Earlier in the year, Ford let us know that a new Explorer was on the way, and today it unveiled the updated SUV. On the outside, the changes are fairly obvious and they include a revised grille, headlights, roof rack and rear spoiler. The heat sink for the LED headlights is visible to add a little more character to the revised and sleeker headlights. While I like this new look, I can’t help but feel that the front end is a little Range Rover-like
Inside, the updates are more subtle, but they are noticeable. The leather-wrapped armrests are slightly higher on the door panels, Ford added real buttons in place of the touch-sense buttons on the infotainment system, and there is “more refined detailing” throughout.
Also new for 2016 is a Platinum trim level. This range-topping trim pushes the Explorer into new levels of luxury with multi-contour front seats wrapped in micro-perforated Nirvana leather, brushed aluminum and satin-finished ash wood trim, a wood-trimmed and leather-wrapped steering wheel with a brushed-aluminum ford Oval front and center, quilted seat bolsters and upper door panels, a 10-inch digital display in the instrument panel, a 500-watt Sony audio system, LED headlights, and 20-inch wheels. Yeah, it’s fully loaded.
There are also some under-the-skin changes on the 2016 Explorer, with the most noticeable being the introduction of the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine to the midsize SUV. This turbocharged engine injects “at least” 270 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque into the 2016 Explorer and replaces the old, optional 2.0-liter EcoBoost. This engine will be available on the base and XLT trim levels of the 2016 Explorer. Revised suspension tuning is also part of the 2016 update. This new suspension improves the ride quality of the XLT and Platinum models, while improving the handling and feel of the Sport model. In fact, the latter receives its own exclusive steering gear, springs, struts and dampers to assure it delivers a completely different experience when compared to the rest of the Explorer lineup.
Look for the 2016 Explorer to hit showrooms in the summer if 2015. Ford has yet to reveal pricing details.