We all know the legacy of the Ford Explorer, and the switch from rear to front drive architecture for its dramatic 2011 overhaul. Well, 5 model years on from that places us in a revamped 2016 Explorer, for a Quick Spin to see what’s new…again.

Since this is not a total redesign, styling isn’t radically different. There are new lighting elements, a new grille and aero treatments. But, for the most part Explorer sticks with its still contemporary look. Interior, likewise, is not dramatically changed, though Ford’s Sync3 system will become available in later months.

Powertrains are the real improvement. 4 cylinder power sees increased displacement, from 2.0 liters to the new 2.3, and horsepower ups to 280. The most welcome improvement, though, is that both four wheel drive and towing capability are now available on the 4 cylinder; where they previously weren’t. A 290 horsepower 3.5 liter V6, and a 365 horsepower 3.5 liter twin turbo V6 bookend your engine choices.

GREG CARLOSS: “The ride quality in the 2016 Ford Explorer is improved…Where it really sees a lot of gain is the Noise Cancellation. Ford did a lot of work, taking out road noise, and wind noise. And it shows. It’s comfortable. It’s very quiet inside. And it makes for a nice, serene, luxury type cabin.”

JOHN DAVIS: Platinum trim also debuts, bringing unique leather upholstery and brushed aluminum accents; Explorer’s best Range Rover impression yet.

Starting around $32,000, the 2016 Ford Explorer is on sale now.


  • Engine: 2.3 liter / 3.5 liter V6 / 3.5 liter twin turbo V6
  • Horsepower: 280 / 290 / 365
  • Price: Starting around $32,000