2016 Ford Explorer Gets a New Face, 2.3L EcoBoost Engine and Platinum Grade

Ford has applied a comprehensive facelift to its Explorer SUV, which gets a redesigned front end, an available 2,300cc EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, all-new Platinum series and more technology.

Going on sale next summer just in time for the Explorer’s 25th anniversary, the 2016 model gains a new face with slimmer headlights and U-shaped fog lights, both offered with available LED technology. A new mesh grille positioned higher than before, closed-off lower roof rack with channels that cascade rainwater off the vehicle, rear spoiler and restyled taillights complete the exterior changes.

Inside, the 2016 Explorer gets a higher wrapped and stitched door armrest, real buttons to replace touch-sense buttons on the infotainment system and more refined detailing.

The refreshed model can now be had with Ford’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder turbocharged engine which is slightly less powerful than on the Mustang, producing at least 270 hp and at least 300 lb-ft (406 Nm) of torque. The new engine replaces the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder available for the current model. Available on the base, XLT and Limited series, the 2.3-liter EcoBoost is expected to deliver 12.5 percent more horsepower and 11 percent more torque over the current 2.0-liter unit. Ford says it also improves highway passing times 10 percent at speeds between 55 mph and 75 mph.

The standard engine for base, XLT and Limited models remains the 3.5-liter V6 producing 290 hp and 255 lb-ft (345 Nm) of torque, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Explorer Sport and the Platinum edition get a standard 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 with an estimated 365 horsepower and estimated 350 lb-ft (474 Nm) of torque, also mated with a six-speed automatic.

Another highlight of the 2016 Ford Explorer is the new Platinum series grade, which gives the SUV a more luxurious appearance in and out. Exterior upgrades include standard LED headlights with signature lighting, a standard dual-panel moon roof, silver-painted front and rear skid plate elements and 20-inch wheels with bright machine face and tarnished dark painted pockets.

The Platinum series brings more enhancements inside, including new multi contour front seats wrapped in Nirvana leather with micro-perforation, special quilted stitching, brushed aluminum and satin-finished ash wood on all door panels and the instrument panel, wood-trimmed, leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel with brushed aluminum Ford oval and more.

As for new technology features, the 2016 Explorer gets front and rear cameras with washers, enhanced active park assist with perpendicular park assist, park-out assist and semi-automatic parallel parking, smart-charging USB ports throughout, hands-free liftgate, 500-watt Sony Audio System, Active Grille Shutters and air curtains.


  • james

    This looks to be heavily influenced by the new Discovery Sport!

    • Rafał Szychowski

      Pre-lifted version looks better.

  • Gustavo Adriano

    Are we backing to 80’s? What kind of headlights are these? Not only the headlights but the grille too…

  • slavo

    every ford dashboard is outdated

  • The dog that humped your leg

    The headlights make it look cheap and the grille looks like a Land Rover knock off. I think the current MY looks better.

  • Zero interest in approach angles.

  • mccarluvr123

    I know I’ve said this in a previous artocle, but this really should have a trapezoidal grille like the Edge and Fusion. Ford has almost no consistency between their cars and their CUV/SUVs.

  • NG212

    Chinese Range Rover?

    I kid. But seriously, I still prefer the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

  • Joey

    Isn’t the current model better looking?

  • john1168

    This looks good! Ford FINALLY addressed the instrument panel and put an equal size tach next to the speedo. Looks much better than the old dinner plate sized speedo with the microscopic tach. The outside looks really good and the interior looks fantastic! Just one thing… Where’s the 9 speed auto??? I wouldn’t buy this with the 6 speed. I’m guessing next year or so for the 9 speed?

  • JK

    Front end is a step back like others have said here.

  • NickS

    I like it very much overall, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it an improvement. It’s more generic now in a way that reminds me a lot of the Suzuki Grand Vitara. Not really a bad thing, as it was a handsome little suv in its own right, but probably not what I would want a near-$60K Ford to remind me of.

  • Zandit75

    Loving the look of the Blue Platinum one. You can keep the wood trim though, didn’t think they still used it!

  • MarketAndChurch

    I think it looks great, you see these all over upper middle class suburbs, the squared off front-end gives the vibe of a Land Rover LR4, although most who are familiar with Ford products will more immediately relate this to the former Ford Freestyle, which isn’t a good connotation lol, but I think it works on a true CUV(as opposed to a sporty-wagon). It’s a competent update, I think the Platinum looks better then top-trim GMC Acadia or a Chevy Traverse, or Honda Pilot, or Kia Sorento, or Toyota Highlander, or a Nissan Pathfinder, who are its main competitors, and should survive the Explorer for the next 3 years.

  • Jeep and Land Rover are happy to annouce the Birth of Explorer on November 2014. Is really Land Wind the biggest Copycat?!?! It seems Ford can’t let go the fact JLR and Aston Martin are no longer part of the group, since they sold those brands they take all theyre designs clues. Sad

    • auto56489


  • Angel

    So much hate.. probably by kids that can never afford one.

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