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2001 Ford E-250 Econoline Review
The gold standard of full-size vans.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 2001 Ford E-250 Econoline is a fourth-generation van that belongs to Ford’s iconic E-Series, which is a line of full-size vans that has been in production since 1961. This series of vans holds a vast majority of the full-size van market, and it has remained the best-selling American van since 1980.
Engines: 4.2-liter V-6, 4.6-liter V-8, 5.4-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Ford E-250 Econoline, Ford E-250 Econoline Extended
The 2001 Ford E-250 Econoline remains almost the same as its previous model year, but there are a few changes worth noting. First, this model year gets a heavy-duty battery, passenger-side airbags, and a deluxe engine cover console as standard. The commercial Econoline Wagons get a Premium Van package, and a CD-equipped stereo system is available as an option this year as well.
The 2001 Ford E-250 Econoline retains most of its box-like exterior elements from the 1960s with a rear drive and a separate frame. The regular version of the van has a length of 211.9 inches and a wheelbase of 138 inches, while the extended version can be as long as 232 inches with the same wheelbase. Depending on the model, the maximum payload capacity can be anything from 1735 pounds to 4045 pounds.
The van comes with a 60/40-split swing-out door on the right side and at the rear, but the right side can be fitted with a sliding cargo door for no extra cost. Overall, the exterior of the 2001 Ford E-250 Econoline is similar to its competitors with very few distinguishing elements, and the biggest differences are seen inside the van and under the hood.
The 2001 Ford E-250 Econoline cargo versions are fitted with just two bucket seats, and the passenger versions get seats to accommodate up to eight people. This seating arrangement includes two bucket seats in front, and two three-seat benches at the back. The center bench can be replaced with a captain’s chair as an option, but this reduces the seating capacity to seven. The rear bench can be replaced by a four-place rear bench, which puts the seating capacity at 12.
The 2001 Ford E-250 can seat up to nine people, while the extended-wheelbase model offers a seating capacity of 15. All passengers get lots of headroom inside, but legroom is a bit hard to split. Entry and exit for the second row is good, but it gets progressively difficult for the third and fourth row. Up front, the bucket seats are just adequate in terms of comfort, although there is a lot of space available. Entry and exit is surprisingly easy considering the high position of the van. Visibility is surprisingly good all round, including rear visibility, which has been a problem in most other vans.
Performance & Handling
The powertrain for the 2001 Ford E-250 Econoline begins with a 4.2-liter, V-6 engine as a base engine. The V-6 engine delivers 200 horsepower. Optional engines available for the E-250 are the 4.6-liter, V-8 engine and 5.4-liter, V-8 engines. The 4.6-liter engine delivers 215 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque, while the 5.4-liter engine delivers 255 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque. All these engines are mated to a four-speed automatic transmission.
The base V-6 engine delivers a poor performance to be justified for family use or towing. In these cases, the V-8 engines offer much better performance. People inside the van may still complain about the engine noise, but it is considerably less than the previous models. The Econoline seems to do a good job in terms of handling too. It maneuvers as easily as a smaller sized van, and the steering is relatively light. However, steering gets a little numb while driving on the highway or parking. The overall ride quality is just about decent. It is not as comfortable and cushioned as most minivans, but it is tolerable. The van is easily buffeted by highway crosswinds, and traction over wet roads is poor if there is not enough weight to keep the van down.
The 2001 Ford E-250 Econoline is equipped with second-generation driver and passenger airbags as standard safety features. There are no government crash-test results available at present for this full-size truck.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Good cargo hauling capacity
- Lots of configurations to choose from
- Powerful engine options
You Won't Like
- Poor acceleration with V-6 engine
- Very few comfort and convenience features
The gold standard of full-size vans.
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