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TheCarConnection.com's editors read the latest reviews on the new 2008 Ford Econoline to write this comprehensive review. This research and past experience with the Econoline van helps deliver a definitive opinion on the Econoline, so you can compare it with other cars in the class and decide if this full-size van is the right vehicle for you.
The 2008 Ford Econoline is a very specific vehicle for drivers with very specifics needs, and the low numeric rating given by TheCarConnection.com is in comparison to the spectrum of vehicles on the road. In its class, for its intended duties, the Econoline only has a couple of peers, and it's good at its intended use: hauling the absolute maximum amount of cargo and people allowed, short of a school bus or a tractor-trailer.
The Ford Econoline competes directly against the GMC Savana and Chevrolet Express. Both GM and Ford have invested in regular updates in these vehicles; since they're based on full-size and heavy-duty pickups, the chassis share much in common with each company's trucks. The Econoline gets running gear from the light-duty and heavy-duty F-Series trucks, with all the associated positives and negatives.
The engine lineup in the Econoline starts with a 4.6-liter V-8, while a 5.4-liter V-8 is an option. Four-wheel drive is available, and the Econoline can tow a substantial amount of weight behind it. Even in its lightest form, with the higher-output engine, the drivetrain's performance is more akin to moving a house than moving a vehicle. Ford's vans are large enough that they are not required to report fuel economy to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but TheCarConnection.com's editors have observed no more than 12 mpg in some versions of the Econoline and in Ford trucks with similar powertrains and curb weights. The 6.8-liter V-10 option has the most kick in this class at 305 horsepower, and Ford also offers a diesel on some versions, which would be the most efficient option. Four- and five-speed automatic transmissions are offered, and in Ford's heavy-duty trucks, the gearboxes have felt reasonably smooth. The 2008 Ford Econoline can tow up to 10,000 pounds, and a Class IV towing hitch is available.