What's New for 2007
The V10 engine option is discontinued on the 2007 Ford Econoline van. Electronic throttle control and an engine oil cooler are standard on all E-Series passenger vans this year, and the stability control system on E-350 vans (with the 5.4-liter V8) now has a rollover avoidance feature. A stronger driveshaft and rear antiroll bar give all E-150 vans an 8,500-pound gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). New options include rear parking sensors and a heavy-duty 135-amp alternator.
Tough, roomy and reliable, the Ford Econoline Wagon passenger van has a positive reputation with large families, church groups and livery companies alike. Ford says it has sold more than 6 million Econolines since the full-size, rear-drive van's introduction for 1961. Space and packaging are the keys to its success, as the Econoline can seat anywhere from seven to 15 passengers depending on how you equip it, while providing more than enough room for their luggage and solid towing capability.
The 2007 Ford Econoline Wagon lineup consists of the E-150, E-350 Super Duty and E-350 Super Duty Extended. The entry-level E-150 has three rows of seating and seats eight, unless you opt for second-row captain's chairs, in which case seven is the maximum. The standard-wheelbase E-350 adds another row of seating, allowing it to accommodate 12, while the E-350 Extended has five rows of seating for 15-passenger capacity. Compared to smaller, front-drive minivans, the rugged Econoline offers little in the way of modern comforts, although basic items like a CD changer, leather upholstery and reverse parking sensors are available. Families wanting anything beyond this will need to look to the aftermarket.
If you're shopping for a new full-size passenger van this year, your choices are limited to the 2007 Ford Econoline, the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana twins, or Dodge's German-built Sprinter. All four vehicles have similar prices, wheelbases and maximum passenger capacities. The Sprinter is the newest member of the group and offers the most cargo capacity thanks to its high-roof design. By virtue of their more modern mechanicals, GM's vans offer better ride and handling dynamics than the Econoline. Still, the 2007 Ford Econoline van has some advantages, namely an available diesel V8 and better reliability ratings than its GM counterparts. If the Econoline's packaging meets your needs, rest assured there's enough muscle here to transport a large family and pull an Airstream.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
A full-size passenger van, the 2007 Ford Econoline Wagon is available in three basic models: the eight-passenger E-150, the 12-passenger E-350 Super Duty and the 15-passenger E-350 Super Duty Extended. Each of these vans is offered in XL and XLT trim levels; E-150s are also available in high-line Chateau trim. Standard equipment on the XL includes 16-inch steel wheels, Class I towing preparation, vinyl upholstery, air-conditioning and an AM/FM radio unit. The XLT adds upgraded halogen headlights; chrome bumpers; cloth upholstery; a carpeted floor; a separate rear air conditioner; a six-speaker CD stereo; cruise control and power windows, mirrors and locks. The E-150 Chateau comes with alloy wheels, privacy glass, running boards, second-row captain's chairs (reducing seating capacity to seven) and keyless entry. Among the available options are a sliding cargo door, an upgraded Class II/III/IV tow package, telescoping side mirrors (for towing), a power driver seat, leather upholstery and an in-dash six-CD changer.
Powertrains and Performance
Three different engines are available on the Ford Econoline van. A 4.6-liter V8 capable of 225 horsepower and 286 pound-feet of torque is standard on the E-150. Optional on the E-150 and standard on all E-350 models is a 5.4-liter V8 rated for 255 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. Each of these V8s comes with a four-speed automatic transmission that delivers power to the rear wheels. For an extra five grand, E-350 buyers can upgrade to the 6.0-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V8 rated for 235 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque. Diesel Econolines come with a five-speed automatic transmission. Trailer ratings range from 6,500 pounds for an E-150 to 10,000 pounds for an E-350 Super Duty with the Power Stroke V8. The GCWR or gross combined weight rating (a measure of the maximum amount a vehicle can carry including the vehicle itself, passengers, cargo, trailer and even fuel) for the Econoline ranges from 11,500 pounds on the E-150 to 20,000 pounds on the E-350.
All 2007 Ford Econoline 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). To offset their less favorable center of gravity, E-350s feature a standard stability control system with rollover avoidance logic. The Econoline earned four out of five stars for both the driver and passenger in NHTSA's frontal-impact crash test.
Interior Design and Special Features
Inside, the Ford Econoline passenger van looks a little old-fashioned with its broad, flat dash and column shifter, but it's a functional setup with logically placed controls, large vents and plenty of walk space. Seating is comfortable, particularly if your van has the optional captain's chairs, though legroom is a bit tight for those sitting in the second row. Cargo space is prodigious, with anywhere from 237 to 275 cubic feet at your disposal.
Neither of the gasoline V8s offers a tremendous amount of off-the-line grunt, but the larger 5.4-liter is definitely our pick on the E-150, as even the base 2007 Ford Econoline weighs in at more than 2.5 tons. On the E-350 vans, the diesel V8 is the obvious choice, given its significant advantage in torque and added cruising range. Driving an Econoline, despite its passenger seating, differs little from piloting a delivery vehicle, so it's not a logical choice for everyday motoring. The virtues of sitting tall with a panoramic view can outweigh many a minor inconvenience, but the van is positively unwieldy in the city, with a minimum turning circle of 47 feet. Despite its old-fashioned suspension design, the Econoline feels relatively stable on the highway, but the Express/Savana and Sprinter offer more competent handling overall.