The 1999 Ford Escort is part of the third generation of compact cars manufactured by Ford Motor Company. It was a redesigned version of the European model and was Ford’s first ever front-wheel-drive vehicle built in the United States. It was first introduced in the beginning of the 1980s as a replacement for the Ford Pinto and was one of the company’s most successful models through the decade. In fact, it was the best-selling car in the U.S. in its second production year as well as during a majority of the 1980s.
Body style: sedan, station wagon, coupe
Engine: 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder
Transmission: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Ford Escort SE, Ford Escort LX, Ford Escort ZX2 Cool, Ford Escort ZX2 Hot
The 1999 Ford Escort gets new interior fabrics, revised options, and new colors. It comes with a new standard AM/FM stereo system and cassette player. The interior trunk release has also been made standard for all models, as has the all-door remote keyless entry system. However, the integrated child seat, surprisingly, is removed.
The 1999 Ford Escort is clearly designed to appeal to younger drivers. The wagon and sedan versions look strictly average. Although the wagon version probably looks the least impressive, the ZX2 is the best-looking version.
The 1999 Ford Escort has a spacious interior with generous front headroom even for tall occupants. Leg space is also ample enough to keep adults comfortable, although knee room at the rear is a little tight. In the coupe, the headroom at the rear is a little tight as well. The dashboard has finally improved with gauges directly in front of the driver with climate and audio controls grouped together in a nice integrated control panel.
The 1999 Ford Escort also has average interior storage in the form of small door map pockets, a small glove compartment, and a cup holder console. Cargo space is also average, although the wagon proves to be a good hauler. The rear seat also folds in, but not fully.
Performance & Handling
The 1999 Ford Escort comes with a completely new two-liter overhead cam engine that delivers 110 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque. This is around 22 horsepower more than the previous engine, but the additional power is offset by the extra 120 lbs. of weight added to the car. Acceleration, therefore, is just about the same, although the engine is much quieter and smoother than before. The automatic gearbox is also much smoother thanks to the new engine, with faster downshifts. With the manual transmission installed, the 1999 Ford Escort has a much livelier feel, as well as an expected better fuel economy.
The 1999 Ford Escort's suspension has been nicely tuned, so it can go through most bumps better than other subcompacts. In terms of handling, it's just about average, although steering is quite natural. Noise filtration in the cabin is good enough unless the driver hits the highway, it's expected in other competitors. Body roll has been controlled to a large extent, especially on the ZX2.
The 1999 Ford Escort sets an example because it makes safety a priority and returns with above average crash test scores. Even though, it's not exceptionally high ratings, it does come with some much needed improvements; previous models were notorious for its high rolling, rattling, and shaking tendency. Thankfully, the cross-car beam, stiffened stabilizer bars, and one-piece construction makes the car much stiffer and more stable on the road.
EPA Fuel Economy
Ford Escort ZX2: 22/30 mpg city/highway
Ford Escort, automatic: 22/31 mpg city/highway
Ford Escort, manual: 24/34 mpg city/highway
- Many features for an entry-level sedan
- Great fuel mileage
- Surprisingly good performance
You Won't Like
- Isn't visually appealing
- No integrated child seat
Value and style combine.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Honda Civic
- Mazda Protege
- Hyundai Elantra