The 1996 E-Series of vans comes in three levels based on performance capabilities. The 1996 Ford E-150 Econoline provides the lowest capacity model in the series, with a 4.9-liter, six-cylinder engine. While less powerful than the E-250 and E-350, the E-150 represents a powerful van in its own right and costs less than its higher-capacity brethren. In addition, the features list between all three levels remains essentially identical.
Compared to the other models in the Ford E-Series, the E-150 Econoline makes the best choice for most applications. The E-150 handles most applications requiring a full-size van, despite not being as powerful as the rest of the E-Series. The nearly identical features list means that the E-150 tends to be more economical for drivers due to the lower base cost, with the only loss concerning a minor acceleration reduction. Some applications require the more powerful E-250 or E-350, but many find the E-150 more than adequate.
Body Styles: van
Engines: 5.4-liter eight-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Ford E-150 Econoline, Ford E-150 XL Econoline
The 1996 Ford E-150 Econoline offers new color options. The only noticeable changes outside concern some minor reshuffling to the features offered as part of the option package groups.
The exterior of the 1997 Ford E-150 Econoline looks like a standard full-size van. Steel wheels and trailer wiring provide standard equipment. A rear step bumper, a camper towing package, power locks, power windows, power mirrors, and chrome bumpers remain available as options.
The Ford E-150 Econoline, like most commercial vehicles on the market, lacks the interior amenities usually found in passenger vehicles. The 1996 Ford E-150 Econoline has two vinyl bucket seats for the passenger and driver. An AM radio comes standard. Dual-zone air-conditioning, keyless entry, a cassette player, cruise control, and a rear heater comprise the list of optional equipment.
Performance & Handling
The E-150 Econoline’s performance and handling vary based on the expectations of the driver. As a commercial vehicle, the E-150 has good overall handling and performance for a vehicle of its size. The ride also feels quite smooth compared to some of the competition. Drivers coming from passenger vehicle backgrounds find it somewhat sluggish and cumbersome to drive. It handles fairly well, but the large size, lower acceleration, and larger turning circle require a slightly different driving approach. The performance of the E-250 and E-350 edge out the E-150, but usually not by much. The biggest performance differences occur when the 1996 Ford E-150 Econoline runs fully loaded, since the same amount of weight still only marks a partial load for the other E-Series vans.
The safety features in the 1996 Ford E-150 Econoline compare with other commercial vehicles and many performance-oriented pickup trucks. Driver’s side airbags and rear-wheel anti-lock brakes come standard on the E-150. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes provide standard equipment as well.
EPA Fuel Economy
Ford E-150 Econoline: 12/14 mpg city/highway
- Massive interior
- Decent handling for its size
- Solid value
You Won't Like
- Poor fuel economy
- Less powerful than the E-250 or E-350
A full-size van ready for anything.
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