes with every option available including some new features like 180 degree cameras front and rear (with integrated washers), a side sensor to let you know if you’re next to a pillar in a parking garage, an enhanced version of Ford’s active park assist system and a hands-free liftgate that opens just with the motion of your foot.
Platinum models also come standard with the brand’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost Twin-turbo V6 with 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, which was previously only available on the Sport model.
As for the rest of the lineup, the base 290-hp 3.5-liter V6 remains while Ford has swapped out the 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged 4-cylinder for a larger 2.3-liter unit with more power. The new unit makes 270 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, up 30 hp and torque respectively.
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Available even on the base model, Ford is now also offering the EcoBoost 4-cylinder with 4WD – something not previously possible.
Inside there are plenty of updates particularly on the Platimm trim. There’s real wood, brushed aluminum and leather coats every surface, with a unique stitch design. And to show just how special this model is, it gets a silver Ford logo (not a blue one) on the steering wheel.
But the single biggest change, and one that practically everyone has been asking for, might be what’s located on the center stack. Yes, the much maligned MyFord Touch system no longer has that awful touch sensitive setup, but real buttons.
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GALLERY: 2016 Ford Explorer Live Photos
GALLERY: 2016 Ford Explorer
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