What's New for 2007
Electronic throttle control and an engine oil cooler are standard on all 2007 Ford Econoline Cargo vans. A stronger driveshaft and rear antiroll bar give all E-150 vans a minimum 8,500-pound gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). New options on the E-Series include rear parking sensors and a heavy-duty 135-amp alternator.
A fixture in commercial fleets across the U.S., the Ford Econoline Cargo van is also a popular choice among independent contractors and small-business owners who need a roomy vehicle to transport equipment between job sites. Ford says it has sold more than 6 million Econolines since the full-size, rear-drive van's introduction for 1961. Thanks to low pricing, strong reliability ratings and a varied engine lineup, the 2007 Ford Econoline Cargo remains a viable choice among cargo vans, despite its aged underpinnings.
All Ford cargo vans ride on a 138-inch wheelbase, but you'll want to study the offerings carefully, based on the dimensions and weight of the gear you need to carry. The E-Series lineup starts out with the half-ton E-150, which will be more than adequate for many buyers, given its minimum 1,800-pound payload rating. For those who require a heavier-duty vehicle, there's the 3/4-ton E-250 and a 20-inch-longer version called the E-250 Extended, which adds an additional 52 cubic feet of load space. Finally, for buyers who require maximum payload capacity, there's the 1-ton E-350 Super Duty as well as a longer E-350 Super Duty Extended version.
If you're planning to purchase a new full-size cargo van for business use this year, you're going to end up with the Ford Econoline, the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana twins, or the Mercedes-engineered Dodge Sprinter. Each is similar in price and size. The GM vans offer more powerful gas- and diesel-powered V8 engine options and better ride dynamics, while the Dodge, originally designed for European markets, is notable for its carlike handling, fuel-efficient engine and tall, convenience-laden cabin.
Alongside these competitors, the 2007 Ford Econoline Cargo feels dated in terms of its driving dynamics and design. But the Econoline's reputation for dependability is certainly a factor to consider, and if you can get it equipped the way you want at a price that undercuts the competition, it's a reasonable choice for a full-size cargo van.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
Ford's commercial-use 2007 Ford Econoline Cargo van is available to the general public in half-ton, 3/4-ton and 1-ton sizes. For those whose hauling needs aren't too intensive, there is the base E-150 model. If you have a bit more on your plate, select the E-250, which comes in two lengths -- regular (212 inches) and E-250 Extended (232 inches). Finally, for contractors with the heaviest payloads (up to 4,000 pounds), there's the E-350 Super Duty van, also available in regular and extended lengths.
In base form, Ford cargo vans are sparsely equipped -- two vinyl bucket seats, air-conditioning, tilt steering wheel adjustment, manual mirrors, a two-speaker AM/FM radio and 16-inch tires with steel rims. Among the available options are functional items like a second-row bench (so you can carry the whole crew), a Class II/III/IV towing package and shorter axle ratios for enhanced towing ability (most with a limited-slip differential), as well as "luxuries" like halogen headlights, interior insulation, cloth upholstery, captain's chairs, cruise control, a six-speaker CD stereo and a power group with keyless entry and power windows and locks. There are also packages that allow contractors to equip their van with various racks, bins and drawers.
Powertrains and Performance
Ford's cargo van is available with four different engines. Standard on the E-150 and E-250 models is a 4.6-liter V8 rated for 225 horsepower and 286 pound-feet of torque. Optional on these models and standard on the E-350 Super Duty is a 5.4-liter V8 good for 255 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. Both of these gasoline V8s are paired with a four-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the rear wheels. Engine upgrades on the E-350s include a 6.8-liter V10 rated for 305 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, and Ford's 6.0-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V8, which produces 235 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic is standard with the V10 and diesel V8. Trailer ratings range from 6,500 pounds for an E-150 with the 4.6-liter V8 to 10,000 pounds for an E-350 Super Duty with the 4.10 axle ratio and either the V10 or diesel engine option. The GCWR or Gross Combined Weight Rating (a measure of the maximum amount a vehicle can carry including passengers, cargo, trailer and even fuel) for the Econoline Cargo ranges from 11,500 pounds on the E-150 to 20,000 pounds on the E-350.
All 2007 Ford Econoline Cargo vans come standard with ABS, a full set of ventilated disc brakes and second-generation front airbags (with a manual deactivation switch on the passenger side). The E-Series earned four out of five stars for both the driver and passenger in NHTSA's frontal-impact crash test.
Interior Design and Special Features
Besides adding an optional second-row bench to accommodate your staff, you can increase your Econoline Cargo van's day-to-day livability (for people, anyway) by equipping it with swing-out side glass and fixed rear glass and/or a sliding side cargo door (in place of the standard hinged doors). Maximum cargo capacity is 257 cubic feet in the 2007 Ford E-150 and the standard-length E-250 and E-350 Super Duty models, and 309 cubic feet in the 20-inch-longer E-250 and E-350 Extended vans.
Despite its aged design, the Ford Econoline Cargo feels relatively stable and confident at highway speeds. Given its size, of course, it's cumbersome to park and maneuver through heavy traffic. GM's cargo vans have a stronger lineup of gas-powered V8s than the Econoline, and their optional diesel V8 has a slightly higher output than Ford's Power Stroke diesel as well. Still, if you're looking for a gas-powered V10, Ford is the only manufacturer that offers one in a full-size van.