I was invited on a media press event for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
Since we had quite some miles to cover during the Ford Platinum Tour road trip, it was hard to really try out all of the features in the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum. What did stand out to me, though, was how comfortable the whole ride was. My driving partners and I spent some eight hours in the SUV and we were comfortable the whole way. This was both in the front seats and the seats in the second row.
2016 Ford Explorer Platinum Review
The Platinum trim is brand new to the line. Every surface is soft-touch, even on the door. Smooth leather and detailed stitching can be found everywhere. Even the logo on the steering wheel is a sleek brush platinum instead of the iconic blue. It’s pretty…
Several smart USB ports offer fast charging for all of the passengers. In the second row, I was even able recharge my camera battery in the three-pronged 120V outlet. The dual-panel moonroof is awesome for passengers and the heated steering wheel, in which the whole wheel (even the non-leather parts) heats up, feels so nice when it’s chilly out. Did I mention that both front seats include back and leg massagers?
The front parking camera is super helpful since petite drivers like me can’t really see of the edge of the hood. I like that you adjust the brake pedal but it still doesn’t go far enough for my short legs. A top-of-the-line Sony sound system pioneers new technology (Clear Phase and Live Acoustics) which offers robust surround sound and crisp vocals at the same time.
Handling is good. There’s a slight roll when turning and the suspension is on the softer side. The Explorer does feel like a big vehicle but you get used to it fairly quickly. Most everything can be accessed via the middle display. However, I would prefer at least a few physical buttons for options such as radio, navigation, phone, etc. That would much rather prefer those over the 16 buttons for climate control.
Parking such a big vehicle is a breeze with the assisted parking. Enhanced Active Park Assist with Park Out Assist lets you get into and out of spaces effortlessly. You can choose perpendicular or parallel and it really does work.
2016 Ford Explorer Platinum – Not Just a Pretty Face
The Explorer Platinum oozes power and towing capabilities are crazy good. Instead of fiddling with the setting for every type of terrain, a simplified Terrain Management System allows you to simply turn the knob to Normal, Mud/Ruts, Sand, or Grass/Gravel/Snow. You can also set and maintain while traveling downhill in adverse conditions. We dealt with most of these during our drive and we got out of several potential stress-inducing situations.
There’s plenty of space in every row. Parents will be happy with the inflatable seat belts for safety in the back. If you prefer the buckets seats for the second row, make sure you get the optional middle console. Otherwise, since those seats don’t have armrests, it kind of feel like you’re freely floating around in those seats.
The third row even has a nice elevation so passengers back there won’t get leg fatigue. When the third row is up, there’s enough space in the cargo area. Carry-on size suitcases fit like a glove. The third row can be flattened and stowed flat at the push of a button. Getting in and out of the rear row requires a bit of flexibility and some good climbing skills.
2016 Ford Explorer Platinum – A Luxury Contender
The 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum is really a semi-luxury SUV. It provides enviable power and functionality wrapped in a plush but sporty package of awesome. If it wasn’t for the light steering and strange button configuration on the center console, I’d give it full stars. If you’re not sure the above review can actually be about a Ford, take a ride in it for yourself and you’ll be hooked.