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1999 Ford Ranger Review
All truck, and a fun one at that.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 1999 Ford Ranger marks part of the second generation of pickup trucks manufactured by Ford Motor Company. The Ranger debuted in 1993, although Ford first used the Ranger nameplate for a premium version of its F-Series trucks from 1965.
Engines: 2.5-liter four-cylinder, 3.0-liter V-6, 4.0-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: Ford Ranger XL, Ford Ranger XLT
The 1999 Ford Ranger brings with it some important changes, including 15-inch silver-styled wheels, a spare tire access lock, and a class III receiver for V-6 applications on the frame. All models of the pickup get two front cup holders, and a new interior color option has been added, although two others also leave the lineup. The Ranger Splash discontinues, but a three-liter, V-6, flexible fuel engine that runs on ethanol/gasoline blends becomes available.
The 1999 Ranger has a modified exterior that looks suspiciously similar to the recently popular Dodge Dakota. If you can get past the uncanny similarities, you find that the 1999 Ford Ranger has a strong presence but it still looks less flashy than a Dakota. There are some subtle cues of aerodynamic, rounded design, but the Ranger retains most of its traditional appearance. However, the “sport"" decal and the chrome bumpers and grille can be an eyesore.
The 1999 Ford Ranger offers a slightly bigger interior than previous models and more storage space behind the seat. Despite improvements, the regular cab Ranger still offers less space than its competitors. The long version of the Ranger regular cab allows the seatback to tilt farther back than before.
Nevertheless, tall occupants may have to go only for the SuperCab version. Short drivers might find the SuperCab seats to be too long, but tall drivers prefer them. The four-door option on this version also provides a huge advantage, although the rear-hinged back doors seem narrow and difficult to open without opening the front door first.
Controls prove easier to reach than before and more like those in a car; radio controls experience the same transition. Overall, the interior of the 1999 Ford Ranger uses quality materials that few expect from a compact pickup truck.
Performance & Handling
The 1999 Ranger with the four-liter V-6 offers plenty of torque at low revs and decent performance, although it tends to be a little coarse and noisy. The engine also mates very well with the five-speed automatic transmission, allowing prompt and quick gearshifts. Upshifts feel very crisp and barely noticeable, while downshifts are slightly harsher.
The push-button four-wheel drive is a pleasure to use. The three-liter V-6 is not particularly quiet, and the fuel economy falls a little behind that of the four-liter engine. The 1999 Ford Ranger offers decent ride quality and handling characteristics for a truck. Although it sways and jiggles on rough roads, the suspension does an admirable job of absorbing the big bumps and keeping the Ranger stable.
The Ranger also offers stable cornering capabilities, albeit with a slight body lean. Steering feedback is quite good. The 1999 Ford Ranger handles easily, maneuvers neatly, and corners capably. As expected, the fuel economy of the Ranger falls short of spectacular.
The 1999 Ford Ranger offers an optional passenger-side airbag that can be disabled with a switch. However, safety tests have not been conducted by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, or NHTSA.
EPA Fuel Economy
Ford Ranger FFV 2WD, manual: 16/21 mpg city/highway
Ford Ranger Pickup 2WD, 2.5-liter, automatic: 18/23 mpg city/highway
Ford Ranger Pickup 2WD, 2.5-liter, manual: 19/24 mpg city/highway
Ford Ranger Pickup 2WD, 4.0-liter, automatic: 14/20 mpg city/highway
Ford Ranger Pickup 2WD, 4.0-liter, manual: 16/20 mpg city/highway
Ford Ranger Pickup 2WD, 3.0-liter, automatic: 14/18 mpg city/highway
Ford Ranger Pickup 2WD, 3.0-liter, manual: 16/20 mpg city/highway
Ford Ranger FFV 4WD, 3.0-liter, automatic: 14/18 mpg city/highway
Ford Ranger FFV 4WD, 3.0-liter, manual: 16/20 mpg city/highway
Ford Ranger Pickup 4WD, 4.0-liter, automatic: 14/18 mpg city/highway
Ford Ranger Pickup 4WD, 4.0-liter, manual: 15/19 mpg city/highway
- Four-door entry
- Five-speed automatic transmission
- Optional fuel-electric flexible powertrains
You Won't Like
- Uninspiring restyled body a clear copy of the Dakota
All truck, and a fun one at that.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Dodge Dakota
- Chevrolet S-10
- GMC Sonoma
- Nissan Frontier
- Toyota Tacoma
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