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When I got my mid roof '16 with a wheelchair lift in the back, the dealer helped me a lot by asking this: "will you be towing a lot with it?" That was the criteria for "needing" the 3.5, which he also had but with various other options I didn't like as much. I've pulled some heavy trailers with my 3.7 while camping, even up 8% grades, with seven kids in the back and camping gear to beat the band. Can the 3.7 do it? absolutely. If towing is rare, the 3.7 is, as reported previously, "perfectly adequate" - (though the guy behind you on the hill is going to be irritated). The only other time my 3.7 puts a limit on me is while passing on a two lane road - I need a really big gap to do that.
 

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I have the high roof with the Ecoboost and it's awesome. Fully built out with 5 guys and 5 mtn bikes it flies through the mountains.
 

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I have the high roof with the Ecoboost and it's awesome. Fully built out with 5 guys and 5 mtn bikes it flies through the mountains.
Oh that is music to my ears. Please stop it.
4 guys and some camping gear plus bikes. That’s my goal and maybe I need that power rather than the n/a 3.5. Help me.
 

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My work van is a 3.7 with the 4.10 rear, high roof and extended body, and weighs about 8,500 pounds with all my equipment in it. I live on the edge of the mountains at 5,000' elevation, and the engine frequently needs to spin at 5,000 RPM to maintain 65 MPH up the hills around me. The 3.7 is a more durable engine that isn't prone to valve deposits like the direct-injected 3.5 EcoBoost, but IMHO it doesn't have enough power for my location. I wish I had the turbo.
 

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I'm looking at vans and so far I've been more interested in the EcoBoost due to better performance all around (power, efficiency, etc.).

Any reasons I should consider the 3.7?
The 3.5L EB is a fine powerful, fuel efficient, engine, but it is SIGNIFICANTLY more complicated, and expensive to maintain and repair than the naturally aspirated 3.7L. I am a mechanical engineer that worked at Ford on several turbo engine systems. One turbo added a lot of complication, two was even worse. If you have to have the additional power, go with the EB. Me, I will stay with the powerful enough for me, but significantly less complicated, naturally aspirated engines. Just ask anyone who has had to replace a turbo (or two).
 

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The 3.5L EB is a fine powerful, fuel efficient, engine, but it is SIGNIFICANTLY more complicated, and expensive to maintain and repair than the naturally aspirated 3.7L.
I can certainly appreciate the complexity argument, but I'm not certain I see how the maintenance is more? I profess some ignorance here, as my EB is a Gen2 in a '17 Raptor, but the 3.7l in my 350 has the exact same oil change intervals, etc.
 

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Ecoboost all the way. To plagiarize a previous post, the 3.5 is, in my opinion, a good engine that returns exemplary smiles per miles when driven irresponsibly.

Also, I don't see the big deal about the 'complexity' of the EB either. So far I've done spark plugs, air filter, oil filter, trans flush, and diff on mine, none of them were a particularly big deal. Far easier to work on than my ole' Audi TT, for example, which leaves a Deepwater Horizon-like aftermath after every oil change.
 

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The only place I'll ding the EB, especially the Gen1, is that being a direct injection engine it's tough to keep the valves clean. Once those start getting gunked-up it starts a cascade of problems that will lead to shorter engine life and much more frequent oil changes. This isn't a problem that's unique to the EB, though—every direct-injection engine design is struggling with it. Utilizing port injection when at idle (like the Gen2) helps with this a lot.
 

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The 3.5L EB is a fine, powerful, fuel efficient, engine, but it is SIGNIFICANTLY more complicated, and expensive to maintain and repair than the naturally aspirated 3.7L. I am a mechanical engineer that worked at Ford on several turbo engine systems. One turbo added a lot of complication, two was even worse. If you have to have the additional power, go with the EB. Me, I will stay with the powerful enough for me, but significantly less complicated, naturally aspirated engines. Just ask anyone who has had to replace a turbo (or two).

Let me add, that up to 80,000 to 100,000 miles the overall cost of ownership of the 3.7L and 3.5L EB are roughly the same. After that, the 3.5L EB CAN, AND PROBABLY WILL, end up costing you significantly more in repair costs related to valve deposits, timing chain stretch and turbo repairs. Like I said, if you need the power, go with the 3.5L EB.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
@PLSchroeder27 thanks for the input! I value your insight greatly. I plan on having my van loaded near capacity most of the time. I don't know that I NEED the extra power, but do you think getting up hills and up to highway speed could be challenging in the 3.7?
 

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@PLSchroeder27 thanks for the input! I value your insight greatly. I plan on having my van loaded near capacity most of the time. I don't know that I NEED the extra power, but do you think getting up hills and up to highway speed could be challenging in the 3.7?
I suggest you go to a Ford dealer and drive both models to try and make your own decision. If you find the 3.7L, or 2020 3.5L naturally aspirated, adequate for your needs I would personally go with that. If you feel it is under powered then go with the 3.5L EB. Just remember that any turbocharged (or supercharged) engine is inherently more complex, with many more expensive parts that can, and do, fail, regardless of the manufacturer. If I were to get the 3.5L EB I would definitely get the Ford extended warranty for the vehicle.

For my needs, with a fully loaded 2019 Medium Roof Transit, 148" Wheelbase, cargo van I am perfectly content with the 3.7L. I get up to highway speed just fine. If I had to tow a trailer I would probably not be as happy with the performance. But most of my travelling is throughout the Gulf Coast area of the country. Not too many challenging hills. Good luck with your decision.
 

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A ride at the dealership ain't gonna tell you nutin', unless they let you load the two vans down with weight/trailer and point you to the mountains or entrance ramp to the hi-way loaded down where you need to really push the motor to move the van.
 

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I don't know that I NEED the extra power, but do you think getting up hills and up to highway speed could be challenging in the 3.7?
Getting up to highway speed is not challenging with the 3.7, yet getting there quickly is. It is not a dog, yet requires higher RPMs for more than moderate acceleration.
 
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