Ford to keep base price stable on Explorer, but raises top trim level
DETROIT -- Ford has held the line on prices for the refreshed 2016 Explorer crossover, but a new top-of-the-line Platinum trim raises the ceiling on what a customer can spend for the hot-selling full-size crossover to well above $50,000.
Today Ford Motor Co. announced prices for a base 2016 Explorer will start at $31,595, the same as for a base 2015 Explorer. The loaded Platinum Explorer, new to the lineup for 2016, will start at $53,495.
The priciest version of the current 2015 Explorer is the Sport model, which starts at $43,995. All prices in this story include shipping.
The 2016 Explorer, introduced last week at the Los Angeles auto show, will go on sale next summer. Other trim levels include the XLT, starting at $34,295; the Limited, starting at $42,195 and the Sport, starting at $44,195.
The Platinum will join the Sport as the only Explorer models offered with Ford”s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine, which offers turbocharging and direct injection of gasoline.
The Platinum trim level will come standard with such features as enhanced active park assist adding perpendicular, or angle, parking, a lane-keeping system and rain-sensing wipers.
The 2016 Platinum Explorer will have its own LED headlamps and signature lighting, Ford says. Also standard will be a dual-panel moonroof, premium silver-painted front and rear skid plate elements, and 20-inch wheels.
Inside, the Platinum vehicle gets its own brushed aluminum version of the Ford oval in the middle of the steering wheel.
The 2016 Explorer will come with a new version of Ford”s 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine. The 2.3 liter will replace the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder currently offered.
Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president of global marketing, sales and service, said during the Los Angeles show that high demand for the Explorer Sport showed support for a model with even more content.
â€œOne thing we learned is we didn”t have enough upscale products,“ he said.
The current-generation Explorer was introduced in late 2010 as a 2011 model and is built on a modified version of Ford”s D4 platform, which originated with Volvo.
SUV sales in the United States have increased 90 percent since 2008, and growth has been particularly strong at the upper end of the market, Farley said.
â€œYou can see an explosion of sport versions,“ Farley said.
Ford expects the Explorer to compete with the likes of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and GMC Acadia, which have top prices of more than $50,000.
Farley said the Explorer remains a crucial vehicle for Ford, which is bullish on the global growth of SUV sales.
â€œWe”re on pace to sell more than 180,000 [Explorer] units in the U.S.,“ said Farley, who takes a new job as president of Ford”s Europe, Middle East and Africa business on Jan. 1. In 2013, Ford sold 192,397 Explorers in the U.S. Ford sells the Explorer in more than 100 countries. It is assembled at Ford”s Chicago Assembly Plant.
You can reach Bradford Wernle at [email protected]
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