2016 Ford Explorer towing capacity chart.
The 2016 Ford Explorer redefines style to elevate your getaways to capably outgoing, technologically advanced, and beautifully refined. It’s more aerodynamic, and more luxurious delivering an exceptional mixture of power, and adaptability. Tow ratings can be tricky as the car manufacturer may provide you with a tow rating in your manual, but they also only post the information they want you to know. Most tow ratings do not tell you in detail about towing capacity which varies with different configurations. In this article let’s take a look at the trim, engine options, and the 2016 Ford Explorer’s towing capacity in detail.
|2016 Ford Explorer trim levels||2016 Ford Explorer towing capacity|
|Ford Explorer||2,000 – 5,000 lbs.|
|Ford Explorer XLT||2,000 – 5,000 lbs.|
|Ford Explorer Limited||2,000 – 5,000 lbs.|
|Ford Explorer Sport||5,000 lbs.|
|Ford Explorer Platinum||5,000 lbs.|
Table of Contents
Towing trailers beyond the maximum recommended gross trailer weight exceeds the limit of your vehicle and could result in engine damage, transmission damage, structural damage, loss of vehicle control, vehicle rollover, and personal injury. Do not exceed the GVWR or the GAWR specified on the certification label.
2016 Ford Explorer Engine Specs
- 2.3L Ecoboost I-4: This twin-scroll turbocharged, direct-injection EcoBoost engine has quick turbine spin-up for responsive acceleration performance. Pair it with the Class II Trailer Tow Package to pull up to 3,000 lbs.
- 3.5L Ti-VCT V6: Twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) delivers robust power while also contributing to efficiency. By allowing intake and exhaust valves to adjust independently for precise valve timing control, Ti-VCT helps optimize performance.
- 3.5L Ecoboost V6: The V6 horsepower the standard engine on Sport and Platinum, has a robust supply of best-in-class torque. Combining twin turbochargers with direct injection technology, this responsive powertrain generates nearly quick power on demand.
|Engine||2.3-liter EcoBoost I-4||3.5L Ti-VCT V6||3.5L Ecoboost V6|
|Horsepower||280 hp @ 5,600rpm||290 hp @ 6,500rpm||365 hp @ 5,500rpm|
|Torque||310 lb.-ft. @ 3,000rpm||255 lb.-ft. @ 4,000rpm||350 lb.-ft. @ 3,500rpm|
Note: Specific states require electric trailer brakes for trailers over a specified weight. Be certain to review state regulations for this determined weight. The maximum trailer weights listed could be limited to this specified weight, as the vehicle’s electrical system may not include the wiring connector needed to activate electric trailer brakes.
2016 Ford Explorer towing capacity without Trailer tow package
Your vehicle can tow a trailer provided the maximum trailer weight is less than or equal to the maximum trailer weight listed for your vehicle configuration on the following chart:
|Engine||Axle Ratio||GCWR (lbs.)||Drive||Maximum Trailer Weight (lbs.)|
|2.3L Ecoboost I-4||3.36||6,900||2WD||2,000|
|3.5L Ti-VCT V6||3.39|
2016 Ford Ranger Trailer Tow Package
The trailer towing packages increase your Explorer’s towing capacity. Each allows for heavier hauls and expands the options of what you can take with your SUV. When properly equipped with Class II Trailer Tow Package and Class III Trailer Tow Package for maximum towing capabilities. Towing a trailer places an extra load on your vehicle’s engine, transmission, axle, brakes, tires, and suspension. Check these parts periodically during, and after, any towing function.
Class II Trailer Tow Package (towing capability up to 3,000 lbs.):
- Hitch receiver.
- 4-Pin Trailer Wiring Harness. (Requires 2.3L EcoBoost I4 engine)
Note: Hitch receivers do not include a hitch ball or ball mounting. You are responsible for obtaining the proper hitch ball, ball mounting, and other appropriate equipment to tow both the trailer and its cargo load.)
Class III Trailer Tow Package (towing capability up to 5,000 lbs.):
- Hitch receiver.
- Engine oil cooler.
- 7-Wire Harness & 4-/7-Pin Connector (Requires 3.5L V6 engines)
Maximum towing capabilities are for properly equipped vehicles with required equipment and vary based on cargo, vehicle configuration, accessories, option content and number of passengers. See label on door jamb for carrying capacity of a specific vehicle. For additional information, see your vehicle owner's manual.
2016 Ford Explorer towing capacity with Trailer tow package
|Engine||Axle Ratio||GCWR (lbs.)||Drive||Maximum Trailer Weight (lbs.)|
|2.3L Ecoboost I-4||3.36|
|3.5L TiVCT V6||3.39|
|3.5L Ecoboost GTDI V6||3.16||10,400||4WD||5,000|
For towing trailers up to 3500 lbs, use a weight-carrying hitch and ball, which uniformly spreads the trailer tongue loads through your vehicle’s underbody structure. For towing trailers over 3500 lbs, up to the maximum trailer weight, we recommend you use a weight-distributing hitch to increase front axle load when towing. Be sure to take into consideration the trailer's frontal area. Do not exceed 20 ft² (1.86 m²) if your vehicle can tow a class I trailer, or 55 ft² (5.11 m²) if your vehicle can tow a class III trailer weighing more than 5,000 lbs.
Frontal Area Considerations
|Base Vehicle Frontal Area (20 sq. ft.)||Without Class II or Class III Trailer Tow Package|
|30 sq. ft.||With Class II Trailer Tow Package|
|40 sq. ft.||With Class III Trailer Tow Package|
Frontal Area is the total area in square feet that a moving vehicle and trailer exposes to air resistance. Exceeding these limitations may significantly reduce the performance of your towing vehicle.
2016 Ford Explorer trims
For 2016, you can choose from five well-equipped models: Explorer, XLT, Limited, Sport, and Platinum. Let’s find out more about all the details of the maximum towing potential of each of the trim levels of the 2016 Explorer lineup below.
2016 Ford Explorer towing capacity
The 2016 Ford Explorer Base trim highlighted features are 18″ painted aluminum wheels with P245/60R18
all-season BSW tires, AM/FM stereo/single-CD player with MP3 capability & 6 speakers, Ford SYNC® voice-activated, in-vehicle communications system with 4.2″ color LCD screens in the instrument cluster and center stack, and media hub with one smart-charging USB port, 8-way power driver seat with manual lumbar support, 4-way manual passenger seat, 1st- and 2nd-row carpeted floor mats, Black urethane steering wheel, Skid plates front & rear elements, power side view heated mirrors with integrated blind spot mirrors and black caps. The maximum towing capacity when equipped properly is between 2,000 to 5,000 pounds.
2016 Ford Explorer XLT towing capacity
The 2016 Ford Explorer XLT offers all the features of Explorer plus other standard features are Intelligent Access with push-button start, 10-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar, 6-way power front-passenger seat with manual lumbar, Unique cloth seats, Fog lamps, Body-color door handles, LED signature lighting, Reverse Sensing System, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Silver roof-rack side rails, Unique cloth seats, Gloss Black, heated side view mirrors with LED turn signal indicators and security approach lamps. The maximum towing capacity when equipped properly is between 2,000 to 5,000 pounds.
2016 Ford Explorer Limited towing capacity
The 2016 Ford Explorer Limited includes all the features of the XLT trim. The additional key features are 20″ premium painted aluminum wheels with P255/50R20 all-season BSW tires, 1st-row heated & cooled 10-way power bucket seats with driver’s side memory feature, 2nd-row 60/40 split fold-flat seat with heated outboard seats, Leather-trimmed seating, PowerFold 3rd-row seat, a 110-volt power outlet, Ambient lighting, Audio System from Sony with 12 speakers & HD Radio Technology, Front 180° camera with washer, Power-tilt/-telescoping steering column, Power-adjustable pedals with memory, Body-color, power-folding, heated side view mirrors with auto fold, LED turn signal indicators, security approach lamps, and driver’s side memory. The maximum towing capacity when equipped properly is between 2,000 to 5,000 pounds.
2016 Ford Explorer Sport towing capacity
The 2016 Ford Explorer Sport trim has all the standard features of Explorer Limited. The highlighted features are 20″ machined aluminum wheels with painted pockets & P255/50R20 all-season BSW tires, Intelligent 4WD with Terrain Management System & Hill Descent Control (includes front recovery hooks), Sport-tuned suspension, 1st-row heated, 10-way power bucket seats (including power lumbar and recline) with driver’s side memory feature, Leather-trimmed seating surfaces with red accent stitching, 1st & 2nd-row carpeted floor mats with unique “SPORT” badging, and bright dual exhaust tips integrated into the lower bumper fascia. The maximum towing capacity when equipped properly is up to 5,000 pounds.
2016 Ford Explorer Platinum towing capacity
The 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum is all about comfort and style. The highlighted features are 20″ bright machined aluminum wheels with tarnished dark-painted pockets, Auto high beams, Rain-sensing windshield wipers, 1st-row multi-contour bucket seats with Active Motion and “PLATINUM” embroidery, 2nd-row heated seats, Medium Soft Ceramic premium Nirvana leather-trimmed seating surfaces with quilting & perforated insert, 500-watt Audio System from Sony with Clear Phase and Live Acoustics technology, All-digital instrument cluster, Dual-panel moonroof, Enhanced active park assist with Parallel Parking, Park Out Assist, Reverse Perpendicular Parking, Forward and Side Sensing Systems. The maximum towing capacity when equipped properly is up to 5,000 pounds.
Reminder: Ford Explorer does not offer factory-installed towing equipment for this application; only available as a dealer accessory. Do not exceed the trailer weight for your vehicle configuration listed in the chart above. Maximum weights shown are for properly equipped vehicles with required equipment and a driver. Weight of additional options, equipment, passengers and cargo must be deducted from this weight.
2016 Ford Explorer Towing Features
The Ford Explorer is also equipped with Hill Descent Control, which modulates the descent on rough terrain, without the driver needing to apply the brakes. For towing, combined with Curve Control, which reduces the throttle and applies the brakes when you enter a curve too quickly, significantly improves the safety of small trailer towing.
- Rear-wheel drive: It also improves driving capabilities and towing capacity by 600 pounds compared to previous models.
- Towing and Trailer Sway Control: It increases control when towing heavy loads by automatically braking and adjusting engine power to ensure trailer control and stability.
- Tow/Haul: Use whenever towing or hauling, this mode enhances performance when transporting heavy cargo.
- Intelligent 4WD with Terrain Management System: This allows the driver to adjust the system to accommodate wet, snow-covered, gravel, sand, grass, or other rough road surfaces and conditions, making your vehicle more versatile.
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TRAILER SWAY CONTROL
The system applies the brakes to the individual wheels and reduces engine torque to aid vehicle stability. If the trailer begins to sway, the stability control warning lamp flashes and a message appears in the data display. Slow your vehicle down, pull safely to the side of the road, and check for the correct load distribution. Turning off trailer sway control increases the risk of loss of vehicle control, serious injury, or death.
Note: This feature does not prevent trailer sway, but reduces it when it begins. This feature cannot stop all trailers from swaying. In some cases, if your vehicle speed is too high, the system may turn on multiple times, gradually reducing your vehicle speed.
FORD CO-PILOT360™ Technology
- Advance Trac with RSC (Roll Stability Control): It enhances vehicle stability in a wide range of conditions. By selectively applying individual brakes and modifying engine power, the system helps keep all four wheels firmly planted. In addition, Curve Control helps slow the vehicle down if you’re heading into a curve too quickly.
- BLIS® with Cross-Traffic Alert: Changing lanes requires your full attention. BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) can help by alerting you to vehicles detected in your blind spots. Cross-Traffic Alert helps by detecting and alerting you to traffic behind your vehicle as you’re slowly backing up.
- Lane-Keeping System: If you drift out of your lane, it directs you with steering wheel torque to return, and can also alert you through vibration pulses. Lane-Keeping System can help during a moment of distraction.
- Auto High-Beam Headlamps: They can detect poor lighting and switch them on for you. They can also sense oncoming headlamps and dim automatically for other drivers.
- Rear View Camera: It helps by providing a great view of what’s behind your vehicle. It also helps when you’re lining up a trailer. A washer helps keep the camera free of debris (like dirt or snow), helping you navigate Reverse clearly and with more confidence.
- Adaptive Cruise Control: It can also alert you to a potential collision and helps maintain your choice of speed and preset gaps from the vehicle in front of you. If one is detected, the system flashes a warning, sounds an alarm, and can pre-charge the brakes to provide full responsiveness when you do brake.
- Active Park Assist: Active Park Assist makes it easy to park time after time even in tight parallel or reverses perpendicular spots. Park Out Assist with side-sensing capability can help you confidently navigate out of a spot when someone’s parked too close.
2016 Ford Explorer Trailer Towing guide
- Towing trailers beyond the maximum recommended GVWR or the GAWR specified could result in engine damage, transmission damage, structural damage, loss of vehicle control, and vehicle rollover.
- Do not exceed the lowest rating capacity for your vehicle or trailer hitch. Overloading your vehicle or trailer hitch can impair your vehicle’s stability, loss of control, and handling.
- Modifying the trailer hitch could reduce the hitch rating don’t cut, drill, weld, or modify the trailer hitch.
- Make sure that the vertical load on the tow ball is between the minimum and maximum recommended weight at all times.
- Do not tow a trailer fitted with electric trailer brakes unless your vehicle is fitted with a compatible aftermarket electronic trailer brake controller.
- Place loads as low as possible and central to the axle of your trailer for the best stability of the trailer in an unloaded vehicle.
Note: The stability of your vehicle-to-trailer combination is dependent on the quality of the trailer. For additional information and assistance, we recommend that you contact an authorized Ford dealer. Failure to follow the instruction could result in the loss of control of your vehicle, personal injury, or death.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much can a 2016 Ford Explorer tow?
When you equip the 2016 Ford Explorer with the Class III Trailer Tow Package (standard on Sport and Platinum) and either its 3.5L Ti-VCT or 3.5L EcoBoost engine it can tow up to 5,000 pounds. Also, pair the Class II Trailer Tow Package with the 2.3L EcoBoost for up to 3,000 pounds of towing capability.
Can a 2016 Ford Explorer pull a trailer?
The answer is yes 2016 Ford Explorer can handle tiny trailers, pop-up campers, and other types of trailers when equipped properly. It will all depend on how many supplies you bring, how heavy that equipment is, and the combined weights of your family.
What Can a 2016 Ford Explorer Tow?
If you are looking at towing small trailers, smaller vehicles, utility trailers, boats, and trailers if they are light enough, and so on. You can tow your playthings like snowmobiles, etc., as long as the trailer weighs under 5,000 pounds.
Can a 2016 Ford Explorer tow 5,000 lbs?
Yes, the 2016 Ford Explorer is able to tow 5,000 pounds but only if you have the following equipment- factory-installed Class III Trailer Tow Package and either the 3.5L EcoBoost engine with 3.16 axle ratio, or the 3.5L normally-aspirated engine with 3.39 or 3.65 axle ratio & a weight-distribution hitch.
Aaron Bennett is an accomplished author and a true aficionado when it comes to pickup trucks. With an unwavering passion for all things automotive, Aaron has dedicated his life to exploring the world of pickups and sharing his expertise with others. As the proud owner of several powerful machines, he has spent countless hours behind the wheel, navigating rugged terrains and conquering highways with unrivaled enthusiasm.