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2016 Ford ExplorerView 2019 Model Price, Photos, Reviews & Features

2016 Ford Explorer Exterior

2016 Ford Explorer Overview (See Available Styles)

  • Redesigned for the first time since 2011
  • New controls on the center console with physical buttons
  • Updated styling on the exterior
Ford puts Explorer under the knife for 2016, giving the three-row SUV an extensive redesign for the new model year. It is available in four trim levels: Base, XLT, Limited, and Sport.

This is the first redesign for the Explorer since 2011, when it switched from a truck based platform to its current car platform. On the outside, styling changes are noticeable but it doesn’t look markedly different from the previous model. Up front the styling is more upright, with larger headlight clusters and new optional LED fog lights formed into “C” shapes on opposite sides of the front bumper. Behind the grille, there are now active grille shutters which close at highway speeds to make the Explorer more aerodynamic. A redesigned roof rack and a rear spoiler also make the Explorer more slippery, which helps fuel economy. For models with front and rear cameras, both are equipped with washers so you don’t have to worry about the picture being blocked by mud or dirt. Ford’s hands-free lift gate which was previously found on the Escape is also now available; stand behind the trunk with the key fob and you can open the lift gate by waving your foot under the bumper, which makes for easy loading when your hands are full.

Under the hood, the Explorer adds a new engine option, the turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine also found in the new Ford Mustang. It makes 270-hp and 300 pounds-feet of torque, can be mated to front- or all-wheel drive, and returns identical fuel economy to the old four-cylinder while providing much more power. Two other engines carryover for 2016: the standard 290-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 and a 365-hp, twin-turbo EcoBoost 3.5-liter V-6 found in Sport models.

Inside, the Explorer seats six or seven passengers (six with second-row bucket seats, seven with the standard bench). A few years ago, Ford decided to try to replace many of the physical controls on the Explorer’s center console with touch sensitive buttons without much success. So thankfully, the physical controls for many functions have returned for 2016. Also new are fast charging USB ports for front and rear passengers, which can charge devices twice as fast. Standard features include air conditioning with rear controls, SYNC with MyFord and Bluetooth connectivity, cloth seating surfaces, and a steering wheel mounted controls for the audio and multimedia systems.

The Explorer is also available with many of the latest safety technology features, including forward collision warnings, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, 180-degree field of view front and rear cameras with washers, and an Active Park system which can assist with both perpendicular and parallel parking. Also available are inflatable rear safety belts, which helps keep second-row passengers safer.

EPA Fuel Economy

  • City: 16 - 17 MPG
  • Highway: 22 - 24 MPG

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Vehicle crash and safety data is provided by NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA testing was established by Congress to reduce highway deaths and injuries. Read an article on the current NHTSA crash test program.

Safety Rating

  • Overall Safety: *****
  • Frontal Crash: *****
  • Side Crash: *****

Consumer Reviews Summary

Overall Rating:

71 of 82 (86%) consumers said they would recommend this vehicle to a friend.

Read Ford Explorer Consumer Reviews