2003 Ford Econoline Cargo E-350 SD 3dr Van (5.4L 8cyl 4A)
This is a strong well-made van, but Ford engineering can make a problem a very expensive repair. It cost me over $400 to have the spark plugs changed, $700 to replace the fuel pump. But overall, it is a comfortable van that carries a lot of cargo, and is fairly quick with the 5.4 engine while getting an average of 17-18 mpg highway. The cruise was not working intermittently. "Could be a lot of things" they said,"bring it in". But first I went on youtube for answers. I learned it might be the sensor on the bottom of the master cylinder. A 30 dollar fix, easy do it yourself and now it works again. The van is now 15 years old, still going strong and dependable at 180,000.
2003 Ford Econoline Cargo E-250 3dr Ext Van (4.2L 6cyl 4A)
I bought this van over a year ago with 330,000 miles on it, its the ext. 3/4 ton version with a 4.6l. I was skeptical at first but for $1500 I figured it was worth a shot. We drive it everywhere, its been on several 6-8 hours trips. I use it to haul Mx bikes to the races. The 4.6l gets around 16-17 mpg on the highway fully loaded which is 4 bikes, 4 guys and all of our gear for a weekend of racing and riding. If you need something to haul stuff, this is it. Find one that was well maintained and you can't go wrong.
The room, its so huge.
offer a ford factory 4x4 version, the quigley's are a little expensive.
2003 Ford Econoline Cargo E-150 3dr Van (4.2L 6cyl 4A)
I love my new (used) van. However it is misnamed Econoline. I got the 6 cylinder to save at least a gallon or two mpg but see little difference with the more powerful V8 so consider a very thirsty 8 as the 6 is fairly underpowered up hills. Also, need winter tires if in snow or ice, worst traction of any vehicle. Typical van! I knew that going into this, so I am very happy otherwise. It's a great tool shed on wheels, and visibility and safety seems above others. Drive slow and coast (in gear) down hills and maybe gain a mile per gallon. Yet to get above 16 and half mpg even with a v6. Otherwise awesome.
Large capacity for hauling stuff. Comfortable ride. Driver's visibility. Good heat and a/c and reliable.
Econoline should mean economical not comical gas hog. (other brands are also bad on gas and Ford looks like a van should!)