DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. is expanding its swanky King Ranch trim to the 2021 Explorer in a bid to move the nation's best-selling large crossover more upscale.
Slotting just below the high-end Platinum trim, the Explorer King Ranch will have leather-trimmed seats, wood accents and an optional premium technology package with special seats and sound system. Available this spring, the rear-wheel-drive configuration will start at $53,595, while the four-wheel-drive version will start at $55,595. Both prices include a $1,245 shipping charge.
Ford has used the trim, named after the famed Texas ranch, for 20 years since it launched on the 2001 F-150. The name has also appeared on Super Duty pickups and Expedition SUVs.
The exterior features a unique gray grille insert, 20-inch aluminum wheels, a liftgate scuff plate and quad chrome exhaust tips. The King Ranch "Running W" logo can be found throughout the exterior and interior.
Ford says the Explorer King Ranch will be the first combination of the 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine with a rear-wheel-drive configuration. Ford's Co-Pilot360 Assist+ suite of driver-assist technology will be standard.
The additional trim is part of a freshening for the Explorer that also includes a new XLT Sport Appearance Package, new exterior colors and new interior trim finishes, Ford said.
Explorer sales rose 21 percent in 2020 as it surpassed the Toyota Highlander to become the nation's top-selling large crossover, according to the Automotive News Research and Data Center.