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2016 Ford Explorer Gets New Face, Tech, Engine and Platinum Trim

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New 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum series in Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat

The Ford Explorer has turned 25 years old, and to celebrate the occasion, Ford has given its popular SUV / crossover a revised look, more smart technology, a new four-cylinder EcoBoost engine, and an all-new Platinum trim for its 2016 model year.

Unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the updated, 2016 Ford Explorer has a notably different front end than the previous model, featuring a restyled, less aggressive grille; revised headlights (LED) and taillights; and a new rear spoiler that promises to reduce drag. It rolls on newly-designed alloy wheels.

Inside, the large American SUV (CUV) is covered with higher-quality materials and features a redesigned center stack with “real buttons,” as opposed to the touch-sensitive controls of the previous Explorer. The car’s infotainment system should be less frustrating to use as a result.

MUST READ: Next Ford Explorer will be Rear-Wheel Drive, Spawn a Lincoln

The long list of smart technologies includes charging USB ports throughout, front and rear cameras with washers, enhanced Active Park assist with perpendicular park assist, park-out assist and semi-automatic parallel parking, a hands-free liftgate, Active Grille Shutters, and air curtains.

Under the hood, the previous 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine has been replaced by the new Mustang coupe’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost unit. The powerplant produces at least 270 horsepower and 300 lb-ft. (406 Nm) of torque and delivers around the same fuel economy as its predecessor despite being 12.5 percent more powerful.

The base engine remains the 290 horsepower 3.5L V6, while the Explorer Sport and Platinum edition come standard with a 365-hp 3.5L EcoBoost V6. All engines are connected exclusively to a six-speed automatic transmission that drives the front wheels, though four-wheel drive is available across the entire range.

ALSO READ: Ford Explorer Gets Updated with New Sporty Trim Package and Colors

Speaking of the Platinum Edition, it’s an all-new trim developed to compete against the likes of GMC’s Denali trim and Jeep’s Summit. It gives the Explorer a more luxurious appearance inside and out, with notable exterior highlights including brushed aluminum trim, standard LED headlights with signature lighting, silver-painted front and rear skid plate elements, and 20-inch wheels with a bright machine face and tarnished dark painted pockets.

The Explorer Platinum is said to boast “the most premium, high-quality interior” ever offered on a Ford vehicle and comes nicely-appointed with a heated leather steering wheel, perforated Nirvana leather seats with micro-perforation, special quilted stitching, brushed aluminum accents, and satin-finished ash wood trim. Also standard are a 500-watt Sony audio system and a dual-panel moon roof.

The updated, 2016 Ford Explorer goes on sale in summer 2015. What do you think about the changes Ford made to its iconic SUV?

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New, 2020 Kia Soul EV Has 243 Mile (391 Km) Driving Range

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New, 2020 Kia Soul EV

Kia’s quirky crossover joins the high-range electric vehicle group.

The EPA has given the 2020 Kia Soul EV a driving range of up to 243 miles (391 km) on a single charge, placing it in the same class as the Chevrolet Bolt, Tesla Model 3, Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro EV and Nissan LEAF e+, all of which get over 200 miles (322 km).

In fact, the Soul EV uses the same 64 kWh battery pack as the Kona Electric and Niro. Power is provided by an electric motor that generates 201-horsepower and 291 lb-ft. of torque and can be modulated with four driving modes: Eco, Comfort, Sport and Eco+, which automatically adjust power output, regenerative braking, climate control settings, and set speed limits to help manage overall efficiency.

Similar to the Niro and Kona EVs, it will charge at around 100kW for at least the first 50 percent of charge. A DC Fast Charge port comes standard.

The 2020 Kia Soul EV goes on sale in the second half of 2019.

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Kia’s New Telluride SUV Is Big Enough For Your Whole Family

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New, 2020 Kia Telluride SUV

Kia’s biggest-ever SUV has enough room to accommodate eight occupants in relative comfort.

The Kia Telluride has finally seen the light of day, giving Kia a spacious modern SUV for the whole family.

Designed in California specifically for the North American market, particularly the United States, the Telluride stands out with a boxy shape, a blunt hood, and a wide grille flanked by a pair of blunt vertical headlights. It’s distinctive, attractive and should turn some heads in the rather soft and puffy-looking full-size SUV segment.

Power is provided by a 3.8L V6 that produces 291 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque, good enough for a 5,000-pound tow rating. An 8-speed automatic transmission drives the wheels.

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The Telluride also features four-wheel independent suspension with an optional self-leveling system and all-wheel drive. ‘Comfort’ and ‘snow’ odes distribute just 20 percent of torque to the rear wheels, while ‘sport’ has a 65-35 front-back split and ‘lock’ divides power equally between all corners.

Inside, the clean, BMW-esque dashboard is fitted with a 10.25-inch touchscreen that’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibile, while a 10-speaker, 630-watt Harman Kardon sound system makes it easy to blast you favorite tunes throughout the cavernous interior. There’s also a wireless charging pad and a total of six USB charging ports.

Buyers looking for a more premium look and feel can splurge on a number of luxury interior appointments, ranging from quilted Nappa leather to matte-finish wood.

On the safety front, Kia’s big SUV is available with tons of safety tech, including forward collision warning, forward collision-avoidance assist, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, a blind spot monitor, adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera, and a head-up display.

The all-new, 2020 Kia Telluride goes on sale in the second half of 2019 in LX, EX, S, and SX trims. Would you consider it as your next family-hauler?

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Hyundai Is Going After The Porsche Macan Sporty Tucson N

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Hyundai N Division logo

The Korean automaker believes its plebeian crossover can reach for higher heights.

Hyundai has some big performance goals for the Tucson. It has tasked its N performance sub-brand to develop a performance version of its bread-and-butter compact utility vehicle, one that could potentiality give the Porsche Macan a run for its money on the performance front.

According to , the Hyundai Tucson N will be ready sometime in 2020, before the arrival of the next-generation Tucson. The company is keeping most details under wraps, but we do know that it will have around 340 horsepower, explaining why some are already calling it the poor man’s Porsche Macan.

The Tucson N will serve as the halo vehicle for the N sub-brand until an even more high-octane vehicle wearing the Hyundai badge comes along. A source familiar with the project told Auto Express that they’re “going to take our time with this one – because when it appears it will blow everything else away in its sector.”

How do you envision the Hyundai Tucson N and what do you want to see from Hyundai’s engineers and designers?

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