LA LIVE: 2016 Ford Explorer

by Drew Johnson
Live images - image 1

Ford's popular Explorer goes under the knife for 2016.

Ford has unveiled its updated 2016 Explorer SUV at the Los Angeles auto show.

Introduced for the 2011 model year, Ford's fifth-generation Explorer is getting its first significant makeover. The Explorer's snout has received some major surgery, with the end result looking a lot like the 2015 Ford Edge. Those changes include a new grille, more conventionally-styled headlamps and a revised lower bumper.

The 2016 Explorer also brings standard LED low-beams, along with optional LED fog lamps that take inspiration from the F-150's headlamps.

The rear of the new Explorer features minor updates for 2016, including new-look taillights and new rear spoiler that promises to improve aerodynamics.

One of the biggest changes can be found under the hood, where Ford's 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine -- borrowed from the new Mustang -- replaces the 2.0-liter four-cylinder mill of the current model. It will be tuned to provide "at least" 270 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque.

A new range-topping Platinum trim level joins the existing options, adding a 500-watt Sony audio system, interior LED lighting, Nirvana leather seats, a dual-panel moonroof, silver-painted front and rear skid-plate elements and 20-inch two-tone wheels, among other upgrades.

The 2016 Ford Explorer will go on sale across the nation next summer. Pricing information will be published closer to its on-sale date.

What's Next?
The Blue Oval is in the early stages of developing the sixth-generation Explorer. Rumors indicate the SUV will go back to its roots and ride on a new rear-wheel drive platform, a shift that Ford hopes will boost its fleet sales to government agencies.

The rear-wheel drive platform will also underpin a new Lincoln SUV that will be distributed in the United States and in China.

Live photos by Brian Williams.