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My 2016 vs 2013 Explorer review

dont slow down

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So the wife and I had a wedding to attend last weekend and we decided to carpool with another couple and rent a car to avoid putting 1900 miles on either of our cars. We were originally given a Nissan Rogue but were upgraded (long story) to a brand new 2016 Explorer. My wife and I own a 2013 XLT Ex and love it, so I knew I would love the 2016.

First off this 2016 was brand new, 112 mile on the odometer new. It was also an XLT and Charcoal grey so I was looking forward to seeing how it differed and compared to our 2013. There were some things I liked and disliked.

1. I originally wasn't a fan of the new headlight and fog light styling changes on the 2016, I'm still not sure if I love it but it did grow on me over the 5 days we had it.

2. I noticed the cruise control was MUCH smoother on the 16 vs the 13. When changing speeds you could hardly feel the change in the 16. Our 13 is pretty smooth and the bump in acceleration is minimal, but man the 16 was just seamless! I wonder if this is controlled by firmware that could be updated in our 13?

3. I really missed the Climate page on the right instrument cluster in the 16. I use it all the time in ours and I was disappointed to see it gone. Also on the Climate note I didn't really care for all the new buttons on the dash below the Sync screen. It seemed redundant when all that is on the Climate page of the Sync display.

4. The power rear liftgate was very nice and I knew when we bought our 13 that I would want it, but it wasn't in our budget. Having it on the 16 was pretty awesome.

5. It's really nice to see Ford went to the Sharkfin antenna on the roof. It looks so much cleaner. I want to do this mod to our 13 but the non factory ones have been on back order. I wonder if the Ford one is interchangeable between years?

6. The paddle shifters on the steering wheel in the 16.....not a fan of those. I bumped them many times. I'm sure if I owned it I would eventually get used to it but in the few days we drove it I didn't really care for them.

7. Push button start. This nearly stranded our group in the middle of nowhere! We had stopped at a vista point on the Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway in NC to check out the view. When we went to leave the car would not start, a message on the left display showed "Steering assist fault detected. Service required". Needless to say that out of our group none of us had cell phone service either. No matter what we did it wouldn't start. We tried turning it off, locking the car, and wiggling the steering wheel and it still wouldn't start. With it being a brand new car and a rental we also could not find a manual for the car either (I later found it the day I returned the car in the spare tired compartment.) We finally flagged down a passerby and borrowed a phone to call the rental company. After finding out the tow truck would be there in over an hour another passerby suggested turning the wheel all the way. So I turned it all the way right, all the way left, and back to center. The car started right up! I was a little disappointed with that system. I'm sure having the manual at the time may have helped.

8. I did enjoy the leather seats but I'm glad ours does not have it. I also enjoyed the power seat back, our 13 is just power seats.

9. The front facing parking sensors were awesome! I wish ours had those, they would make my wife feel a little more confident when parking and making tight turns.

Overall it's still a very nice vehicle. I would still buy a new one if I was in the market for one but I'm still very satisfied with our 13, which I also changed all the lights to LED. Still can't believe Ford is not doing this. If only I could afford two Explorers.....:D
 


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CajunFordEx

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Thanks for the review!!! You are right about the power lift gate. My wife will not do without one now.
It would also seem that the new sharkfin type antenna would fit on the previous year models. There is not that much difference in the body styles so I cant see why it wouldn't be a direct replacement.
 




sheltonfilms

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7. Push button start. This nearly stranded our group in the middle of nowhere! We had stopped at a vista point on the Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway in NC to check out the view. When we went to leave the car would not start, a message on the left display showed "Steering assist fault detected. Service required". Needless to say that out of our group none of us had cell phone service either. No matter what we did it wouldn't start. We tried turning it off, locking the car, and wiggling the steering wheel and it still wouldn't start. With it being a brand new car and a rental we also could not find a manual for the car either (I later found it the day I returned the car in the spare tired compartment.) We finally flagged down a passerby and borrowed a phone to call the rental company. After finding out the tow truck would be there in over an hour another passerby suggested turning the wheel all the way. So I turned it all the way right, all the way left, and back to center. The car started right up! I was a little disappointed with that system. I'm sure having the manual at the time may have helped.

I think this issue would also cause a no start on a manual key car as well. The system thinks that the steering system is bad so it is preventing you from starting the car. Even on a manual key there are control units that have to say OK before the starter relay is energized.
 




Miami-Beach

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Nice review!!

I generally tell people to rent the vehicle they want to buy first for a couple of days to see if it is a good fit..Most do not then regret buying the vehicle a couple of weeks after getting it..A friend recently bought a new Santa Fe [after selling is Expedition] and now hates it like I knew he would.
 




peterk9

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3..... I really missed the Climate page on the right instrument cluster in the 16. I use it all the time in ours and I was disappointed to see it gone....
'Climate' was taken out of the RH screen on the 2014 and subsequent model years.

Peter
 




dont slow down

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I think this issue would also cause a no start on a manual key car as well. The system thinks that the steering system is bad so it is preventing you from starting the car. Even on a manual key there are control units that have to say OK before the starter relay is energized.

Ok good to know. Has anyone else experienced this problem or know what causes it? Maybe a position sensor or something?


'Climate' was taken out of the RH screen on the 2014 and subsequent model years.

Peter

Oh really? Bummer! Glad I still have it!
 




Napalm

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Your start issue was probably an EPAS fault due to out of limit. if I had to guess. glad it started up though. sort of an oddity. chalk it up to rental car.


I agree about climate in the RH screen but I can see why they'd remove it. could be way too distracting.

I however do love the climate hard buttons below the center - I like using that over the touch screen most of the time. one I don't have to look at it and two i can leave the screen on radio or nav and no worry about it. In fact I'd almost want to take climate out of the screen system altogether if it wasn't for the rear controls.

what did you think of road noise?
 




scoutexplorer

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Nice comparison review. I hope the rental company gets the steering wheel/start issue fixed before the vehicle is rented to the next customer!

One button I wish Ford would relocate is the hazard light button. It sits just below the navigation screen and about 1-2X daily I inadvertently push it with the bottom of my right hand when doing something on the screen.
 




dont slow down

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Your start issue was probably an EPAS fault due to out of limit. if I had to guess. glad it started up though. sort of an oddity. chalk it up to rental car.


I agree about climate in the RH screen but I can see why they'd remove it. could be way too distracting.

I however do love the climate hard buttons below the center - I like using that over the touch screen most of the time. one I don't have to look at it and two i can leave the screen on radio or nav and no worry about it. In fact I'd almost want to take climate out of the screen system altogether if it wasn't for the rear controls.

what did you think of road noise?

I do think the 16 was quieter than our 13 but only by a little, and the ride quality was very comparable. Both are excellent in my book.

On another note I did notice some differences with the Sync screen. The touch on the 16 was not as smooth as our 13, meaning it often took more than one press to get the screen to respond or it was slightly inaccurate as to where you were pressing. Our 13 is dead on and I'm not sure if this is a model wide thing or a module to module variation.
 




jmr061

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I just played with a 16 Sport today. Fully capable of having the climate control in the right side of the instrument cluster. I need to narrow down the programming but I was able to confirm it exists and functional.
 




Limited02

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Napalm

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I just played with a 16 Sport today. Fully capable of having the climate control in the right side of the instrument cluster. I need to narrow down the programming but I was able to confirm it exists and functional.

color me curious. I wondered what the programing differences between the previous and the 2016 exist.
 




dont slow down

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peterk9

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That's the one I was looking for, their website no longer works, good 'old Amazon for the win though! Didn't realize they were so expensive though! Yikes.
Their website has been under construction for a few years. Just use the email address supplied when you go to their site and you will be able to order the 'fin'. That is how others have done it. You may also want to check out;
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=397592&highlight=shark+fin
and
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=389049&highlight=shark+fin

Peter
 




AFKNinja

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8. I did enjoy the leather seats but I'm glad ours does not have it. I also enjoyed the power seat back, our 13 is just power seats.

What do you mean by this? I have a 2015 with leather and I don't see anything wrong with it other than the fact that the leather doesn't seem all the robust compared to our 2005 Honda Odyssey and e46 3 series
 




tmg19103

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What do you mean by this? I have a 2015 with leather and I don't see anything wrong with it other than the fact that the leather doesn't seem all the robust compared to our 2005 Honda Odyssey and e46 3 series

Some people prefer cloth to leather. Cheaper. Don't slide around. Not so hot in the summer, not so cold in the winter. Not sticky in shorts on legs in summer (ah, but you can pay even more for heated and cooled leather seats). No real maintenance outside of vacuuming. No need for moisturizing product to prevent cracking. Cloth will stain easier. I prefer the look of leather, but some prefer cloth. Leather with heated seats works for me. I may go cooled at some point and I like the features in luxury packages that offer leather, but others don't see the need.
 




Napalm

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Leather wears much better over time. This alone is why I don't do cloth.

also I've had lether seats in cars since I was 8 years old (IE maw and paw kettle only bought leather after then) so I might be somewhat biases.

but living various places - I've never been burned by a leather seat - neither has any GF I've had (they tend to wear shorter shorts you know). but the cold thing I have heard a few time.
 




dont slow down

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What do you mean by this? I have a 2015 with leather and I don't see anything wrong with it other than the fact that the leather doesn't seem all the robust compared to our 2005 Honda Odyssey and e46 3 series

We live in FL and I know from experience how hot leather gets. Also when we were looking at purchasing an explorer we looked at one with leather that was only a year old and it looked horrible. It was creased, cracking and just looked bad overall. We weren't impressed.
 




Miami-Beach

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We live in FL and I know from experience how hot leather gets. Also when we were looking at purchasing an explorer we looked at one with leather that was only a year old and it looked horrible. It was creased, cracking and just looked bad overall. We weren't impressed.

I live in Miami and have had leather in all my vehicles since the 70's and keep vehicles for over 10 years and over 200K miles.

If you tint your vehicle [18% all around] and use a sun shade for the blazing sun [whenever you get out of your vehicle [all year long] and use Lexol conditioner every 6 months or more on your leather seats you will not have creased or cracking..Plus I have never been burned by the leather.

I do not even crack the windows when parked due to landscapers everywhere and constant passing showers..If your a/c is up to speed your vehicle will cool down in seconds without opening a window.
 


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peterk9

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I live in Miami and have had leather in all my vehicles since the 70's and keep vehicles for over 10 years and over 200K miles.

If you tint your vehicle [18% all around]..........
No additional tinting is allowed on the windshield below the manufacturer's AS-1 line.

Peter
 




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