The 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum.  It’s the poor man’s Range Rover.  Let me explain.  It looks like a Range Rover, it has comparable room, digital dash, massaging seats, and a terrain select controller.  But the Explorer can park itself and has a twin turbo V6…for all about $30,000 less!

Explorer Platinum

Now I’m not deluded enough to think that someone is going to cross shop an Explorer with a Range Rover.  But if you’re cross shopping or even thinking about a Highlander, Pilot or anything else.  Just stop.  Stop right now.  Go to your nearest Ford dealership, hop in one and drive.  Make sure it has the twin turbo 6 (whatever size) and go from there.  If you don’t walk out of there in a brand new Explorer…then there is no hope for you.  It’s that good.

The interior is comparable if not better than it’s Japanese competitors and it blows away it’s Domestic competition.  You can actually fit full size humans in the third row and they will come out not wanting to stab you.  The room in the cargo area (with the third row up) is deep enough where you can actually fit ummm stuff…instead of a singular gallon of milk.  The optional Nirvana leather is supple, soft and feels great.  It’s not 100% perfect though.  The bottom cushions are not long enough and seem to be designed for someone who less then 6 feet tall.  We would love to see an adjustable seat extender available.  Also the gear selector only lights up on the dash but not the actual console itself.  This didn’t bother Wooley but it irritated me.

2016 Explorer Dashboard 2016 Explorer Seats 2016 Explorer Center 2016 Explorer cargo

Now let’s talk about the driving dynamics.  It exhibits great turn it and corners flatly. It’s not exactly tossable but you can throw it into a bend and it will respond adeptly if not impressively.  The Explorer Sport model has a quicker ratio steering and we would be interested in seeing if it makes a big difference, regardless we were impressed.

Explorer side

The twin turbo V6 is a jewel of a motor.  We last tested it in our F-150 Review and in the Explorer it’s the exact same.  By same I mean smooth as butter, torque all over the rev range and comes with a nice induction noise when you bury your foot in it.  Now if you have done your research you know the 3.5 is highly tunable.  If you do some digging around, you’ll notice that flashes are available on last year’s model, now it’s just a matter of time until they are unveiled on this one. So how much power will a flash get you?  Conservatively around 40 horsepower and 80 ft/lbs of torque!  So this is a three row crossover that you can fit your entire family along with luggage AND flash it!   What can you do with a flash?  Just watch below:

To sum it all up.  It’s amazing.  It makes one proud to see an American manafacturer stand up to the rest of the world and say we can build phenomenal cars too!  We love this so much in fact I called up our Ford contact and tried to buy the press model off of them.  They said no.  Which made me sad 🙁

ACT clutch