What is the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum? It is the most luxurious Explorer, according to Ford. It combines the 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost power train from the Explorer Sport with luxury appointments of the Explorer Limited and takes it further.
The 365 horsepower engine, the 6-speed automatic transmission, and the Intelligent 4WD with Terrain Management have not changed. However, the interior materials, fit, and finish are taken to the next level. Nearly every visible and exposed surface on the inside is covered in soft leather. The heated steering wheel has a genuine wood section. There are polished aluminum and wood trim throughout. Yes, real wood and real aluminum.
The other big news is the introduction of the Sony Audio system with Clear Phase and Live Acoustics. The system is focused on the driver and front passenger, but the entire cabin is treated to the cleanest and most crisp sound I have experienced in recent years in any vehicle as any price. Sony really did a great job with the system. It uses 12 speakers in ten locations with a subwoofer and amplifying ability of up to 500W. The improved fit and sound insulation on the Platinum model work together with the sound system for an outstanding sound.
Watch this Sony system demo here.
The Intelligent 4WD system works to allocate the torque to the wheels with grip. You can still use the Terrain Management system to tell the Explorer the type of surface you are traversing. The system will adjust the transmission, power, and traction control mappings to provide the most effective propulsion. The ground clearance and approach angle on the Explorer are not the best, but it is a very capable vehicle for many steep off-road trails where traction is hard to come by. It does have Hill Descent Control.
The exterior of the Explorer Platinum is distinguished by a satin finished grille, trim pieces (including the roof rails), and 20-inch rims that are unique to this top-of-the-line model.
The Platinum model starts at $52,600 before destination. The White Platinum color you see here is an additional $595. There are only a couple of options. Everything else comes standard, including the dual-pane sunroof, massaging front seats, and much more. The 2nd-row captain chairs are a $695 option. You can add the rear center console to the captain chairs for $150. The headrest mounted DVD system is an additional $1,995.
The most cross-shopped vehicles to the Explorer Platinum is the Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit and the GMC Acadia Denali. However, Ford is hoping to attract buyers from other luxury crossover marks.
We will publish the off-road first drive video of the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum very soon. In the meantime, check out this first look at the 2016 Explorer lineup.