Ford’s recent update of the 2016 Explorer has brought not only styling changes but a new optional EcoBoost engine and more gadgets.
The new 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder produces 280hp and does a pretty good job of moving the Explorer around, even in four-wheel drive configuration. That is mainly due to the 310lb-ft (420Nm) of peak torque available from 3,000 rpm. It doesn’t sound too refined though.
Ford has also updated the suspension on the 2016 Explorer, but Consumer Reports’ Tom Mutchler says the SUV still feels heavy, unlike some of its competitors which offer more car-like driving characteristics. The review unveils more shortcomings due to the Explorer’s dated platform such as the poor visibility or narrow seats.
Sure, the Explorer continues to offer plenty of passenger room inside (even in the third row), but the reviewer’s conclusion is that Ford is just buying time with this update until a redesigned Explorer based on the Fusion platform arrives.