Good van for the money
By rooddog on
1997 Ford E-150 XL Club Wagon 3dr Van
We were looking for a van 3 years ago to replace our Dodge Caravan. I wanted a truck but we had to settle on one vehicle and this was it. Since then we have (a) hauled kids (b) hauled materials, including 4x8 sheets of drywall inside (c) done a lot of camping. This van works good for all aspects. This has been reliable and taken us everywhere we needed to go. The 4.8 V8 works fine, but if you can find one with a 5.3 V8 you'll be happier with the power and the gas mileage will be the same. The V6 is underpowered, even if you are only hauling people, and it gets the same mileage! Repair costs can be above average but the frequency of repairs has been the least of all our vehicles.
Ride height gets you up above most other cars, improving visibility. Starts, corners, and stops well. Good flexibility for cargo space.
Tune ups have to be performed by a mechanic (special parts, tough access). Big van = 15 mpg.