The Ford E-series is a stalwart of Ford’s lineup, the country’s best-selling full-size van for more than three decades. The aging E-series (Ford calls it “time tested”) received some attention a few years back in the form of a face-lift and some mechanical upgrades, but since then updates have been few and far between. The E-series can be purchased for either personal use (as a wagon with rear side windows) or as a commercial vehicle (as a van with side panels) in either regular or extend-length configurations. There are three available gasoline engines (the V-8 diesel was dropped two years ago): a 225-hp, 4.6-liter V-8 is the weak sister of the trio and is joined by a 255-hp, 5.4-liter V-8 and a 305-hp, 6.8-liter V-10. AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control is standard on all E-series vehicles. Other practical features include an available navigation system, a backup camera, plentiful storage space integrated throughout the vehicle, extra-wide-opening rear doors, and optional trailer brake control. An attractive option for commercial customers is the available Crew Chief telematics and diagnostics system, which allows fleet administrators to keep tabs on vehicle usage and maintenance and monitor operating costs. The passenger version of the E-series seats up to fifteen people, so if you need to transport the whole Cub Scout troop or moonlight as an airport-shuttle driver, this could be the vehicle for you. If not, a regular minivan or a full-size SUV would probably be sufficient.

Drive: Rear-wheel
Trim Levels: E-150 XL, E-150 XLT, E-150 XLT Premium, E-350 XL, E-350 XLT
Body Style: Van, 2-to-15-passenger
Engines: 4.6L V-8, 225 hp, 286 lb-ft (E85 capable)
5.4L V-8, 255 hp, 350 lb-ft (E85 capable)
6.8L V-10, 305 hp, 420 lb-ft
Transmissions: 4- or 5-speed automatic
Passenger Volume: N/A
Capacities: Towing 5600-10,000 lb; cargo
(regular/extended) 236.5/275.1 cu ft

There are only a few minor changes for the 2012 E-series. An audio input jack is now standard, and cast aluminum wheels are a new option. For commercial customers, a dual battery system replaces the auxiliary battery configuration. There is a new color, steel blue metallic.

Air bags are standard only for the driver and front passenger. Also standard are ABS, traction and stability control, side door intrusion beams, and a tire-pressure monitoring system. The trailer brake controller is optional, as are a rearview camera and a reverse sensing system.

All: 10-13 mpg city/13-17 mpg highway

  • Seats up to fifteen
  • A real workhorse
  • So big you could live in it
  • Big and thirsty
  • No flash, all function

An old-school work vehicle.

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