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Is the 2021 Ford F-150’s Platinum Trim Worth the Upgrade Over the King Ranch?

What’s better than living like a king? Platinum status. The 2021 Ford F-150 offers both in its extensive trim lineup.

Being one of the best-selling pickups on the market, the F-150 attracts a wide range of buyers. Some shoppers are primarily interested in a capable work truck. However, many want a pickup that gives them bragging rights.

The 2021 Ford F-150’s upscale King Ranch and Platinum trims offer just the right balance of features, comfort, and price point. But is the higher-end Platinum model worth the upgrade over the King Ranch? Let’s break down the differences between the two.

The 2021 Ford F-150 King Ranch is fit for royalty

A look at the brown interior of the 2021 Ford F-150 King Ranch
The 2021 Ford F-150 King Ranch’s interior | Photo via Ford

Some pickup truck drivers choose their model for the utility, and others find one that fits their lavish lifestyle. The 2021 Ford F-150 Platinum and King Ranch belong in the latter category.

Starting at $56,330, the King Ranch affords you a range of luxuries. Its heated steering wheel and heated rear seats will help you battle cold weather. Meanwhile, its HD radio, eight-speaker sound system, wireless device charger, and navigation system will keep you entertained and connected.

Like the more affordable Lariat trim, the King Ranch comes with a 12-inch touchscreen, 12-inch digital gauge cluster, heated/ventilated front seats, and leather upholstery.

All 2021 Ford F-150s feature an impressive assortment of smart safety systems. Forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, and a rearview camera come standard. Meanwhile, the XLT trim adds blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, rear parking sensors, and rear-cross traffic alert.

Meanwhile, the 2021 Ford F-150 King Ranch turns the dial up to 11. On top of the previous features, it has adaptive cruise control, intersection assist, and front parking sensors.

Notably, Ford only offers this trim level with a SuperCrew cab, but you can equip it with either a short or standard bed. And you’ll be pleased to know that both cargo bays feature an in-bed power outlet.

Here’s what you get when you go Platinum 

A silver 2021 Ford F-150 Platinum parked in front of a country house
The 2021 Ford F-150 Platinum on display | Photo via Ford

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With a starting MSRP of $59,110, the 2021 Ford F-150 Platinum isn’t too much more expensive than the King Ranch. And like its counterpart, the Platinum only offered as a SuperCrew cab connected to either a short or standard bed.

Ford doesn’t offer a significant number of upgrades to those who choose the Platinum trim. However, the added features you do get with this package are well worth the money. 

The 2021 Ford F-150 Platinum includes all the most significant features found on the King Ranch model. Plus, it adds other niceties, such as a traffic sign recognition system.

It also takes luxury to the next level. You’ll be treated to a spa day every time you get behind the wheel, thanks to its massaging front seats.

Meanwhile, its power-deployable running boards make it easier to get in and out of the truck. Many drivers will appreciate that feature, considering that the Platinum rides upon 20-inch wheels instead of the 18-inch wheels found on the King Ranch.

A plethora of powertrains and packages

The 2021 Ford F-150 King Ranch and Platinum are incredibly well-equipped. But are these models still capable of taking on heavy-duty tasks? Of course.

Both trims come standard with a 400-hp V8 engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. However, buyers can opt to equip either an optional 400-hp 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 or a 250-hp 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V6. An F-150 hybrid powertrain is also available.

Shoppers can enrich their driving experience even more by equipping their truck with even more premium features. The Trailer Tow, Tow Technology, and Max Trailer Tow packages are all available on the 2021 Ford F-150 Platinum and King Ranch models.

Meanwhile, the 2021 Ford F-150 King Ranch trim features exclusive chrome and monochromatic packages.

Which 2021 Ford F-150 model is right for you?

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Car and Driver recommended buying the Lariat trim above all other F-150 models, citing a good blend of features and affordability. However, some drivers are looking for much more, and they’re willing to shell out the big bucks for luxurious features.

The King Ranch and Platinum models are unique entries in the 2021 Ford F-150 lineup. These trims are relatively affordable – compared to the high-end Limited trim, which starts at $70,825. 

Plus, these models are the closest in price, as most other trims are separated between at least $6,000. Considering the cost, many shoppers may have difficulty deciding which refined machines is right for them.

In the end, it comes down to a couple of aspects. If you’ve got a bad back or have trouble getting into a truck, the massaging seats and power-deployed running boards could make all the difference.

Notably, the 2021 Ford F-150 King Ranch offers regular six-inch running boards or the power-deployed version as options. However, that pushes the model’s price even closer to that of the Platinum.

However, if you won’t use those features, the Platinum trim doesn’t truly stand out. Instead, you should opt for the King Ranch. You can then use what’s left of your budget to add options like the King Ranch Chrome Package to make your luxurious truck stand out from the pack.