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1999 Ford Explorer Review
An SUV enthusiast’s dream.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The Ford Explorer is a midsize sport utility vehicle (SUV), first introduced in 1990. The 1999 model year was part of its second generation that began in 1995. It started with significant updates to the vehicle’s suspension, interior, and exterior. The Windsor V-8 engine was taken from the Mustang GT and introduced in the Explorer in 1996. Meanwhile a SOHC V-6 engine became available in 1997.
Engine: 4.0-liter V-6, 5.0-liter V-8
Transmission: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Ford Explorer Sport, Ford Explorer XL, Ford Explorer XLS, Ford Explorer XLT, Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer, Ford Explorer Limited
The 1999 Ford Explorer gets several exterior changes with few interior changes. Exterior changes include new foglamps, wheel moldings, wheels, and running boards. Five colors are replaced with new ones as well. The interior changes include a new and optional reverse sensing system and a rear load leveling system. Side impact airbags are also installed.
In terms of exterior, the 1999 Ford Explorer receives a new quarter panel sheet metal, running boards, badging, and body moldings. It has a distinct truck-like look rather than the smoother lines of competitors like the Nissan Pathfinder. Depending on the owner’s personal preferences, this can be a good or bad feature.
The interior of the 1999 Ford Explorer is more refined than other vehicles in its class. The organically sweeping dashboard on the Explorer has radio controls that can be easily operated. Materials used inside the vehicle feel much more classy and rich than before. Rear seat comfort in the Explorer is much better than that of the Chevrolet Blazer, while entry and exit is easier than that of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The vehicle also offers greater cargo capacity than most of its competitors, and generous all-round headroom and space make it even more attractive.
Performance & Handling
The 1999 Ford Explorer comes in a number of engine options. The base option is a four-liter V-6, which is the smallest in any domestic SUV. Acceleration is tolerable from standstill, but it becomes very dismal at midrange speeds, which is bad news for merging or passing. However, Ford also offers the five-liter ,V-8 engine from its last generation Mustang GT. This engine offers better acceleration at the cost of greater fuel consumption.
The 1999 Ford Explorer also offers its SOHC V-6 that has as much power as the Mustang’s V-8 but with a little better fuel economy. A five-speed manual gearbox is standard on the base engine, while a four-speed automatic gearbox is optional. For the V-8, the four-speed automatic gearbox is the only available option. The automatic transmission has a quick response and allows clear and flawless gearshifts. The wide, long stance allows for good stability around turns, although the ride gets a little choppy with the shorter three-door version. It also boasts of precise steering, allowing for easy and confident cornering.
The 1999 Ford Explorer receives above average scores after tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It's awarded with four out of possible five stars in terms of driver and passenger safety for front-impact collisions. Side impact airbags are added to the safety features this year as well.
EPA Fuel Economy
Ford Explorer V-8: 13/17 mpg city/highway
- Great visibility for an SUV of its size
- Many engine choices available
- One of the most spacious and comfortable cabins in its class
You Won't Like
- Very poor fuel economy
- High price tag
An SUV enthusiast’s dream.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Honda Pilot
- Nissan Pathfinder
- Chevrolet Blazer
- Toyota Highlander