by Tony West and Daryl Payne
Ford souped-up their popular SUV adding new sophisticated swag inside and out. The 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum exceeded my high expectations with its efficient Ecoboost V6, highway prowess with all-wheel drive and its illustrious interior – all with a $53k base price. The Ford Explorer Platinum is one of Editor’s Sommer favorite trucks to whip. The 2016 model adds more chrome trim, active grill shutters, a dual moonroof, hands-free liftgate and a bangin new 12 speaker Sony Audio System.
Exterior A-list Performance Swag
The dope new Ford Explorer Platinum boasts new LED headlights and tail lights, configurable daytime running lights, satin chrome door handles, and LED welcome lighting on the doors and side mirrors.
The big-body adds standard air curtains that keeps airflow closer to the body to reduces drag. Active grill shutters in the cool new 3D mesh grille, close at high speeds and open at low speeds to cool the powertrain. Also cool are the power folding side mirrors, the body color rear spoiler, 2nd and 3rd row privacy glass, keyless entry and dual exhaust tips. And the big-body looks saucy with the 20 inch bright machined-aluminum wheels
Lush Interior with Advanced Infotainment
The interior of the new Ford Explorer Platinum was cool and functional two years ago- but now it’s a lux-mobile theater. Boasting supple micro-perforated Nirvana leather, the 8 passenger SUV has heated front and 2nd row seats, ventilated front seats, wood grain accents, and a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel. Interior color options include Soft Ceramic or a new Ebony with Anthracite headliner combination. Nirvana leather wraps the instrument panel, console armrest, quilted door bolsters and upper door trim.
Aluminum trims the center stack buttons and shifter. And real ash wood appliques decorate the door panels. The 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum also has a dope dual moon roof and a new brushed aluminum emblem on the steering wheel. I also liked the silver scuff plates.
The driver’s dash is a 10 inch display with a large gauges and a multi info display in the center. The left MID has functions for driver assist settings like the cross traffic alert, traction control and blind spot monitor, along with settings for MyKey, vehicle alarm, lighting, locks, mirror, remote start, and wipers and a boatload more. The real fun is discovering all the ways the Ford Explorer’s safety and comfort functions can be customized.
Riding in the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum with is premium design and functionality at the my fingertips, is like swerving a mini private jet with a digi-cockpit. The center stack is a clean design with a combination of button and touch surfaces. The cool 8 inch touch screen features SYNC with MyFord Touch along with controls for the Sony premium sound system. Sirius Satellite Radio is included. SYNC works with smartphones and MP3 devices to play media. MyFord Touch makes controlling the climate, audio, navigation and phone easy by having an easy-access button for the 4 function groups on the corners of the screen.
The Sony audio system employs Live Acoustics and Clear Phase technology, both a first for Ford. At the core of the system are 12 high-power speakers, 2 6×9 inch door woofers and a Class D amplifier for a maximum of 500 watts.
Clear Phase technology makes the music sound clear and pristine, and it eliminated sound distortions. Live Acoustic tech makes passengers feel every note like they’re at a live show.
Versatile Performance Turbo and Tranquil
Other than the dope exterior and tricked interior, the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum’s performance is its best feature. The Platinum has a standard 3.5 liter twin-turbo Ecoboost engine with 365 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 350 lb-ft of torque at 3,500 rpm. The Ecoboost engine is matched to a 6 speed SelectShift automatic transmission with Grade Assist.
The Ford Explorer Platinum has a smooth nimble performance ideal for most terrain or weather conditions, except the slippery snow-packed Chicago side-streets. It boasts a combined EPA of 18 mpg highway (16 mpg city/ 22 mpg highway.) In optimal comfort, the Ford Explorer Platinum hugs the road softly, but can jet from a standstill with Porsche-like aggression.
And Intelligent Four-wheel drive continuously monitors wheel speed, throttle position, and steering wheel angle to determine vehicle conditions and calculates the precise amount of torque to deliver to the front and rear wheels.
Sport (S) mode provides more braking power and extends lower gear operations to enhance performance for climbing hills and mountains. Sport mode boasts more agile driving, responsive steering and quicker gearshifts.
Grade Assist, adjustable with a button on the shifter, provides additional grading braking to help maintain speed when descending a grade.
The 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum also boasts a plethora of safety features and new technology that makes it the safest most advanced yet, starting with a new 180 degree camera with expanded front and rear views and washers for each. Also new and dope for 2016 is the park assist function that now features Perpendicular Park Assist and Park-Out Assist. Park-out assist helps drivers pull out of spots. And Active Park Assist will locate a spot -either perpendicular or parallel and steer the Explorer in as the driver is working the accelerator and brake.
The Terrain Management System is adjustable with a dial near the shifter, and features a Grass/Gravel/Snow mode, a Sand mode, Normal Mode, and Mud/Ruts mode for maneuvering with added traction and adjusted steering, throttle mapping, and braking.
Other standard features with the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum include the Trailer Sway Control, Brake Assist, Hill Start Assist, ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution, a Blind Spot Information System, Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control, AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control, and Electric Power Steering.
Dope is the Adaptive Learning EPS that helps correct road abnormalities by optimizing handling and steering. Curve Control, a cool new technology, helps the Explorer Platinum corner with precision and stability.
The Lane Keeping System gently pushes the Explorer Platinum back in its lane when drifting by gently correcting steering. And the Pre Collision System alerts drivers of an impending collision with a warning and will employ emergency braking support.
The Driver Alert System auto monitors driver behavior and in the case of drowsiness or drifting, the system with alert the driver.
The 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum features a Class III Trailer Tow Package and a 5,000 max towing capacity.
The 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum trounces on its competition with a very affordable base price for its premium interior and efficient powertrain. It’s the perfect truck for busy parents who still wanna look cool, and take the family on trips camping, or to the beach.