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1997 Ford E-350 Econoline

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1997 Ford E-350 Econoline Review

A solid commercial van.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1997 Ford E-350 Econoline differs slightly from later models in branding. Starting in 1999, the Econoline referred to an entire line of vans that was formally known as the E-Series. However, in 1997, Econoline refers to specific models in the E-Series, which are broken down into numbered models based on the weight rating. The Ford E-350 Econoline is the highest capacity model in the series with a 5.4-liter eight-cylinder engine. Both the E-150 and E-250 use smaller standard engines.

Compared to the other models in the Ford E-Series, the E-350 Econoline is a niche vehicle. With the more powerful engine, it's also the most expensive model, but does not have any differences in terms of the interior. In addition, the E-350 Econoline also has the worst gas mileage in the E-Series. The extra power, beyond providing some additional acceleration, is usually less important if the van is being primarily used for passengers. However, the extra power can become more relevant for drivers intending to use the E-350 Econoline as a cargo hauler.

The Range

Body Styles: van
Engines: 5.4-liter eight-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Ford E-350 Econoline, Ford E-350 Econoline Super Econoline

What's New

The 1997 Ford E-350 Econoline now has a new 5.4-liter eight-cylinder engine with a redesigned front bumper and grille. To improve visibility and comfort, the dashboard, front console, and seating have been revised.


The exterior of the 1997 Ford E-350 Econoline is a standard full-size van. Standard equipment includes steel wheels and trailer wiring, while optional equipment include a rear step bumper and chrome bumpers.


The 1997 Ford E-350 Econoline, similar to most commercial vehicles, lack interior amenities usually common in passenger vehicles. It has two vinyl bucket seats for the passenger and driver. An AM/FM radio comes standard, and optional equipment includes dual-zone air-conditioning, keyless entry, power locks, power windows, power mirrors, cassette player, cruise control, and a rear heater.

Performance & Handling

The 1997 Ford E-350 Econoline’s performance and handling vary based on how drivers approach it. As a commercial vehicle, it has excellent handling and performance for a vehicle its size. The ride is also fairly smooth compared to some of the competition. Drivers coming from passenger vehicle backgrounds are going to find it a bit cumbersome. It does handle fairly well, but the large size, lower acceleration, and larger turning circle do require a slightly different driving approach. It's not going to provide the same ride as a crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV), but it is not difficult to handle either.


The 1997 Ford E-350 Econoline receives safety features that are better than most commercial vans on the market. In a front end collision, the dual front airbags provide protection for the driver and passenger. Rear-wheel anti-lock brakes and traction control are standard equipment, while four-wheel anti-lock brakes are available as an option. The large size does help in the event of a crash for protecting the occupants.

EPA Fuel Economy

Ford E-350 Econoline: 11/16 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Massive interior
  • Decent handling for a vehicle this size
  • Solid value

You Won't Like

  • Poor fuel economy
  • More expensive than the E-150 and E-250

Sum Up

A solid commercial van.

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