The 2016 Ford Explorer isn’t rewriting the book on how the automaker goes about building its current crop of SUVs. At first blush, there isn’t any radically new exterior styling to draw in the eye, but what has been updated is meaningful, and a new Platinum trim level, which will slot in above Sport and Limited trims, is noteworthy.
The biggest item that’s new for 2016, though, is found underhood, with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder taking over where the previous 2.0-liter unit left off. With 270 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque, the new slightly larger engine boasts 13 percent more horses and 11 percent more torque than the old engine, and Ford expects no fuel economy penalty. There’s no official EPA rating yet, but Ford says the 2.3-liter engine should hit 28 miles per gallon on the highway, just as the 2.0 did last year.
The new 2.3 EcoBoost will be available on base, XLT and Limited trim levels. A 3.5-liter V6, estimated at 290 horsepower and 255 lb-ft, remains standard, and the 365-horsepower EcoBoost 3.5 is standard on Sport and Platinum models. All engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, and four-wheel drive is available across the range, even on the 2.3 EcoBoost (the older 2.0 EcoBoost could only be paired with front-wheel drive).
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