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.

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Jon Wong

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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.

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

2016 Ford Explorer Limited
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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.

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

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.

2016 Ford Explorer Limited
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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.

2016 Ford Explorer Limited
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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.

2016 Ford Explorer Limited
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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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