“After seeing it in person at various auto shows, we anxiously awaited our turn with the Ford Explorer Platinum. After all, we were curious to find out what all the ‘Platinum’ hype was all about…”
2016 Ford Explorer Platinum – Go Big or Go Home
Some say there are two types of people in this world, the ones that go all-out, and the ones that—don’t. Based on the title of this story, you may get an idea of what kind of person would buy the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum.
Families have a lot to deal with when shopping for a new car nowadays. Crossover, SUV, two rows, three rows, sport, luxury, hybrid, turbo, the list goes on. Therefore making car buying a tedious process that nobody wants to deal with. Shocker, right?
I have good news for you. Ford’s I-want-it-all approach could make your life easier, the way buying a “move-in ready” home would, but that’s only if you’re willing to spend large on the range-topping Ford Explorer.
Platinum Says it All
According to Ford, there’s a real market for fully loaded vehicles. In fact, Explorer sales are up 7% year-to-date, and a recent survey shows that the Ford Explorer is the most popular SUV with millennial buyers ages 25 to 34. Such stats point towards a prosperous future for the aspiring top-of-the-line model.
The $53,915 Platinum features a long list of safety, technology and luxury features, with premium paint, rear-seat entertainment system, and second-row bucket seats being the only “extras”. Go big and choose all three for $3,080 bucks, and go home extra-happy for a total of $56,995.
At that price, the Ford Explorer Platinum isn’t only better equipped, but offers more room, more power, and more towing capacity (5,000 lbs) than any SUV in the segment, at a lesser price.
Odds are you don’t want to drive a minivan, but you still need room for multiple kids and the loads of stuff they come with.
The Explorer Platinum is big. It’s big in size and big in luxury, but in our case, it might be a bit too big, as with two kids; we rarely have a need for a third row. We strapped Josephine’s car seat on the passenger’s side captain chair, while our 12 year old often hopped to the third-row to be “left alone”. Pre-teens, yay…
Speaking of third-row, you will absolutely love the power-folding split-row seats, meaning that at the touch of a button, you can opt to stow half of the third row, or the whole thing. Doing so will reward you with a massive 43.9 cu. ft. of cargo space, or a decent 21 cu. ft. with the seats up.
Shall your family adventures take you off the pavement, simply turn the Platinum’s AdvanceTrac knob to fine-tune the all-wheel drive system to the applicable terrain.
Quantity and Quality
Now that we’ve established that the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum offers plenty of room, we can discuss the quality of such accommodations. All seats in the Platinum feature quilted, supple leather, and are wide and comfortable with decent lateral support, making them a joy to road-trip on.
The Platinum’s steering wheel, first and second row seats are heated, which is quite nice, but perhaps the biggest surprise was a feature that I’d only expect on expensive European luxury sedans—massaging front seats.
Tap a few buttons via the 8” touchscreen and activate instant pleasure. Both driver and passenger seats will start massaging your bottom, mid and lower back just like a fancy massaging chair from a cheesy catalog would. Now, I’m telling you, this isn’t just vibration or a light massaging, this is a full “ oh my gosh, it feels good” massage.
As you’d expect out of a Ford, and specially a nearly 60-grand one, the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum comes loaded with cutting edge and useful technology.
Shall you need to parallel park into a spot, the Explorer’s Active Park Assist has you covered at the touch of a button, but this system will also help you get out of a parallel parking spot, and will even back up into a perpendicular spot for you. Look Ma’, no hands!
If music is your passion, then you’ll truly love the Platinum’s 500-watt Sony sound system with Live Acoustics and Clear Phase technology, as its 12-speakers will turn your Explorer’s cabin into pure bliss. Audiophiles know, for the best sound experience use a cd or mp3 file, as even XM radio won’t highlight the Sony’s true potential.
As with most Ford vehicles nowadays, the Platinum boasts a suite of high-tech safety features, such as Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Monitoring with Cross Traffic Alert, and rear inflatable seatbelts.
In the end, I really liked the Platinum, in fact, we all did, but Missi and I agreed that for our family, it’s simply a whole lot of vehicle. Not like that’s a bad thing, but it’s just too big and a little too over the top. We find the smaller and simpler Ford Edge we test drove a while back to be a better fit for our family’s needs.
The 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum has it all, it’s comfortable, good looking, and a pleasure to drive. Even with its premium price tag, it’s sort of a bargain when you look at the world of luxury SUVs as a whole.
Will you go big, or go home?
- Starts at: $53,915
- Price as tested: $54,760
- Plenty of room for whatever life throws at you.
- Good fuel economy. Averaged 21 mpg.
- Top-shelf luxury for mid-range price.
- Plenty of rear charging ports.
The not so Great:
- Exterior design doesn’t stand out enough from non-Platinum trims.
- It feels bigger than it really is while driving and parking.
- Missing rear window sun shades.