When we last reported on the 2020 Ford Expedition King Ranch, it was leaked via an internal memo, with Ford being so tight lipped on the subject, that we had to use pictures of the F-Series King Ranch to give you a sneak preview of what was in store for Expedition buyers. But at long last, Ford has lifted the veil of secrecy, and confirmed what many had suspected, and that’s the return of the iconic King Ranch trim for the 2020 model year.
The King Ranch is easily identifiable thanks to its two-tone color scheme with the White Platinum Metallic paint being contrasted by the elegant looking Stone Gray hue that is used in the front grille mesh, power deployable running boards, the side mirrors, rear bumper skid plate, the roof rails, and the trailer hitch cover. The two-tone theme is enhanced further by the 22-inch wheels that feature two tone machined aluminum and dark tarnished elements, as well as prominent King Ranch logos in the center caps. The King Ranch’s appearance has always been a very potent attention grabber, and look for this trend to continue once it eventually makes its way out among the masses. The King Ranch originally made its debut on the Expedition back in 2005, but it had been missing in action since 2018, when it was discontinued on the last generation Expedition. Buyers will be able to equip it to both the standard model as well as the extended wheelbase Expedition MAX variant.
The roomy interior however is arguably where the bulk of the transformation takes place for King Ranch duty. All three rows are slathered in trim exclusive Ebony Del Rio leather, with the brown motif continuing on the steering wheel, console trim, as well as the doors, while Ziricote wood accents further enhance the trim’s two-tone theme. Second row passengers gain power folding captains chairs, which allows them to have more room to themselves than they would’ve had in the standard bench layout. Along with these minor changes, the King Ranch also borrows alot of gear from the range topping Platinum trim, with all occupants benefitting from continuously controlled suspension dampening, a 360 degree rear camera system, as well as heated mirrors with the ability to automatically dim the driver’s mirror. The running W logo is also emblazoned on the aluminum treadplates, the center arm rest, and the seat backs to help further establish its wild west identity.
In addition to the arrival of the King Ranch, all Platinum Expedition models also see modest changes for 2020, and while they do get new 22-inch hoops of their own, the bulk of the changes take place in the interior, with Ford designers adding more leather trim which now covers the armrest, console rails, more of the door trim, and even on top of the top of the instrument panel. We suspect one of the reasons for this change was to help make the Platinum more opulent, while also helping it avoid getting its toes stepped on by the debuting King Ranch.
All Expeditions also come equipped with Ford’s Co-Pilot360 system, which is a response to other similar bundled packages from some of its rivals. Like those packages, Ford’s system brings a suite of drivers assistance aides to drivers which includes goodies such as forward collision warning, dynamic brake support, blind spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, automatic high beams, and pre-collision alert with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection. Both models also get their muscle from the familiar turbocharged 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6 that makes a solid 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. The engine is hooked up to the unchanged 10-speed automatic that promises to deliver balanced levels of performance and fuel economy. Along with the final performance figures, Ford also released official pricing for both the King Ranch and the updated Platinum, with the base King Ranch starting at $74,290. The ritzier Platinum has a slightly higher base price of $75,330, with both figures including the $1,395 destination fee.
Both the King Ranch and the updated Platinum model are available to order now, and are expected to begin arriving in Ford showrooms sometime this October.
With the King Ranch back in action, look for the Expedition to play a bigger role in sales, with Ford revealing that year to year sales of the Expedition rose 56 percent when compared to the same period in 2018. This is the best eight month start that the model has seen in over a decade, with the company also stating that one in five buyers who purchase an Expedition choose the top level Platinum trim. We expect that figure to shift once the King Ranch has a chance to firmly establish its self in the marketplace, but regardless of how you slice it, the Expedition has been a runaway hit for Ford, and we look forward to seeing what’s next in the near future for this big three row SUV.