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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, i am in the market to upgrade my primary vehicle. I have decided on the ford explorer with the 3.5 ecoboost. I want a 2016+ for the styling and sync3, but i don't want to take on a massive payment so i'm capping my cost at 26k. The sport is readily available under 26k, and the platinum can be had with some price negotiations and maybe a little more miles than i was hoping for. However, I am torn between the options and really can't find a best of both worlds solution. let me break it down.

practical me wants the driver assistance features like lane assist, adaptive cruise, brake assist, yada yada. I am a subcontractor and it's not uncommon to drive 3, 4, 5 hours home, often late at night. the fight against fatigue is real and i feel like i could potentially benefit from these added aids at some point. these are standard options on the platinum, but not available on the sport.

driving enthusiast me wants the performance options of the sport. i've already priced out all the oem parts that are different between the sport and platinum as far as brakes and suspension. it's not a staggering cost. it's cheaper than a true performance suspension. now, i already know i can do better than the sport suspension, even if the sport suspension is an improvement over the stock. i would probably change out the stock springs and struts for the aforementioned aftermarket suspension regardless of which trim i end up with, so that factor is moot. the one thing i can't figure out, and it seems like such a big deal to me for some reason.

the sport is the only trim with an always on 50/50 split awd system. the platinum is a FWD with AWD as-needed. i believe the sport might have a trans/awd cooler that the platinum does not offer as well, but i'm sure that can be added. the big question. is this AWD setup on the platinum something that an aftermarket tune to be a can change to an always on 50/50 split without having to swap in parts specific to the sport model? or is this a situation where i have to pick which one is more important to me because i can't have both?
 

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I can only relate to MY 2018 Platinum when I compared it to the Sport. Both had the same engine and same drivetrain. Acceleration seemed to be the same. The Platinum had more creature comforts than the Sport. The Sport seemed a hair stiffer. Both were fun to drive.

One upgrade I did which made a handling and ride difference was to ditch the Hankook tires. I put Continental DWS 06 (V rated) tires and its so much better......much quieter.

In don’t think you will go wrong with either, but if you can go Platinum, do it.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the reply. i am still mulling it over. i only have a handful of features making me interested in the platinum. I am planning to take a platinum on a test drive and look at the features for myself. but maybe you can help.

the lane keeping, it is true lane keeping with auto correction, or is it just the warning?

Are the massaging seats worth it? i have heard they are laughable...
 

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Keeping n mind, I have an ‘18.

The lane change has two components. The first is the indicator (visual and steering wheel vibration). This is plenty in my opinion. The second indicator is the steering wheel nudge to “right the vehicle”. Both can be turned on or off. I keep the nudging off.

The massaging seats. First off...the seats are heated, cooled and massaging. Heated and the back massaging is wonderful. I think the freaky part is the seat “butt” messaging. I cant remember if I have ever had that on. But the back message is great.

Steering wheel is heated as well.


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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
right, but i believe the lane keeping system and the seats are the same between 16 and 18. the sport has the heated/vented seats as well, just no massage function.

thanks for the feedback. i am going tomorrow to look at a platinum and make an offer on it if i don't find any major flaws.
 

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I looked up the differences between the ‘18 and ‘16 Platinums. It seems only modifications to the grill , fog lights, bumpers and exhaust tips. All other items seem to be the same.

Platinums should come with the standard Sony 500 watt stereo. This is an option in the Sport. The Sony 500 watt system is awesome for factory. Check it out and crank up your best digital music.

Let me know what you decide!


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Forgot one thing to look at closely. There have been some known issues with paint bubbling on the front forward edge of the hood. This is not trim specific and not all Explorers. Just look at it carefully to be sure its smooth. Not sure of the issue, but have seen this brought up in blogs.


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
that is the first i had heard of this and will definitely keep that in mind! thanks for your time and knowledge on this, i'm just having my coffee and about to call the dealership to make sure they are open and the vehicle is available. it's not the 100% perfect explorer for what i would want if i were ordering it. it has the split bench middle row, i would have preferred the buckets with center console. i would prefer ingot silver (match my truck) and this one is white, and i don't see the optional cargo rails in the pictures, and i would have probably ordered the headrest dvd player. but the rails are cheap on the aftermarket, the tri-coat isn't a horrible color, and i can sacrifice the rear buckets if they are willing to come down to where i want them to be on price. we shall see what we shall see i suppose.
 

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I have had my 2016 Sport since 2016 and still love it. Last year I upgraded to Livernois tune, Spectra CAI, and Borla exhaust. I take it to Bandimere raceway once a year, and it's fun knowing that my 5000lb family SUV is nearly as fast as people's expensive sports cars. The sport is definitely a step above the limited, but if you don't really have a desire for lut I have to admit my wife has the adaptive cruise control on her fusion, and it's awesome. Good luck!
 

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Just a heads up, the 2016 models DO NOT have Sync 3 (this is explorer specific only). The 2017 and up models have Sync 3 and the capability to go to 3.3, which supports CarPlay and Android Auto. There are kits around 1500USD that include a new screen, apim, and USB dock that will convert from MFT to Sync 3. I did have the bubbling on my hood, but I was able to get a brand new hood covered by the 50k mile corrosion warranty.
 
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