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.