As its major change for 2000, the best-selling full-size van gains standard antilock brakes for all its models. The standard antilock system covers all four wheels and replaces a rear antilock feature that was standard on cargo models in 1999.
Cargo versions are called Econoline Van, and passenger models are named Econoline Wagon. The cargo models account for about 85 percent of sales, including models sold to conversion companies and stripped chassis sold for commercial uses.
Econolines come in two sizes, which both rest on a 138-inch wheelbase. The regular size is 212 inches long, and the extended-length model adds 20 inches at the rear. Swing-out side doors split 60/40 are standard on all models, and a sliding passenger-side door is a no-cost option. At the rear, dual swing-out doors are the only choice.
Cargo models have the usual two bucket seats. Regular-size passenger models come standard with seats for eight, with two front buckets and two three-place benches. Options include two captains chairs in place of the middle bench for seven-passenger capacity and a four-place rear bench for 12-passenger capacity. Extended models add a third three-place bench to raise capacity to 15.
Regular-size models have a maximum cargo capacity of 256.5 cubic feet, and extended versions hold up to 309.
Under the Hood
Five engines are available in the Econoline, and two gain horsepower this year. A 4.2-liter V-6 with 200 horsepower is standard on E-150 (half-ton payload) and E-250 (three-quarter ton) models. A 4.6-liter V-8 with 215 horsepower is optional on both, and a 5.4-liter V-8 with 255 horsepower (20 more horsepower than last year) is optional on the E-250. The 5.4-liter V-8 is standard on E-350s (one-ton payload).
Need more muscle? A 6.8-liter V-10 with 305 horsepower (40 more horsepower than last year) and a 7.3-liter turbo-diesel V-8 with 215 horsepower are optional on E-350s. All engines come with four-speed automatic transmission.
Trailer-towing limits range from 4,700 pounds for an E-150 with the V-6 to 10,000 pounds for an E-350 with either the V-10 or diesel V-8.
Whether you want this vehicle for cargo or passenger use, hauling hefty payloads or towing trailers, the Econoline has a model or feature that puts it at or near the head of the full-size class.