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2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch Is the King of Some Hill

It's good to be the King Ranch.

Like the King Ranch version of the Expedition, the 2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch will be a luxury-oriented SUV squeezed between the Limited and top-line Platinum models.

Named for the 168-year-old King Ranch in Texas, the Explorer King Ranch follows the expected Western-cowboy theme. The seats are done up in two-tone mahogany-colored leather emblazoned with the King Ranch's "Running W" logo, which also adorns the leather-covered armrest. There's natural-looking wood trim on the dash and steering wheel, and hand stitching throughout is intended to give the interior a high-end feel. Outside, the Explorer King Ranch gets a unique grille insert, quad exhaust tips, 20-inch wheels with King Ranch logo center caps, and a King Ranch badge similar to that found on similar versions of the F-150, Super Duty, and Expedition.

Equipment-wise, the Explorer King Ranch will be based on the Platinum, with standard adaptive cruise, lane-centering assist, and touchscreen navigation. An optional Premium Technology Package will add features such as massaging seats, a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo, and a 10.1-inch portrait-oriented central infotainment screen.

As with the Explorer Platinum, the Explorer King Ranch will come standard with Ford's 3.0-liter twin-turbo "EcoBoost" engine, which makes 365 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque, and a 10-speed automatic transmission. Unlike the Explorer Platinum, which is four-wheel-drive only, the King Ranch Explorer will be available in both rear- and four-wheel-drive versions. The Explorer King Ranch also comes standard with a Class III towing package, enabling it to tow up to 5,600 pounds.

Pricing for the 2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch will start at $53,595 for the rear-drive version and $55,595 as a four-wheeler, positioning it just a few hundred bucks less than the 2021 Explorer Platinum. If the Explorer King Ranch is to your liking, you'll be able to saddle one up when they arrive in Ford dealerships this spring.