2016 Ford Explorer gets updated look, new engine and Platinum trim

The Explorer has discovered Platinum.

Ford’s popular three-row SUV has been updated for 2016 and will join the F-150 and Expedition in offering a model outfitted in the company’s top-level Platinum trim level.

It’s an effort to better compete with the GMC’s Denali lineup, and comes with “Nirvana” leather upholstery, real aluminum and wood trim, a 500-watt Sony audio system, standard active park and lane-keeping assist systems, a panoramic moonroof, Platinum-specific chrome exterior details, and a standard 365 hp 3.5-liter twin turbocharged V6.

All Explorers get an updated interior with a new grille and headlight design, and along with the base 290 hp, 255 lb-ft of torque 3.5-liter V6, a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, similar to the ones in the new Ford Mustang and Lincoln MKC, will also available with at least 270 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque and front or all-wheel-drive.

Sales of the current Explorer are up this year, with October deliveries the highest since 2004 adding to the over 7 million units sold over 25 years. One of the first SUVs to become popular as a family vehicle, the Explorer was morphed from a truck to a crossover in 2011 to better meet the changed refinement and economy expectations in its segment. Pricing for the 2016 Explorer has not yet been revealed, but it’s scheduled to enter showrooms by next summer.