Review: 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum


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In the early 90’s, Ford Explorer started the whole SUV bloom with truck-like styling and large cargo space. For 2016, Ford overhaul the fifth generation Explorer with a new refine look, cutting edge technology, EcoBoost engine and luxurious interior. It’s able to compete with the high end SUV segment at a reasonable price. Courtesy of Ford, I’ve test drove the top of the line, 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum.

According to Ford, the Explorer is the most popular Ford SUV with millennial buyers ages 25 to 34. At the same time, Explorer has become a hot seller with women. Explorer is the most preferred midsize SUV among women buyers.

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The Ford Explorer is available in 5 trim models: Explorer, XLT, Limited, Sport and Platinum

Explorer starting at $33,499
– 3.5L Ti-VCT V6
– SYNC with MyFord
– LED taillights
– Rear view camera with washer
– Automatic LED Low-Beam Headlights
– 18″ painted aluminum wheels
– Cloth seats

Explorer XLT starting at $40,499
– 3.5L Ti-VCT V6
– SYNC with MyFord Touch
– Dual-zone electronic automatic temperature control
– Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start
– Leather-wrapped shift knob
– Premium Audio System – AM/FM single-disc CD player with nine speakers
– LED Signature Lighting
– Remote Start
– SecuriCode Keyless Entry Keypad
– Steering wheel, leather-wrapped with cruise control, 5-way controls and secondary audio controls

Explorer Limited starting at $48,399
– 3.5L Ti-VCT V6
– SYNC with MyFord Touch
– 3rd-row PowerFold 50/50 split-folding bench seat
– Ambient Lighting
– Foot-Activated Hands-Free Power Liftgate
– Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start
– 20″ premium painted aluminum wheels
– Perforated leather-trimmed climate-controlled front bucket seats
– 110V power outlet
– Premium Audio System from Sony with 12 speakers
– Front 180-degree Camera with Washer

Explorer Sport starting at $51,499
– 3.5L EcoBoost V6
– SYNC with MyFord Touch
– Intelligent 4WD
– Twin fascia-integrated chrome exhaust tips
– 20″ sport-styled aluminum wheels with machined face and painted pockets
– Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start
– Unique sport-tuned independent front and rear suspension
– Steering wheel, leather-wrapped with cruise control, 5-way controls and secondary audio controls
– Unique sport-styled, perforated leather-trimmed seats
– Industry-first Inflatable rear outboard safety belts

Explorer Platium starting at $59,099
– 3.5L EcoBoost V6
– SYNC with MyFord Touch
– Twin fascia-integrated chrome exhaust tips
– Dual-panel moonroof
– 20″ bright machined face with tarnished dark painted pockets wheel
– Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start
– Premium Sony Audio System with Clear Phase and Live Acoustics
– Enhanced active park assist with pull out assist, perpendicular park and flank guard
– Nirvana Leather with micro-perforation and quilted inserts, 1st row “Platinum” embroidery and Multi-contour driver and passenger seats
– 3rd-row PowerFold 50/50 split-folding bench seat
– Foot-Activated Hands-Free Power Liftgate
– Roof rack side rails – Satin Chrome

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The Platinum trim is a new addition for 2016. It’s equipped with the latest Ford innovation like front and rear 180 degree wide-angle lens cameras, Enhanced Active Park Assist, Hands Free Foot Activated Lifgate and a 500-watt Sony Audio System with Live Acoustics and Clear Phase.

Under the hood, it’s powered by a twin turbocharged 3.5 litre EcoBoost V6 rated at 365 hp and 350 lb ft. It delivered the performance of V8 with a fuel economy of a V6. It’s one of most fuel efficient engine with a rating of 14.9 city/10.7 highway/13.0 combined L/100km and can tow up to 5,000 pounds. It’s zippy going from 0 to 100 kmh in 5.9 seconds and the massive 20″ wheels handled the road well.

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Inside the Explorer, you are welcome by an upscale cabin. The dashboard featured satin wood accents and the steering wheel and seats are wrapped by soft Nirvana leather. Who does not want a massage while driving? The driver and passenger seats featured Multi-Contour with Active Motion. The Active Motion gives you lower back massage to help reduce muscle fatigue. In addition, the Active Motion system can inflate and deflate an array of four air bladders within the seat to increase blood flow and help prevent back pain.

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At the centre console is the SYNC with MyFord Touch infotainment system. SYNC with MyFord Touch allows you to interact through voice control, a touch screen tap or a conventional button. You can ask SYNC for restaurant suggestions by saying “I’m hungry.” When you paired your smartphone with SYNC, “Do Not Disturb” blocks incoming phone calls or text messages. Calls can be diverted to voicemail and text messages are saved on the device for later viewing. You can also make voice-activated outgoing calls, and SYNC 911 Assist is always on in case of emergency.

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SYNC with MyFord Touch makes it easy to connect to your music and entertainment. You can wireless stream music from your smartphone or listen to SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Your passengers can watch DVD movies from the headrest. This is great for family to keep your kids occupied during the trip.

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The 3-row seating arrangement can fit 7 passengers. There are plenty of head and legroom throughout the luxe cabin.

In case of an emergency, there’s front, side and knee airbags along with industry-first inflatable rear outboard safety belts and third row safety canopy system.

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Looking for a restaurant? Just say “I’m hungry”, the SYNC with MyFord Touch will suggest nearby restaurants and will direct you with audible turn-by-turn navigation.

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Drive with the peace of mind, the Explorer Platinum is equipped with 2 wide angle cameras and 12 ultrasonic sensors. Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) will help you detect vehicles in your blind spot when changing lanes and Cross Traffic Alert will help you detect approaching vehicles while backing up.

Parking this big SUV can be challenging, the Active Park Assist system eliminate the hassle of parking. When engaged, the system will scan for parallel or perpendicular parking space calculate the trajectory, and automatically steer the car into the space. All you have to do is shift, accelerate and brake, and Park Assist will take care of the steering. It also have Park Out Assist to help steer you out of a tight parallel parking space. Ford Active Park Assist is amazing and works perfectly every time.

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The premium 500 watt Sony audio system is only available in the Ford Explorer Platinum. The Sony Live Acoustics and Clear Phase technologies was  tuned to authentically reproduce the sound quality and signature ambience of concert halls in Amsterdam, Berlin and Vienna.

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With the Powerfold third-row seat, you can adjust trunk space to suit your needs. Whether it be keeping seat backs in the upright position, lowering seat backs for carrying cargo with flat load floor, or tumbling seat backs and cushions for tailgate rear-facing seats, all can be done with the simple push of a button.

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You can pack up to 2,314 litres (81.7 cu. ft.) of gear in back when you fold the 2nd and 3rd row seats flat. Or stow up to 595 litres (21.0 cu. ft.) of cargo behind the 3rd row when all seats are occupied. The cargo space is generous for hauling boxes, hockey equipments or snowboard gears.

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Loading cargo into the Explorer is easier with Foot-Activated Hands-Free Power Liftgate. Just kick your foot under the rear bumper, the liftgate detects the motion of your leg and opens or closes on its own. You can even adjust the liftgate height that works best for you.

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Beside the rear camera, the Explorer also has a front 180 degree camera with washer to help see around the corner.

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James Chung

Founder & Editor in Chief of Hello Vancity magazine. Email [email protected]

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