1997 Ford Club Wagon
This full-size passenger van is the passenger version of the Ford's Econoline series. Our vehicle featured a new V-10, but V-6 and V-8 versions are also available. Although the Club Wagon has dual airbags and ABS, it is formally considered a domestic light truck that carries passengers.
We used the Club Wagon for both suburban chores and destination travel. I found such a big vehicle a bit of a chore to drive to the supermarket or the YMCA. Parking, backing up, and turning in tight spots were not difficult, but more burdensome than in ordinary vehicles and even dedicated passenger vans like the Mazda MPV I found that I was avoiding using it for everyday errands.
According to Ford, the Club Wagon's most dedicated customers are those in the for 45-60 age group who want "a family room on wheels." Baby boomers also figure prominently among Club Wagon owners. After a weekend trip to Virginia's Homestead Resort, a four hour drive from our home near Washington,DC, it's easy to see why.
My two girls aged 7 and 11 frowned when they first laid eyes on the Wagon, which from the outside looks no different than the commercial van. My three year old Josh was more enthusiastic, exclaiming, "a big, strong, red truck!"
Once inside however the girls changed their tune. "Cool," and "Awesome," were heard escaping from their mouths as they traveled around the back seats, checking out the cup holders, and the useful rear ventilation system. The inside feels very roomy, all the more so when I removed one of the two stand-alone captain's chairs in the second row.
The kids enjoyed the real sense of space and therefore so did I. The girls had space to themselves and were even able to read for extended periods. When necessary my wife was able to make her way easily to the passenger area
There was plenty of room in the rear storage area for skis and luggage for a family of five.
The Club Wagon handled well on the highway, with plenty of power for acceleration and cruising. I made my way through some fairly winding Virginian country roads as well. On this terrain, the Club Wagon performed adequately, but I missed having a real sense of the road, particularly when the rain started coming down hard.
MSR Price as tested $30,810.00
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