2016 Ford Explorer Platinum: Lush life, Ford style

14 Mar 2016 | 1,479 views | No Comment
By Don Hammonds I knew I was in for a treat when I took a look at the iconic Ford emblem on the steering wheel of the ritzy 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum. My clue was when I saw that the emblem was not done up in the usual midnight blue associate with the oval nameplate.  No, this looked like sterling silver---yeah, baby! [caption id="attachment_8138" align="alignnone" width="643"]2016 Ford Explorer Platinum Series with EcoBoost 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum Series with EcoBoost[/caption] Now when was the last time YOU saw a Ford emblem not done up in the traditional color?  I don't remember any Thunderbird, Mustang, Fusion or any other model having one--and Ford's put out some pretty deluxe models over the years, no? So this one MUST be special, I thought. I was right. I doubt that there has ever been an Explorer quite as luxurious and turned out as this one.  The interior positively drips with elegance and status, and it is every bit as luxurious as Lincoln's Navigator in standard trim--maybe even more luxurious to some. Explorer-Ebony-Black   But don't worry. Plushness aside, this is still a Ford Explorer and not far removed from any you have driven or ridden in before. Ford Explorers, even the most basic of them, are quite comfortable and like a womb on wheels for most folks, even though they also are pretty rugged. They also are stable, more forgiving than most SUVs of driver error for those who are newbies to all-wheel driving, and they last till forever. And best of all, in these trying economic times, they last forever. Around in Pittsburgh, I have seen countless examples of first generation Explorers still around, and doing just fine thanks. My best friend has a navy blue 0ne since they first came out and he loves it and says he'd never get rid of it. But the Platinum, now the  best selling SUV in Ford's lineup in something else again. Explorer-Ebony-Black-2 It is absolutely loaded with every conceivable feature  you would want. Standard items that are exclusive to the Platinum include:
  • Nirvana leather-wrapped instrument panel, armrests and door bolsters
  • Wood-trimmed, leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel
  • 10-inch digital instrument cluster
  • Premium 500-watt Sony audio system with Live Acoustics and Clear Phase technologies
  • 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 engine
  • Adaptive cruise control with collision warning and brake support, active park assist, lane-keeping system and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
  • Other standard features include: satin chrome door handles, chrome exhaust tips, LED signature  taillamps, moonroof, body color rear spoiler, roof rack side rails; second row heated seats, dual zone electronic automatic climate control, heated and cooled driver and passenger front seats, heated leather wrapped steering wheel, multi contoured leather seats, a premium audio sound system.
  • Other standard features include a class two trailer tow package, adaptive cruise control, front 180 degree camera, remote start, a reverse sensing system, Sirius satellite radio, terrain management system, trailer sway control, and a voice activated navigation system.
  • Safety features include an AdvanceTrac sysem with RSC, a wealth of airbags., individual tire pressure monitoring system, a perimeter alarm system, a SecureCode keyless keypad, and an SOS post-crash alert system.
  • Since launch in September, Explorer Platinum has been available only with Medium Soft Ceramic for its seats, door panels, pillars and headliner. Other surfaces including the instrument panel and floor are Ebony Black, creating a high-contrast environment.
  • The Ebony black option is literally done completely in black, making for a pretty sexy interior presentation. That includes  Ebony Black seats, door panels, pillars and headliner.
  • The new low-contrast Ebony Black color theme  accentuates the brushed aluminum and satin chrome trim waterline around the dashboard and door panels. Both interior color themes also feature satin-finished ash wood appliqués.
Since the all-new model went on sale in 2011, Explorer has achieved four consecutive years of sales increases in the United States. Through November, year-to-date sales of 205,417 already eclipse last year’s total and put the Explorer on pace to surpass 220,000 units for 2015. The vehicle’s popularity on both coasts is fueling these gains. Beyond New York and Los Angeles, where Explorer typically sells well, San Francisco, Phoenix, Seattle and Charlotte, North Carolina, markets are on pace to achieve year-over-year sales increases. Driving the Explorer was, as they say, all that and a bag of chips. It was absolutely tomb silent underway--great for napping babies, huh?--and velvety smooth on the road. The 3.5 liter  Econboost V-6 really put it down on the road too, when you demanded sudden acceleration to get you out of binds. Of course EcoBoost's real claim to fame is providing plelnty of punch while delivering the goods when it icomes to fuel economy. the government has it rated at 16 city and 22 highway with 18 miles per gallon overall.  You will have to spend more for gas though.  The government says that you will spend $3,500 more in fuel costs over a five year period compared with the average new vehicle. Your annual fuel cost is about $2,500 a year based on 15,000 miles of driving on the average using $3 a gallon gasoline. But we found fuel economy to be two to three miles per gallon under the figures cited by the government--and we weren't lead foots by any means. That may have been because there wasn't a lot of extended highway trips, but a heavier amount of city driving. That will do it every time. Still, we grew concerned because it seemed we were stopping at the gasoline station more often than we expected. Another concern of ours was that one of our staffers, who's a tall, husky (but not fat!) guy could not make himself comfortable no matter what he did, particularly in the area under the pedals. And several of us found that the step-up into the cabin was a pretty tall order as well. Still for the most part, our experiences in the  Explorer Platinum was, well...pretty platinum!  

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.

aj on twitter aj on facebook