For over 50 years, the Ford E-Series cargo van has been the answer for both commercial and personal drivers who need a reliable vehicle to get lots of cargo and occasionally lots of passengers where they needed to go. Ford has always known how to build a sturdy driving machine, and that knowhow works perfectly for the E-Series. So perfectly that the Ford E-350 Super Duty cargo van and its brethren have changed very little over the years, and frankly, that’s just the way cargo van fans have liked it.
The 2013 Ford E-350 is the big daddy of the E-Series, more capable than the starter E-150 or the E-250. Though both of those models can do the job for most people’s needs, the E-350 can do it all. There’s a reason they call it the Super Duty. Depending on your needs, your 2013 Ford E-350 can be commercial style, with side panels or with a more personal design, featuring windows in the rear sides of the van. You can also convert your E-350 to a passenger van which seats up to 15. You’ll also need to choose whether you want to go with the standard, 212-inch fan or the extended 232-inch version. That extra 20 inches gives you more storage space at the cost of a bit of hauling power. If you’re managing a fleet of vans, consider the optional Crew Chief System, a monitoring system that helps you keep tabs on usage, maintenance, and other costs for your vans.
New For 2013
You rarely find many changes in the E-350 from year to year, it’s almost part of the Ford Cargo Van philosophy. The 2013 Ford E-350 is no exception. That being said, if you’re waiting around for Ford to change with the times, you only have to wait one more year, but you won’t be getting an E-Series van. The E-Series is on the path to retirement, to make room for the new, updated Ford Transit van.
Unless you do your own designer paint job, the Ford E-350 won’t turn any heads, but it’s not meant to. It’s meant to look like a big, sturdy machine that can haul cargo dependably, and that’s exactly what it does look like, with 16-inch steel wheels, all-season tires with an underbody mounted spare tire, and a rear barn door. Your exterior will vary slightly depending on whether you’re going standard or extended body and whether you’re going with rear windows or side panels. You can liven up the exterior a bit if you want, with options and option packages. Some of these options include running boards, a black or chrome rear step bumper, privacy glass, forged aluminum or painted white steel wheels, a sliding side cargo door, and telescopic power trailer tow mirrors.
Interior & Cargo
Here’s where the Ford E-350 earns its keep. This vehicle is designed to carry, and carry it does. The standard E-350 has a towing capacity of a whopping 10,000 pounds with an equally impressive maximum payload of 4050 pounds. You can fit 278 cubic feet of cargo in the E-350. If you need more room, the extended body model bumps you up to 319.1 cubic feet, with no loss of towing capacity, though the maximum payload drops to 3920 pounds. The 2013 Ford E-350 is designed to seat two in the cargo only version, and those two sit relatively comfortably in vinyl Captain’s chairs. The interior does feature power steering, a tilt steering wheel and air-conditioning. Standard entertainment features include a two-speaker AM/FM stereo with MP3 audio input. Interior upgrade options include cruise control, satellite radio, cloth upholstery, and a power driver’s seat.
Safety might not be your primary concern in a cargo van, but it is important. Unlike with some vehicles, your first concern may be the safety of your cargo, which is why the Ford E-350 features the SecuriLock Passive Anti-Theft system, along with the E-Guard Cargo Protection system. Of course, your passengers are important too, which is why the E-350 has front and rear ventilated disc brakes, a four-wheel anti-lock braking system, stability and traction control, electronic brakeforce distribution, front seat belt pretensioners, and tire pressure monitoring.
The 2013 Ford E-350 Super Duty van is not designed to give you a smooth, quiet ride in luxury and comfort. That being said, for what it is, it’s a decent ride, and you’ll definitely appreciate the AdvanceTrac Roll Stability Control. Of course, what’s important to you is the power, and the E-350 has a powerful engine, a 5.4-liter V-8 linked to a four-speed automatic transmission that delivers 255 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. Of course, this is a Super Duty van designed for heavy duty action, so if that’s not enough for you, you can upgrade to the 6.8-liter V-10, which provides 305 horses and 420 lb-ft of torque. That’s not the only option to consider when driving a Ford E-350. Other options include an electronic five-speed auto transmission with Tow-Haul Mode, 4.10 limited slip axle ratio, and dual heavy duty 78-amp batteries. Fuel economy is not a strength of the Ford E-350, coming in at 12/16 mpg city/highway for a Flex-Fuel engine that takes regular unleaded and E85.
The bottom line is, this van is not designed for casual personal errands. If you’ve got a lot of bags to get home from the grocery store every couple of days or a bunch of kids who need to get to school, a minivan or SUV will do the job and provide a lot more comfort. However, if you’ve got serious hauling to do every week, you can’t ask for much more than what the Ford E-350 has to offer you.
Key Competitors For The 2013 Ford E-350
- Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
- Nissan NV
- GMC Savana