Used 2001 Ford Econoline Wagon 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 Wagons are virtually the same as last year, with a deluxe engine cover console, dual illuminated sunvisors and a heavy-duty battery now being standard on all models. The 16-inch wheel cover option is now only available as part of the Exterior Upgrade Package.

Vehicle overview

Tough, roomy, rugged and reliable, Ford's Econoline Wagon 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 tougher E-350 Super Duty, and the E-350 Super Duty Extended. Each of these vehicles is offered in either XL or XLT trim. Both XL and XLT come standard with items like driver and passenger second-generation airbags, air conditioning and a class one trailer-towing package. XL models have front bucket seats, while XLTs get front captain's chairs. Major option packages (depending on model) include a sliding side cargo door, an upgraded towing package, heavy-duty cooling and electrical components, a power driver's seat and upgraded stereos.

The E-150, E-350 Super Duty and E-350 Super Duty Extended are all designed to haul passengers. Each rides on a 138-inch wheelbase and can accommodate seven or eight (E-150), 12 (E-350 Super Duty) or 15 (E-350 Super Duty Extended) passengers.

The Econoline Wagon is available with five different engines (or six, if you count the special-order 5.4-liter natural gas V8). E-150s 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 foot-pounds of torque, while the 5.4-liter makes 255 horsepower and 350 foot-pounds 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 foot-pounds of torque. Four-speed automatic transmissions are standard across the board. 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.

Driving an Econoline, despite its passenger seating, differs little from piloting a delivery vehicle, so it's not a logical choice for everyday motoring -- though quite a few families happily employ their Wagons exactly that way. The virtues of sitting tall with a panoramic view of the road ahead can outweigh many a minor inconvenience. Handling is light, seats are acceptably comfortable, and Econolines don't ride badly at all, considering the old-fashioned suspension configurations they employ. 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 or wagon, you're going to end up with the Econoline, the Chevrolet Express, the Dodge Ram Wagon or the GMC Savana. All four vehicles have similar prices, wheelbases and maximum passenger capacities (15 people). 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.