Enamored with the Luxe and Feature Filled 2016 Ford Platinum Explorer 4WD

As a full time traveling, adrenaline junkie mom of many who loves extreme sports and wild adventures, but mostly appreciates all technology that helps keep my children safe while we are on the road, the 2016 Ford Platinum Explorer 4WD spoke to me. Like, we were compatible. In fact, I think Ford made this truck specifically for me, or at least for adventurous, fun-loving families whose children’s well being and safety is of utmost importance.

This is truly an adventure lover’s dream vehicle, but with a premium interior, seating for 7 and high-tech features that ensure the driver’s eyes remain on the road, it is also a family vehicle.  With an NHTSA Safety Rating of 5 Stars the 2016 Ford Explorer is perfect for drop-off and pick-up from school, chauffeuring to sports, library and grocery store runs, shuttling a gazillion kids to the pool every day in the summer;  as well as family vacations into the National Parks and camping excursions and road trips.  And, not to be overlooked, all this can be done in comfort as the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum 4WD offers surprising luxury as well.

Table of Contents

The Body Language

2016 Ford Explorer
The interior is as pretty as the exterior. I loved he feeling of luxe this SUV offered! Photo: Suise Kellogg

Before I get into the main reasons I love this truck, first let me tell you that, superficially, it’s gorgeous. And while I may be an outdoor, mountain woman, I recognize and appreciate beautiful things when I see them.  And let me tell you, I loved the sleek look, and the beautiful White Platinum color with black accents gave the 2016 Ford Platinum Explorer a seductive luxurious feel.

The Platinum has serious luxury features that would be deemed luxury by any standards.  For example, the interior has REAL ash swirl wood, not plastic, and real aluminum, not plastic made to look like aluminum.

There’s Nirvana Leather on the door panels and on the seats, which is Ford’s fancy name for the luxurious quilted leather and a sleek satin chrome accent throughout the interior of the vehicle.

And, while this may sound odd, I also loved the grille.  The grille is a very important and often overlooked design feature. Done well, it can make a vehicle appear capable of keeping precious cargo safe and simultaneously rugged or sadly, it can make a vehicle look downright wimpy.  And no mother wants to drive a wimpy car!

I’m excited to say the grill on the 2016 Ford Platinum Explorer 4WD told of a future filled with safe family adventures, camping, off-roading, road tripping, as well as solo father/daughter trips to the river with a fishing pole and a cooler.  Or, maybe even a kayak or two!


2016 Ford Explorer
Dan checking out the amazing EcoBoost engine and all the other jazzy things under the hood. Photo: Susie Kellogg

So, while yes, it’s beautiful and sleek and the interior is luxurious and filled with features — the real gold is in the performance.  And truth be told, I was blown away by the performance of the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum 4WD.  It was clearly next level.

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from a 3.5L V6 Engine in a truck in the mountains of Colorado.  I was, temporarily unimpressed by the paperwork sitting on my desk.

But, that all changed the minute I put the 2016 Ford Explorer into drive.  BAM! I was shocked.

That EcoBoost Engine is badass.  As a mother, I insist that the vehicle I drive, and those my teens drive, not only can handle the rugged terrain of the Rocky Mountains, like 4WD at a minimum, but can also accelerate quickly in order to merge into moving traffic …

And when you alk about acceleration, which we all should, for safety reasons especially, the 2016 Ford Platinum Explorer  4WD delivers with gusto and with a very smooth ride.  There were times when I felt as though I was driving a sportscar, I’m not kidding, it never balked at anything I asked it to do.  Seemingly effortlessly, it goes from 0-60 and then some.

Who Would LOVE this Truck

  • Moms and dads, who love to adventure with their families and for whom safety is paramount
  • Road tripping families.
  • Explorers and Sports enthusiasts who travel with gear.
  • People who don’t want to skimp on luxury accessories, but want a truck fits their lifestyle.
  • Individuals and families who find themselves on switchbacks and even off road.


2016 Ford Explorer
With ample and roomy seating for 7, even those in the back row have plenty of sunlight thanks to the dual sunroof!!! Photo: Susie Kellogg

Oh hubba hubba, the features came like rain in Spring, each time I opened the Owner’s Manual I learned something incredibly cool about the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum 4WD!

First, this truck has the luxury features that we have all begun to expect … like heated and cooled seats, keyless entry, remote start, navigation, etc.

But, it’s the non-standard features that really made me swoon.

First, dual sunroofs.  Love this feature, because the sun pours in, bringing the outdoors inside — and for me, this is as much warranted as it is for bringing it into my home and for the kids in the back, they love to check out the stars at night!!

Now, perhaps you weren’t aware, as I wasn’t, that some vehicles have a massage mechanism on the two front seats.  As soon as I made this discovery, I did not turn this feature off.   My kids thought it was hysterical, a butt massage whilst driving? Don’t poke fun, kids.  This momma will take any massage anytime, anywhere!

2016 Ford Explorer
The stowaway back row seats are perfect for families who carry a lot of gear around for their kids … or who like to shop! Photo: Susie Kellogg

Next feature?  Stowaway back row seats … for an active family that totes gear, whether it be skis or hockey bags or kayaks or dance gear, being able to make the third row basically disappear with a touch of a button is oh so sweet.  I wish more manufacturers would come to the realization that offer families a storage alternative to the back row seating!

Then there is the Voice Activated Navigation Systems.  No, I’m not talking about in the future, it’s here, now in the 2106 Ford Explorer Platinum 2016! This, for me, could make the difference between vehicles.  I have no sense of direction, like zero, and so I’m constantly either fumbling with my phone or the navigation system in my car and invariably we decide to take a detour or make an additional stop or go pick up a friend, whatever, the end result is that I have to reprogram it.  Not the case in the 2016 Ford Platinum Explorer 4WD.  One need only repeat the address and just like that, it gets you on the road, without the driver ever taking his or her eyes off the road!

All the above are now in my new list of must-haves for our next vehicle, which very well may be this Explorer, but the feature that shocked both my husband, Dan, and I were the rain sensing wipers.  I mean, like whaaaat?

Truth be told, I didn’t even know there was such a thing, but we were driving home from a mini road trip and water from the road splashed up on our windshield and the wipers automatically cleared the glass! We were like, “Wait, what just happened?”  I was floored, this feature truly blew me away. Instantly I felt so pampered … my SUV just knowingly cleared it’s own windshield!

Now I’ve driven a lot of vehicles over the course of my driving career.   The truly amazing thing about the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum 4WD was that at every turn, I was surprised by one accommodating feature after another.  It was never ending, in fact, even as I was turning the car back over I had the sneaking feeling that I still hadn’t seen every cool feature.

Next Level Technology

2016 Ford Explorer
With the twist of a button you can adjust the 2016 Ford Explorer’s performance on the fly! Photo: Susie Kellogg

Right up there at the top of this list, I would have to list the aforementioned rain sensing wipers, which are fully customizable.

Ford Designers are so in tune with the needs of their customers that they even designed a hands-free liftgate!  If you have kids or bags or materials or gear, or full  hands ever, you don’t have to fumble for your keys and you don’t have to empty your hands in order to lift the back door.

This is such an amazing feature … simply kick your foot within the range of the rear bumper’s sensors and viola! the back liftgate opens or closes!   Yeah, I know, awesome!!

Now, what if I told you the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum 4WD has built-in Terrain Management?  Would you be heading out the door in 5 to check in with your local dealer?  Literally, with the turn of a knob you can adjust your car’s performance to match the terrain! Regardless of the terrain: mud, sand, grass, gravel, snow or ruts, you can switch this intuitive setting on the fly to match the driving conditions!  Now, run!

How about 180 degree cameras and park assist, with not only parallel parking, but also park-out assist and reverse perpendicular parking.

Lane keeping assist, that literally helps keeps you in your lane.

I mean these are all cannot do without safety measures that every family should be riding with.

And for my music loving friends, like me, the Platinum gets, as a standard, Premium Sound from Sony…not your average sound system, trust me!


  • 3.5L V6 EcoBoost Engine — Power!
  • Hands Free Liftgate
  • Ash Swirl Wood and Nirvana Leather Interior
  • Terrain Management
  • Stowaway Third Row Seats for Storage
  • Roomy Interior
  • Seating for 7


  • Base price: $52,600 extras brought this model to about $42,000
  • Average fuel economy: 16 city / 22 highway)
  • Overall NHTSA safety rating: 5 star
  • 3 YR / 36,000 bumper to bumper warranty
  • 5 YR / 60,000 powertrain warranty
  • 5 Yr / 60,000 roadside assist

2016 Ford Explorer


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