Test Drive Notes Library
- Finally, an update for the age-old “Econoline” van that brings it into the 21st century.
- Far more comfortable, airy, and spacious than the old Ford van. A pleasant place to be for a short or long ride.
- Highly configurable. Three roof heights (the tallest of which can accommodate a 6’5” human standing up inside), three different lengths, and three different engine options. We drove the XLT low roof, the shortest version, which is still living-room-esque.
- Our test model had comfortable seating for eight, with a huge amount of room behind the last row of seats for cargo. This thing could carry a small marching band and several backup tubas.
- Entry and exit is easier than in the old Ford van. A built-in step allows driver and front passenger to easily climb in. Rear passenger entry is also easier than in vans past.
- Seats are far more comfortable, and headroom eliminates the claustrophobia of the old van. It’s also easy to move inside the van, from front to back or seat to seat.
- Huge windshield and cut-outs in the two front doors provide excellent forward visibility. Visibility is more limited out the sides and to the back.
- Far more maneuverable than the old, full-size van. While it’s definitely a large vehicle, it operates like a car. Steering is easy. Controls are predictable.
- Impressive turning circle. We were surprised by how few times we had to go back and forth to turn around. This thing is capable of a three-point turn in a city. So, you no longer have to take out three parked Hyundais when you pull a u-ey.
Test Drive Notes Library
- It’s still huge. For the love of everything holy, do not buy one of these unless you need one. It’s still an enormous vehicle that’s too tall to fit in many parking garages and too long to fit into many a city parking space.
- Visibility out the sides is very limited, making changing lanes on the highway a “signal, pause, and pray” maneuver. Blind spot monitoring should be standard on this van for that reason. It’s not. And our test car didn’t even have it as optional equipment. You need it.
- The rear visibility is also poor, in part due to a larger structural beam between the two rear windows. Fortunately, the optional back up camera works well, and quickly. You’ll need that, too.
- The 3.7 liter V6 engine is adequate the vast majority of the time, but not over powered. It gets a little loud and strain-y when pushed, but it does the job. EPA rates it at 16 mpg overall (14 city, 19 highway) which is up from 13 to 14 overall in the old van—a 15- to 20-percent improvement.
- It has stability control, so we don’t expect to see a lot of these tipping over. But it is a tall vehicle, and you do feel the body sway on turns.
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