2006 Ford Econoline Wagon E-150 XL 3dr Van (4.6L 8cyl 4A)
I've bought about a dozen Ford vans since 1976 and have never had a serious mechanical problem with any of them. I usually run them out to 160,000 mile before trading. My 1998 van had incredible wind noise so I traded earlier than usual. My 2002 conversion lost a wheel once but I replace the rear end with used part for under $500.
2006 Ford Econoline Wagon E-150 Chateau 3dr Van (4.6L 8cyl 4A)
This is our all-purpose family vehicle. It is used to haul kids, grandparents, get groceries, and long distance trips. The Chateu is loaded with all the amenities. It fill the same size parking space as a SUV, but has much more room inside. You are actually able to get out of the drivers seat, and unbuckle and put coats on the kids, grab a stroller from the back all without getting outside in the rain. If you ever buy a piece of furniture or an appliance, you can put it inside without any crazy rentals or tiedowns. The seats have real armrests, and the visibility is better than any SUV. We will NEVER downsize to a minivan after this. Everyone says its to big, then asks to borrow it later!
This is a true ford truck underneath. A strong safe frame, easy to work on, and easy to find parts. The insurance is cheap, and pound for pound the most roomy vehicle you can get for the money. The side slider door is great for tight spaces.
Dealers should stock these, rather than tacky conversion models. It's almost a secret that these are available to order. Any next-gen hybrid or diesel truck line should include a econoline body on top. The transit is not a substitute.
2006 Ford Econoline Wagon E-350 SD XLT 3dr Van (5.4L 8cyl 4A)
I bought this van to be used at work to haul a cargo trailer plus take family vacations with a camper trailer in tow. The 5.4l motor gets about 16- 17mpg on the interstate at 72mph lightly loaded. When pulling a 22' trailer, the mileage drops to about 8mpg (I installed a ScanGage to measure mpg, rpm, etc). Yes, there are squeaks and rattles, handles mediocre, and gives a rough ride. What else would you expect from a 1 ton van/truck? I would still buy another one.
Removing some of the bench seats. For example, on a long trip, we removed the 1st and 3rd row seats. This gave us a lot of room stretch out.
120v outlets. Eliminate the rear door swing limiting link (allow the doors to swing 180 degrees without the fuss).
2006 Ford Econoline Wagon E-350 SD Chateau 3dr Van (5.4L 8cyl 4A)
I ordered this van in white after trading in the same 05 that was a dark color and could not be driven without the a/c on if the temp. was above 75 degrees outside. For a big van it handles tight. It doesn't sag on turns. It bounces a lot with no weight in it. Acceleration is so-so. I was most impressed by its braking speed. Very easy to steer but bad turning radius. Cloth seats very comfortable. Gas mileage is about 11 mpg downhill (but it is so big inside you only have to make 1 trip). Premium Plus cd stereo is awesome. Windshield needs sun visor. Body integrity is bulletproof. Interior visors and knobs flimsy. Factory window tint should be darker. Nice van, fun to drive, always feel like I'm touring!
Brakes, rear heater and front visibility, load capacity.
Headlight brightness, wider tires. Factory should offer alarm, roof rack, and fold down rear seat. Hope a/c is not as bad as my 05. Rear carpet cut 1 inch too short on one side, factory should improve quality inspection.