What's New for 2000
The 5.4-liter V8 and the 6.8-liter V10 gas engines generate more horsepower and torque. Four-wheel antilock brakes are now standard on all models. The Light Convenience Group, including courtesy lights, a rear cargo light, a chime warning module, a "headlamps on" alert, and illuminated courtesy door lights, is now standard on all models. The handling package has been made standard on all Econolines. The towing package is standard on all wagons. The instrument panel has been simplified. Remote keyless entry and power sail-mount mirrors are standard on recreational vans.
Tough, roomy, rugged and reliable, Ford's Econoline full-size vans and wagons have a favorable, well-earned reputation. Since its introduction in 1960, Ford says it has sold more than 6 million Econolines.
The current lineup is quite extensive. The E-150 and E-350 Super Duty Wagons are the two Econolines designed to haul passengers. Econoline Wagons -- all on a 138-inch wheelbase -- accommodate seven or eight (E-150), 12 (E-350) or 15 (E-350 extended) passengers. Trailer ratings range from 4,700 pounds for an E-150 Wagon powered by a 4.2-liter V6, to 10,000 pounds for an E-350 Super Duty Extended Wagon with a 4.10 rear-axle ratio and either a 6.8-liter V10 or a 7.3-liter diesel.
The 5.4-liter Triton V8 and 6.8-liter V10 engines both serve up more power for 2000. The V8's horsepower increases from 235 to 255, and the V10 increases from 265 to 305. Torque increases from 335 pound-feet to 350 for the V8 and from 410 to 420 for the V10. All engines are teamed with an automatic overdrive transmission, and all gasoline engines feature a fail-safe cooling system to help protect against engine damage in case of a coolant loss.
Driving a Econoline, despite its passenger seating, differs little from piloting a delivery vehicle, so it's not a logical choice for everyday motoring -- though quite a few families happily employ their Wagons exactly that way. The virtues of sitting tall with a panoramic view of the road ahead can outweigh many a minor inconvenience -- such as the difficulty of squeezing these biggies into urban parking spots and compact garages. Handling is light, seats are acceptably comfortable, and Club Wagons don't ride badly at all, considering the old-fashioned suspension configurations they employ.
If you want to purchase a new full-size van, you're going to end up with either the Econoline, the Chevrolet Express, the Dodge Ram Wagon or the GMC Savana. No other manufacturer has deemed it worthy to bully its way into the full-size van market. All four vehicles have similar prices, wheelbases and maximum passenger capacities (15 people). The Express, Savana and Econoline have more powerful optional engines, however. Horsepower and torque output from the Ford V10 and the GM big-block V8 are very similar. For buyers in this market, it will most likely come down to pricing and getting the desired options.