Competes with: Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota Highlander, Dodge Durango
Looks like: An Explorer with Kia Sorento grille
Drivetrain: 290-hp, 3.5-liter V-6; 270-hp, turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder; 365-hp, turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 (all hp numbers estimated); six-speed automatic transmission; front- or all-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Summer 2015
Three-row SUVs are a hot-ticket item and just about every automaker has an entry in the field. Ford's seven-passenger Explorer is one of the continual best-sellers and has been overdue for a redesign. While not as thorough of a retooling as when the Explorer switched platforms to a car- based chassis in 2011, the 2016 model receives more than a face-lift with numerous areas massaged, inside, outside and under the hood.
Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show News
Possibly one of the user-friendliest changes is the addition of real buttons to the multimedia system; they replace touch-sensitive ones within the screen, a techy trend Ford is quickly reeling back in favor of tactile controls. A new Platinum trim level hopes to inject more luxury in the popular SUV to compete with luxury trims like the Jeep Cherokee Summit and GMC Acadia Denali.