Ford is the new name in luxury crossovers

2016 Ford Explorer Review

The Explorer that brings it all to the table

By: Amos Kwon

Web2Carz Editor-In-Chief

Published: February 1st, 2016

The 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum is the new name in luxury crossovers. This SUV doesn't have a Lincoln stamp, but rather the Blue Oval badge - albeit, in classy brushed aluminum. Ford's mid-cycle refresh of its best-selling model makes thoughtful adjustments, without screwing up its winning recipe. The Platinum is for the customer who "wants it all" - style, luxury, performance, and space. The new Explorer delivers improved power, handling, and features with a top-of-the-food-chain Platinum trim to rival its German counterparts.

  • Exterior: The most handsome Explorer to date!

    Exterior styling changes to the Explorer are subtle, but the overall result is one elegant-looking vehicle. The front fascia sees more robust headlamps with LEDS in front and back. The radiator-like grille has been pushed up a bit higher to become more integrated with the front lights.

    • The Platinum enjoys upgraded standard features like a dual-panel moonroof, silver-painted front and rear skid plate elements, and 20-inch bright machined face wheels.
    • Satin trim also grazes the door handles and side mirrors, giving the Explorer a classy, put-together look.
    • Premium paint jobs like our Bronze Fire Metallic will cost $395 extra, but it looks sharp!

  • Interior: Why settle when you can have it all?

    Like we stated previously, the Platinum Explorer comes fully-loaded with all the bells and whistles you could ever want. Passengers will ride in ultimate comfort, with quilted leather seats that even have Platinum stitched into them at the top. Inside is a mix of high-end textures and materials that incorporates brushed-aluminum and satin-finished ash wood in multi-piece appliques on the door panels and instrument panel.

    • Nirvana leather wraps the instrument panel, with a 10-inch digital display front and center of the instrument cluster.
    • The steering wheel is also leather-wrapped, wood-trimmed, and emblazoned with a brushed aluminum Ford badge in the center.
    • The second row gets heated captain chairs with ample room to stretch out, though third-row leg room is a bit tight.
    • More USB charging ports have been added for convenience, and another welcome change is the addition of tactile buttons for the MyFord Touch system, though it is a busy-looking centerstack.
    • Platinum also gets a new 500-watt Sony audio system for enhanced acoustics.

  • Driving Impressions: Bringing the power

    Here is where the Platinum gets really exciting - under the hood. Ford has expanded the number of vehicles that are powered by its 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost, also enjoyed by the fierce F-150. The Platinum gets V8-like thrust with V6 fuel economy. It's revised suspension is comfort-oriented, but not sloppy, giving a smooth, linear driving feel. The steering won't be as sharply tuned as in the Sport, but it can still corner confidently and change lanes swiftly. It also has great pickup, given its size, and delivers a quiet ride. In addition, the Platinum comes with just about every safety and tech feature the Explorer has to offer.

    • Standard on the Platinum is a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 with a six-speed automatic.
    • Boasts 365 hp, 350 lb-ft, and 5,000 pound towing capacity.
    • Standard all-wheel drive.
    • EPA-estimated fuel-economy rating of 16 city, 22 highway, and 18 combined.
    • Enhanced park assist feature that will parallel park for you and help you pull in and out of a perpendicular space.
    • Rain-sensing wipers, adaptive cruise control, 180-degree camera, and washers for the front and rear cameras.

  • Final Say: It earns luxury credentials

    While the Ford Explorer might not be the first vehicle that pops into your mind when thinking about luxury crossovers, the Platinum makes a strong case for why it should be on your list for consideration. The upscale, refined, three-row crossover combines the luxury features of the Limited with the enhanced performance of the Sport. The Platinum comes loaded with all the latest tech, safety, and comfort amenities, all nicely wrapped up in an attractive presentation that exudes confidence. With a starting price of $52,600 the Platinum is Ford's most expensive Explorer, but it's one of the cheaper luxury SUVs. When it comes down to it, what the Platinum offers is sophisticated value.

  • Specifications & Price

    Engine: 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6

    Transmission: Six-speed automatic

    Drivetrain Layout: Front-engine, all-wheel drive

    Power Output: 365 horsepower / 350 lb-ft

    Fuel Economy (mpg): 16 city / 22 highway

    Base Price: $52,600

    As Tested: $54,635 (incl. $945 destination)

    Standard Features: LED lights, moonroof, rain-sensing wipers, second row heated seats, leather-wrapped interior, premium audio system, enhanced active park assist, adaptive cruise control, front 180-degree camera, lane-keeping system, forward collision warning

    Options on our test vehicle: Second-row bucket seats, Bronze Fire Metallic paint

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• For more information such as specs, prices, and photos of the 2016 Ford Explorer, click here: 2016 Ford Explorer.