Used 2001 Ford Econoline Cargo Van Review

Edmunds expert review

The Econoline is the best full-size van on the market, and when equipped with the Traveler package, makes sense as an alternative to a large SUV.

What's new for 2001

2001 Econoline Vans are virtually the same as last year, with a deluxe engine cover console, a passenger-side airbag and a heavy-duty battery now being standard on all models. A Premium Van Package has been added for commercial vans. Recreational vans can be ordered with a CD-equipped stereo.

Vehicle overview

Tough, roomy, rugged and reliable, Ford's Econoline Van has a favorable, well-earned reputation. Since its introduction in 1960, Ford says it has sold more than 6 million Econolines.

The current lineup is extensive. There is the base-model E-150, the E-250, the E-250 Extended, the tougher E-350 Super Duty, and the E-350 Super Duty Extended. Ford equips each of these vehicles in either recreational- or commercial-use trim. Both come standard with items like driver and passenger second-generation airbags, air conditioning and a handling package. Major optional equipment for vans (depending on the model) includes an all-around window package, exterior and interior upgrades, a trailer towing package and a sliding cargo door.

The Econoline Van is available with five different engines (or six, if you count the special-order 5.4-liter natural gas V8). E-150s, E-250s and E-250 Extended models come with a standard 200-horsepower, 4.2-liter V6. Optional on the E-150 is either a 4.6-liter V8 or a 5.4-liter V8. The 4.6-liter produces 215 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque, while the 5.4-liter makes 255 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque.

E-350 Super Duty and Super Duty Extended models have the 5.4-liter V8 as standard. To upgrade, you can go with a 305-horsepower, 6.8-liter V10 or Ford's 7.3-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V8. This monster cranks out 215 horsepower and 425 pound-feet of torque. Four-speed automatic transmissions are standard across all models. Trailer ratings range from 5,100 pounds for an E-150 Wagon powered by a 4.2-liter V6, to 10,000 pounds for an E-350 Super Duty. And then there's the matter of cargo space -- up to 309 cubic feet of it! Let's see an Excursion try and match that.

If you want to purchase a new full-size van, you're going to end up with the Econoline, the Chevrolet Express, the Dodge Ram Wagon or the GMC Savana. All three vehicles are similar in price and size. The Express and Econoline have more powerful optional engines, however. Horsepower and torque output from the Ford V10 and the Chevy big-block V8 are very similar. For buyers in this market, it will most likely come down to pricing and getting the desired options.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.