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Although the Econoline still provides one of the most spacious interiors on the market for big families, its lack of significant upgrades leaves it a step behind GM's more modern full-size vans.
Massive people-hauling and cargo-toting ability, powerful engines, wide range of configurations, comfortable seats.
Trucklike fuel economy, unwieldy size, limited second-row legroom, lots of wind noise.
Available Econoline Wagon Models
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Ford's Econoline (E-Series) van gets few changes for 2004. A Chateau model is added to the lineup, whereas it was previously only an option package. Aluminum 16-inch wheels are available on all Econolines; in fact, even the standard-issue steel wheels are 16s this year. The 4.2-liter V6 has been dropped on E-150 models, while E-350 models now offer Ford's excellent new 6.0-liter turbodiesel V8 in place of the 7.3-liter diesel. Several features from last year's Econoline have been deleted -- among these, underseat storage, the passenger-side vanity mirror, seat-mounted grab handles and overhead lighting in the second row.
Laura's old car was costing her a small fortune every month for gas and repairs. She didn't even want to drive her kids to the park any more. But buying a new Kia Soul changed all that.