Ford Trucks and Cars For 1999
By Carey Russ
It could be said that Ford is a truck company that also makes cars. Trucks are that important a part of Fords business. The F-Series pickup has been the best-selling vehicle in the country for the past 16 years, the Econoline full-size van has been at the top of its field for 19 years, and the Expedition is the number-one full-size sport-utility. The Explorer is the number-one-selling SUV, period.
The Windstar minivan gets major attention this year. A heavy- duty, work-oriented Super Duty series of pickups were added to the lineup midway through 1998.
Deep inside, something in Ford's minivan might be the same as last year, but it's hard to tell by looking. This year's models have new exterior and interior styling and an available driver's side sliding door. With that option, sliding doors on both side are power-operated and may be opened and closed with the remote entry fob. Other options, including a sonar-based "Reverse Sensing System" and head and chest side air bags, increase safety.
The Windstar is offered in cargo van and passenger wagon form, with several trim levels of wagon available. A 3.0-liter V6 is standard in the van and base-level wagon. The 3.8-liter V6 used in up- level wagons makes the same 200 horsepower as before, but with far lower exhaust emissions levels.
With the addition of the 1999 Super Duty F-Series in the middle of the 1998 model year, Ford's pickup line has the widest number of choices in the industry. Reflecting the needs of the heavy- duty pickup buyer, the Super Duty is built on a different platform than the more personal-use-oriented F-150 and F-250. There are 44 Super Duty model configurations, of which 21 are new and 15 unique to the industry. These include regular cab, four-door SuperCab extended cab, crew cab, and Class A motor home chassis models.
On a slightly smaller scale, new front styling, a more powerful 5.4-liter V8 engine, and a standard fourth door for all SuperCab extended-cab models are the highlights for the 1999 line of Ford F-150 and F-250 pickups. There is no shortage of model choices in Ford's smaller full-size line, with V6 and V8 engines, two box styles, regular or Super Cab body styles, and two- or four-wheel drive.
Ford's biggest sport-utility gets a minor facelift inside and out for 1999. Power-adjustable gas and brake pedals are available for greater comfort, especially for shorter drivers. To improve performance and towing ability, both the standard 4.6-liter and optional 5.4-liter V8s have significantly more power. The Expedition's "Control-Trac" automatic four-wheel-drive system has been modified, and the premium Eddie Bauer model has additional standard equipment.
The mid-size Explorer has an exterior freshening and improvements to the rear seat. New options, including the "Reverse Sensing System" and head and chest side air bags add convenience and safety.
The 1999 Ford Explorer is offered in a two-door body style with two- or four-wheel drive, and in four-door form with two-, four-, or all-wheel drive. Engine choices include a 4.0-liter V6 and a 5.0-liter V8.
A wide choice of models, engines, and abilities contribute to the full-size Econoline's popularity. The Club Wagon name for passenger vans is gone this year, replaced by Econoline Wagon. All models now have E-Series badging, with the heavy-duty E-350 and E- 450 models also getting the Super Duty moniker. A variety of lengths and capacities in both passenger, freight, and RV chassis configuration are available with engines ranging from a 4.2-liter V6 through a 7.3- liter V8 turbo-diesel.
The compact Ranger got an available fourth door for its Super Cab body style partway through 1998. This makes it much easier to load cargo or small people into the rear of the cab. This completed 1998's major makeover for the Ranger, so it is relatively unchanged for 1999.