The 2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch Is Worth Every Single Penny

Yeehaw, you can enjoy the Texas spirit in the 2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch trim! But the question is if the Ford Explorer King Ranch is worth the extra cash. Let’s see how much this trusty steed costs and what comes standard. 

Is the 2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch worth buying? 

2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch parked in grass
2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch | Ford

Yes, if you like leather, tech, and power, then the 2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch is worth every penny. I’m reviewing a King Ranch model right now, and my first takeaways are that it’s smart, fast, and fun. 

But the Ford Explorer has an MSRP of $32,925, and the King Ranch increases the price to about $52,600. I’m no mathematician, but the $19,675 price difference feels like a lot! Rugged Texas luxury comes with a high price tag. 

What comes with the Explorer King Ranch? 

It’s time to compare a few 2021 Ford Explorer models. Every single trim comes with advanced safety features, including: 

  • Front collision mitigation
  • Blind-spot monitoring 
  • Lane-keeping assist 
  • Trailer sway control 

The base model comes with: 

  • The turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine with 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque
  • Power liftgate 
  • Tri-zone automatic climate control 
  • Power-adjustable driver’s seat
  • 8-inch touchscreen 
  • In-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Remote monitoring and control via a smartphone app 

The Ford Explorer King Ranch includes: 

  • The turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine with 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque 
  • Unique two-tone mahogany-color leather seats with the King Ranch logo 
  • A leather-covered armrest with the logo 
  • Natural-looking wood trim
  • Ambient lighting
  • Massaging seats
  • Heated and ventilated front seats 
  • Heated and power-folding second-row seats 
  • Heated steering wheel 
  • Wireless charging pad 
  • 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system 
  • Digital gauge cluster display 
  • 20-inch wheels 
  • Quad exhaust tips 
  • Chrome badging and accents 
  • Unique grille insert 

Additional safety features consist of: 

  • Rear automatic brakes 
  • Front parking sensors 
  • Surround-view camera
  • Adaptive cruise control 
  • Lane centering assist 

Explorer King Ranch first thoughts 

2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch interior
2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch interior | Ford

So far, with the 2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch, I’ve discovered that it’s plenty of fun. Putting it in Sport mode tightens the suspension and increases the acceleration for a more engaging experience. But you can use Normal mode for a more relaxing ride and Eco mode to save fuel. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 6.8 seconds. 

The 10-speed automatic transmission provides smooth shifts, and the steering wheel has a relaxing weight to it. The handling is responsive, but there is a little body roll around tight curves. The ride is smooth over pavement, and Edmunds noted that you can notice a bit of wind noise at highway speeds. 

One drawback to consider is the lackluster fuel economy. So far, I’m getting about 20.6 mpg. The Explorer is rated to get an EPA-estimated 27 mpg in the city and up to 28 mpg on the highway, so maybe my driving style is hurting things. I’ll have to spend less time in Sport mode and more time in Eco mode. 

Also, the 10.1-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen is narrow. The information sits at the top of the screen, with tons of blank space underneath it. But the graphics look great, and the system is quick and responsive. Connecting phones is easy. 

As I spend more time with this western-themed SUV, I’ll keep you updated about what I learn. A few exciting days of driving are ahead.

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