2016 Ford Explorer Platinum First Drive: Bringing It All, and Then Some

-The Ford Explorer Platinum edition went on sale last month promising to solve multiple problems for Ford. Problem One: The strongest engine offered in the popular Explorer SUV, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, would sell in greater numbers if Ford made it more widely available. This is only a problem because it would seriously drag down the corporate fuel-economy figure, given the Explorer’s sales volume. The best way to restrict the max-power engine’s percentage of the mix is to make it expensive or limit it to a low-volume model. Offering the V-6 EcoBoost only in the Sport trim, as was the case with the 2011–2015 Explorer, did both. But that irritated some potential customers, those who walk into dealerships wanting it all. These folk don’t take kindly to being told they can only have the 365 horsepower mill if they give up their preference for a soft ride and a big shiny grille (the Sport’s is black) or can’t get all the optional features they could in a luxury-oriented Limited. The trick is to limit EcoBoost penetration without irritating the wealthiest potential customers. Competitors cater to such buyers with offerings like the GMC Acadia Denali. READ MORE ››

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