• Apr 19, 2006

One could be forgiven for thinking that the temperature in Hell is taking a precipitous dive after looking at the photo above. After all, when was the last time you saw a Ford Econoline test mule, with its tacit promise of a coming update? After all, the current E-Series has been trudging on for decades with changes few and far between. This, despite consistently selling in big numbers.

Well, the fine folks at BlueOvalNews.com have snagged this tester rolling around Dearborn, with the camouflage clearly covering a revamped front end. Expect the soon-to-be-everywhere tri-bar grille to take up residence in the van's snout, along with revamped headlights and fascia.

We can only hope beneath the refreshed bodywork, there are some substantive mechanical and interior changes to the 200,000/year seller as well. BON reports that the Econoline revamp will likely hit dealers in 2007, with the promise of a new 6.4-liter Powerstroke diesel available underhood.

[Source: BlueOvalNews.com]



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  • 15 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wow - the "Detroit Defenders" who populate this site still amaze me every time I log on! I did not mean that Ford and G.M. do not own the van segment - they still currently do so. I merely meant that the "new" Ford Econoline WILL have a hard time competeing against the Sprinter. Why? Living in Manhattan, and travelling around the Northeast frequently, I have seen the number of Sprinters/Freighliners SWELL in ranks since their introduction. This is not to mention companies like FedEx adding them, in large numbers, to their fleets. Why? Because from a business owners stabdpoint, it is simply a better suited and engineered vehichle, delivering more room and better fuel efficiency, representing a better overall value than the Econoline. Driving a current Econoline is like driving a van from the late 1960's - I believe that most people would agree. They suck! Regarding the Ford Transit, yes, it is a well engineered van. Why is it not imported? Because the engineers at Ford in Detroit would have it rubbed in their faces by their management that their European counterparts designed a better van (it also extremely similiar to the Dodge Sprinter - not much "ass kicking" will be done). One of the first moves DCX did was to import the Sprinter. Ford, like G.M., still do not utilize their international resources effectively as car corporations. The Sprinter, 300 and Charger show that DCX runs a car company better than their American competition. Wow - amazing that DCX sales are up while Ford and G.M. sales continue to be down (this has nothing to do with health care costs). Go figure. When your company's stock is rated at junk bond status, the only place for you to go is up. What a shame it had to come to this, but they have dug their own graves.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Why should they import the Transit when the E-Series already dominates the large van market? The platform has paid for itself a long time ago. The people purchasing these vans obviously aren't looking for the ultimately engineered van. So, why import one?

      When (if ever) DCX sells over 100k Sprinters your argument may hold some water...but until then you can shut yer DiCXsucker! ;)

      hehe...that made me laugh!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Rhinoplasty programs are cosmetic surgery procedures for enhancing the beauty of nose. These procedures are getting high popularity these days. Are there insurance plans for financial aid programs for nose job surgery? http://www.surgeonsrhinoplasty.com/
      • 8 Years Ago
      Phil L. I see where you're coming from. My parents owned three of them (I learned to drive in a 15 pass. Club Wagon with a 460 V8). I've driven a quite a few at work, too, though not anymore because several BIG insurance companies will no longer insure Ford's 15 pass. vans for schools and churches for safety reasons (high center of gravity is the most common reason given.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Hank -

      I like the idea - but I'm still not convinced DCX is committed to the van market, at least outside of commercial/industrial customers.

      Yes, I know they make "civilian" versions of the Sprinter - but I have yet to see one in real life. A recent stop by a local DCX dealer confirms this: Several work-oriented Sprinters, but nothing appropriate for typical family use.

      Personally, a Sprinter could make sense for my situation: Lots of space and good fuel economy from the small diesel - yet it's still rated to tow a mid-size trailer for family camping trips.

      Perhaps I can understand their reluctance to take on this end of the van market: Their current pricing simply isn't competitive, particularly given the availability of used Econolines and similar vans at very reasonable prices.

      C'mon - I want a family-friendly vehicle that makes sense in today's world, yet can still tow a mid-size camper (say, a *usable* 5000 pound tow capacity, in addition to a family of 5). I don't particularly want an SUV or truck. The Sprinter could fit the bill, if they bothered to make it in the appropriate form. Meanwhile, the Econoline can be thirsty, but has what it takes.
      • 8 Years Ago
      They will have a tough time in the commercial van market competeing with the Dodge Sprinter and its Freightliner sybling which, from an egineering standpoint, are superior products. Not too mention the offerings from Nissan if Carl G. pulls the trigger on export for their smaller vans. Another example of Ford and G.M. resting on their laurels and delivering too little too late.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I have seen that van in the picture a few times. I think its about time they updated the front end. The interior needed work. It was getting old. I think they should put a variation of the F-150 interior in there. That would be great...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Scott => I thought the guy, That One Person (?), was just correcting a point on the Ford's sales record in this segment. Like, calm, you know, not like your junk bond digression.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hank -

      Ford's real mistake with the 15 passenger versions of the Econoline chassis is not lengthening the wheelbase along with the extended body. I doubt the Econoline has a higher center of gravity than comparably sized Chevy vans - but the Chevy's wheelbase is longer. I've removed the extended E-van from my shopping list because the long rear-axle overhang complicates towing a larger trailer. For example, when the van turns left, the rear of the van swings out to the *right*, initiall leading the trailer to the right as well; this is true of all non-fifth-wheel towing, but the extra long overhang excaberates the situation.

      Sadly, I see the Sprinter as raising the bar for the design and efficiency of full-size vans - but not yet for full-size family van market.

      I'm not terribly familiar with the Transit, though I know it has an excellent reputation in Europe; it could make sense in the US, too.

      Realistic pricing is still a barrier in this market: The Sprinter is still after the industrial/commercial market, where bean counters are willing to pay more for a proven product that results in lower cost in the long haul. Potential family-market customers who finally find a suitable Sprinter will be put off by the high price, as well as the lack of comparable comfort features commonly found on Econoline/Express models. Perhaps as DCX recoups their investment in the Sprinter, they'll start to develop and market it to attract families looking for an alternative to bloated SUVs and the older (and less fuel-efficient) Econoline/Express vans.

      • 8 Years Ago
      #11...Those 15 pass. vans are insane to drive lol. I had the opportunity a year ago to drive it. Mind you, all I have ever driven are small cars and an Aerostar. But I was surprised at how stable it was. I have drive in the Chevy and Dodge 15 pass. vans and those things were more "tippy". What makes me laugh is Ford always got crap for those things. Now they offer roll stability systems on them. I have no clue how many times I watched the local news and saw flipped Chevy vans. Yet Ford gets blamed for everything....odd world...
      • 8 Years Ago
      I am amazed by some of the comments above and the ignorance. Regarding the Sprinter.....if it is such a superior product then either the E-Series or the Transit why does the Transit dominate the market in Europe and the E-series in North America. Go ahead and add up all of the worlds van production and stack it against E and Transit. E out sells all competitors combined as well as the Transit. The public trust the Ford vans far more than any others. Simple!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Why does Ford get away with claiming number one truck sales for F-series and E-series by comparing with Chevy only and not the GMC twins. I'm not positive but I think if you add up the Chevy and GMC versions of their big trucks they outsell the F-series.
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