Top-Level Platinum Trim To Compete Against GMC and Jeep
A 2.3L EcoBoost four-cylinder takes over where the old 2.0 left off, making 270 hp and 300 lb-ft.
Right now, around 23 per cent of all Ford
vehicles sold in North America is a utility vehicle. By 2020, Ford expects that figure to increase all the way to 29 per cent. Put simply, SUVs and crossovers are very big business at Ford. So, when it comes time to update the Explorer
, Ford's original sport utility vehicle, you can be sure that a whole heck of a lot of effort goes into the process.
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-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder taking over where the previous 2.0-litre unit left off. With 270 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque, the new slightly larger engine boasts 13 per cent more horses and 11 per cent more torque than the old engine, and Ford expects no fuel economy penalty. There's no official fuel mileage rating yet, but Ford says the 2.3-litre engine should hit 9.7 L/100 km 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-litre 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).