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Ford's updates to the 2016 Explorer Limited get tested on a road trip (pictures)

Ford performed midcycle updates to the 2016 Ford Explorer that's highlighted with the a new 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, additional features and minor styling revisions.

Jon Wong
Jon Wong was a reviews editor for CNET Cars. He test drove and wrote about new cars and oversaw coverage of automotive accessories and garage gear. In his spare time, he enjoys track days, caring for his fleet of old Japanese cars and searching for the next one to add to his garage.
Jon Wong
2016 Ford Explorer Limited
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Ford performed a midcycle update to the Explorer for 2016. The current fifth-generation Explorer originally launched in 2011.

2016 Ford Explorer Limited
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A 2016 Ford Explorer Limited was a great travel companion for a road trip south to tour some bourbon distilleries.

2016 Ford Explorer Limited
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Since its launch, Ford has sold more than 7 million Explorers.

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The 2016 Ford Explorer can be optioned with 20-inch polished aluminum wheels for an additional $595.

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A hands-free liftgate is a new option for the 2016 Ford Explorer.

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The 2016 Ford Explorer Limited was comfortable and fuel efficient for a 20-hour road trip.

2016 Ford Explorer Limited
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When properly equipped, the 2016 Ford Explorer with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine can tow up to 3,000 pounds.

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A bright silver painted grille with chrome bars was new for the 2016 Ford Explorer Limited.

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Chrome door handles and roof rails are standard on the Limited versions of the 2016 Ford Explorer.

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2016 updates to the Ford Explorer include a new hood, headlamps, grille, fenders and fog lamps.

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2016 Ford Explorer models with the optional 20-inch wheels ride on Hankook tires.

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The Limited version of the 2016 Explorer with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine had a base price of $44,245.

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The upgraded 2.3-liter EcoBoost replaces a 2.0-liter for 2016 with more power and torque.

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The 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine is rated at 280 horsepower in the 2016 Ford Explorer Limited.

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The 2016 Ford Explorer Limited comes equipped the Sync and MyFord Touch.

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The main gauge cluster on the 2016 Ford Explorer Limited with vehicle and entertainment information flanking the center speedometer.

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Among the most welcome updates to the 2016 Ford Explorer is addition of traditional buttons for the climate controls.

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The Limited model of the 2016 Ford Explorer has a heated steering wheel and heated and cooled front seats.

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The rearview camera on the 2016 Ford Explorer Limited.

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The Explorer's active park assist system has been upgraded for 2016 with perpendicular park assist, park-out assist and semi-automatic parallel parking.

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Explorer's navigation system features SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link.

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Gear shifter and control dial for the 2016 Ford Explorer's Terrain Management System.

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Attractive matte-wood and polished interior trim inside of the 2016 Ford Explorer Limited.

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Polished trim contrasted nicely with matte-wood surfaces in the interior of the 2016 Ford Explorer Limited.

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Second-row bucket seats would be prime real estate for passengers on a long trip in the 2016 Ford Explorer.

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Attractive wood and polished trim also dressed the rear door panels on the 2016 Ford Explorer Limited.

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Second-row passengers have access to climate controls, smart-charging USB ports and a 110-volt plug in the 2016 Ford Explorer.

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Power-folding second-row seats allow easy access to the third row in the 2016 Ford Explorer.

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Gaining access to the 2016 Ford Explorer's third row happens at the push of a button that automatic folds the second-row seats forward.

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Tighter third-row confines in the 2016 Ford Explorer are best reserved for children.

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The dual panel moonroof in the 2016 Ford Explorer Limited is a $1,595 option.

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With the third row of seats folded, the 2016 Ford Explorer offers 43.9 cubic feet of cargo space.

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