2021 Ford Explorer Adds King Ranch Edition

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - February 25, 2021

Ford has been offering an upscale King Ranch model for its pickup trucks for 20 years and now, the luxury trim is expanding to the automaker’s midsize Explorer SUV. Just like Ford’s pickup trucks, the Western-inspired King Ranch trim will come with special features, trim pieces, and accents. In the Explorer’s lineup, the new King Ranch will sit above the performance-oriented ST, but below the range-topping Platinum.

The King Ranch trims were introduced because of a partnership between Ford and the iconic Texas cattle ranch with the same name. The trims are known for their special touches, which on the Explorer will include mahogany-colored Mesa Del Rio leather upholstery with the King Ranch Running W logo, a center console that’s fitted with the same leather upholstery, as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel with Norias stitching and a Sapele wood insert. Other touches on the inside include leather door trim rollovers, a leather-wrapped and stitched instrument panel, and Sapele wood trim.

On the outside, the King Ranch trim stands out from the rest of the lineup thanks to 20-inch aluminum wheels with a Running W center cap, a special Stone Gray-painted mesh grille insert, quad chrome exhaust tips, and a liftgate scuff plate. Clearly, the interior of the Explorer King Ranch is where the magic is.

Ford Explorer

Ford will offer the Explorer King Ranch in both rear- and four-wheel-drive configurations. Power for the trim comes from a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 engine that’s rated at 365 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. Beyond the unique King Ranch touches, the Explorer King Ranch is special because it’s the first time Ford has put its turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine into a vehicle with rear-wheel drive. When properly equipped, the Explorer King Ranch can tow up to 5,600 pounds.

On the tech front, the King Ranch trim will be available with a 10.1-inch touchscreen and a 14-speaker B&O audio system. Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+ will be standard on the SUV, bringing adaptive cruise control, evasive steering assist, and traffic sign recognition on top of Ford Co-Pilot360.

Pricing for the new Explorer King Ranch trim will start at $53,595 including destination for rear-wheel-drive models with four-wheel-drive models starting at $55,595. That positions the trim perfectly in between the Explorer ST ($53,850) and the Platinum ($55,725). The trim will arrive later this spring.

From the sound of Ford’s press release, consumers have been requesting a King Ranch trim for the Explorer for quite some time. In Ford’s words, “customer feedback and market insights” have requested that the Explorer get a more refined cabin. Based on initial impressions, that’s exactly what the King Ranch trim brings. Up until now, the King Ranch trim was only available on Ford’s pickup trucks, including the F-150, F-250, and F-350.

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, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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