Photo of 2016 Explorer by Paul Clinton.

Photo of 2016 Explorer by Paul Clinton.

For 2016, Ford has updated the Explorer mid-size SUV by giving it a more rugged look than the previous model and adding a new 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine to replace the former base 2.0-liter engine. The 2016 model year marks the 25th anniversary of the Explorer, which debuted in 1991.

The 2.3-EcoBoost engine delivers at least 270 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque, which Ford says officers 12.5 percent more horsepower and 11 percent more torque than the outgoing engine.

“The new Explorer isn’t giving up its reputation as a leader in highway fuel efficiency,” said Arie Groeneveld, chief engineer on the Explorer. “Customers will not only get the performance of a larger engine, they won’t sacrifice efficiency because of it.”

Ford also updated the look of the Explorer for 2016, giving the SUV a more truck-like look compared with the current model’s rounded, bulbous sculpting. It has also made changes based on customer feedback,  improving details in the interior such as physical controls for the infotainment system to replace touch-sensitive buttons.

For 2016, Ford wanted to improve the SUV by using smarter technology. The SUV has front and rear cameras for safety, parking assist, USB ports throughout and active grille shutters that close at highway speeds to reduce drag.

“Customers love Explorer and expect SUV to lead the way in innovation performance and fun,” said Groeneveld. “It’s a tall order but we’re aiming to build the best SUV in the world.”