I bought the van used with 137K miles. It had some initial problems with the throttle position sensor that were quickly dealt with and have not recurred. It rides smootly and quietly on the highway and has plenty of power (5.8L V8). I took out the seats and built a bed a storage inside and use the van for camping several months a year. At this point I'd keep this van until the wheels fall off. Seems to be solid and shows no signs of problems.
Build quality seems very good. No rattles or leaks at almost 200K miles. Great insulation. Quiet, and stays warm inside in winter. OEM tinted windows a nice touch. Climate control is very good...cool in summer and warm in winter.
The engine cover makes it hard for the driver to move to the rear of the van. The power seat controls are located in a place that they are activated when I lean into the van from the open door. It should have 16 inch wheels and larger brake rotors. A place for a 2nd battery is needed.
I bought this van as a MARK VIII conversion to tow my antique car and trailer. It did a great job for 13 years. Other than standard maintance and a blown rear end and fuel pump at 150K it has been trouble free. I cant say enough high praises. I can see why so many contractors choose this van.
Only improvement I saw was a need for better access to some engine components for general service.
Purchased new. Had to name it Fenway due to its color, green. You know, Green Monster, for its big green sides. Worst feature was the fuel pump which acted up in its early days and was undiagnosed by dealerships until complete failure summer of 2000. Next worst is rear heater pipes which have rusted out twice. Other than that, the van's been a capable family go on vacation vehicle. The first nine years pulling a pop up trailer. the last two pulling a 30 ft travel trailer. Highway mileage mid 16 per gallon with just family, slightly better than 10 with the big trailer. Interior holding up fine, precious little wear showing on the seats and I'm the height and weight of most NFL linemen.
4 Captains chairs and rear fold down seat/bed. 351 engine and 4 speed tranny still pulling strong, even fully loaded with trailer in hot weather on the road to Mt Rushmore.
Lose the blasted twin bridge girder front end, Please! Hey, why not use plastic lines for rear heater!
This was the best vehicle I have ever owned. 12 years and 165000 miles with no more than minor repairs. Easy enough for me to work on - tune ups, etc. I had 5 kids at home when I bought it, and still use it even though my nest is empty. It uses gas at 13-15 mpg, but is cheaper to move 7 people around than 2 small cars. Cost of license, insurance, tires and minor repairs will keep this Van in the family for a few more years. Everything still works, but I have replaced a few switches, the radiator, and other small repairs.
Size, comfort, reliability. This van has never let us down.
An outdoor thermometer and a cruise control indicator light.
For a large group, like a family, this
is the best all around vehicle we have
ever had. It is roomy and comfortable.
Takes 7 people skiing or to the coast.
The AC keeps cool even in 110 degree
weather. Stays warm at 40 below. Easily
fits 7 adults. The captain chairs make
the backseat just as comfortable as the
front. I have put all 144k miles on it.
taught my children to drive in it. Once
they master a big van like this, they
can drive and park anywhere.
Only downsides are non-openning windows
in back. Ford should add rear window
control to the driver as well. Low
maintenance for the miles and usage.
Comfortable seats. Reliability. It can
be serviced anywhere in USA. Good road
visibilty. Spare tire elevator.
Add an outdoor thermometer. Add movable
windows to the rear. Add power window