Overview & Reviews
Although it was last produced for the 2014 model year, the Ford Econoline (E-Series) Wagon, the passenger carrying version of this stalwart van, hadn't undergone a full redesign since George Bush was president. No, not George W, but the original "no new taxes" edition. But there was good reason for the Econoline's staying power other than Ford simply not messing with what had been the top-selling full-size van for more than three decades. For upfitters (those who turn vans into commercial vehicles such as airport shuttles), any change to the Econoline's basic structure and dimensions meant they also had to change the dimensions and tooling of their customizations.
However, in its unmodified form as a high-capacity passenger van, the Ford Econoline showed its old age. It received only minor changes over the years, the most significant of which occurred for 1997 (engine and interior updates) and for 2008 when it received a radical new grille along with steering, brake and suspension improvements. Yet the basic vehicle and its passenger comfort remained virtually unchanged. As such, other full-size vans outclassed the Econoline in terms of versatility and ride and handling dynamics. But considering the Ford's typically lower price and respectable reputation for reliability, it makes a solid choice for a used full-size passenger van.
The more modern Transit replaced the Econoline as Ford's full-size passenger van.
Most Recent Ford Econoline Passenger Van
Though not a new generation, the most recent version of the Econoline passenger van was produced from 2008 through 2014. There were three basic models: the eight-passenger E-150, the 12-passenger E-350 Super Duty and the 15-passenger E-350 Super Duty Extended. Each of these vans was offered in XL and XLT trim, with the E-150 also available in a high-end Chateau trim.
The base XL was just that, with vinyl upholstery, air-conditioning and an AM/FM radio as its notable standard features. The upper trim levels came better equipped and options were plentiful. Two passenger-side openings were available: a pair of barn-style swinging doors and a single, minivan-type sliding unit. Unlike on the Sprinter by Dodge or Mercedes-Benz, dual sliding doors were not available.
There were three engines available on these E-Series Wagons. A 4.6-liter V8 with 225 horsepower and 286 pound-feet of torque was standard on the E-150. A 5.4-liter V8 capable of 255 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque was optional on the E-150 and standard on the E-350 Super Duty models. Both of these engines came with a four-speed automatic. E-350 buyers could upgrade to a 6.8-liter V10 with 305 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic came with the V10.
The generation that encompassed these refreshed E-Series wagons dated back to 1992, when it was called the Club Wagon. The name change to E-Series Wagon took place for '98. Whatever it had been officially called, the Econoline was always available in E-150 and E-350 styles with two vehicle lengths. An E-250 was also offered for most of this model's run. Trim levels included base XL, midlevel XLT and, depending on the year, plush Chateau trim levels. There were numerous options and packages available, so be sure a potential used Econoline has the features you're looking for.
The original vans from this generation came standard with a 4.9-liter inline-6 engine or a choice of three gasoline V8s and a diesel V8. In 1997, these engines were replaced with a base V6, two Triton V8s and a Triton V10. The diesel V8 carried over unchanged. That year, the Econoline underwent other significant upgrades. The dashboard was redesigned to meet the latest Ford interior standards and the grille was updated to match Ford's ongoing oval theme.
Items like tilt steering wheel, antilock brakes and a passenger front airbag were added at the turn of the century. In 2003, the E-Series was given another grille design to match the latest F-Series Super Duty, featuring two vertical bars and an integrated Ford badge (rather than perched on the hood lip). Engine output continued to rise, and a 6.0-liter turbodiesel V8 debuted for '04.
Although the basic body design remained unchanged, Ford's big passenger van underwent another update for 2008. There was a new front fascia, along with significant changes to the steering system, brakes and suspension to improve driving dynamics. There were also new seats and seat-integrated three-point belts for rear center position passengers. The 6.0-liter turbodiesel V8 was replaced by the 6.8-liter gas V10 for '09, a year that also saw a welcome interior redesign and some new options. After that, changes were minimal.
Despite its segment-leading sales, the Ford Econoline passenger van suffered from its ancient design. Although the most recent version featured improved steering, braking and suspension systems, there was still no escaping the fact that the basic architecture was two decades old. That said, these Econolines still make for a decent option given their low pricing and strong dependability record.
The Ford Econoline name dates back to 1961, and the previous-generation Econoline was produced from 1975-'91.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 63.00
Best one yet. - 2001 Ford Econoline Wagon
By Dennis Carter - December 4 - 10:00 am
I have owned 4 club wagons since 1978. My 2001 E150 Traveler is the best one yet. I feel the $ value of the E150 Traveler is fantastic. I don't know why Ford doesn't promote this product more.
Nice - 2006 Ford Econoline Wagon
By timmy - November 23 - 4:30 am
Traded a E-350 for the Chateau. A lot of difference in ride and mileage. Having 4 captain seats is great. I would buy another one.
2000 Ford Conversion Van - 2000 Ford Econoline Wagon
By David Rien - September 20 - 1:33 am
We purchased this "used" vehicle from the dealer in 2000, it was never registered but had 4,000 miles on it as it was used as a model. It has been a great family car/van. It has never given us any trouble in the ten years that we have owned it and it is now fast approaching 100K miles. We have properly maintained it, so no major issues. Great for long trips especially when you have young children and much better to own than a conventional family van. Now though at 10 years and 100K miles, leather interior is starting to peel away. It might require some transmission work soon, but heck haven't had any transmission issues in 100K miles. My biggest and only complaint, gas mileage.
POOR DEALERSHIPS - 2003 Ford Econoline Wagon
By MAD - September 15 - 2:00 am
The last Ford I purshased was 1985. then again in 2002. Each time the dealer net work was terrible! Air noise in 2002 air leak under the dash is noisy and very cold on the drivers right foot.
Steering issues - 2008 Ford Econoline Wagon
By Forman - June 10 - 3:16 am
I have been driving 12 and 15 passenger vans for decades.We replaced our last 2000 Chevy 15 passenger van with the 2008 Ford E-350 15 passenger van and have had serious problems with the Ford steering and handling.The vehicle has enormous play in steering column at higher speeds on highway with significant drifting which is dangerous when passing tractor trailers. The van has been in repair shop 3-4 times (4000 miles) for steering issues and was realigned twice already. Roll Stability Control (RSC) sensors have been replaced at only 3000 miles and after replacing are defective again requiring another replacement. Plastic dashboard panel was replaced due to warping and it had only 2000 miles.
very pleased - 2000 Ford Econoline Wagon
By mommasimpson - May 28 - 7:16 am
We bought this van when we were expecting our fourth child and we've really enjoyed it. We have four captain chairs and we love the way we can herd all the kids in and shut the doors before we get everybody in their seats. For a big family I think this car is a better buy and more comfortable than any SUV we've had. My husband wants to trade mine and get a newer model but at 106,000 miles it still runs great. If I ever get another, I'll spring for a high top with leather seats.
A lot of flaws but incredible ride - 2000 Ford Econoline Wagon
By Eddie - January 15 - 6:33 am
I actually own a E-250 van which they dont include here when choosing your model. The ride and comfort are second to none although the front passenger side has very little leg room. The front end on this van is awful and my mech has told me this is because of the frame that Ford refuses to change and has been the same since the stone age. I bought this as a new van with only 5 miles on it at purchase and have spent easily 5k on the front end, Ball joints, shimmers, tie rods and have gone through numerous tires because of the front ends problem. Most of my problems have been with the conversion company which is named Explorer. I have had a leak in the seal of the roof. Numerous sm, prob w/con
Good vehicle - 2000 Ford Econoline Wagon
By changvictor - November 14 - 2:00 am
Very reliable, have never let me down at the most critical moment,is a little slow at steep hills with the 4.6 engine it keeps a good speed at cruising, better mileage in the freeway. have not problems, only a leak AC compresor fixed by manufacturer,good experience, very happy owner.
Awesome Van - 2000 Ford Econoline Wagon
By Excellent Van - November 1 - 4:26 am
We bought this van six years ago and have thoroughly enjoyed it. It not only carries a large number of people, but it has been extremely reliable.
Ford E150 - 2001 Ford Econoline Wagon
By arc2642angel - October 23 - 3:26 am
This is the first full size van we have owned. After 3 mini-vans, it has been a wonderful experience owning something that is so large and comfortable to drive. We have driven from NC to Texas twice and have made several shorter state-to-state trips. With front and rear air, airplane lighting, and bucket seats all around, the travel is comfortable for all.