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2012 Ford E-150

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2012 Ford E-150 Review

America's workhorse van

Reviewed by Automotive on

Ford's long-running, people-moving workhorse celebrates its 51st year of continuous production in 2012. Over those 51 years of production, the versatile E-150 has been America's best-selling full-size van for 32 of those years. For 2012, the E-150 returns with an auxiliary audio input jack as standard equipment, and with new options including Steel Blue Metallic paint, and new 16-inch cast-aluminum wheels. The E-150 has become America's van of choice due to its versatility - the E-150 is equally at home serving as an airport shuttle or as a heavy-hauler for construction duty - and its work-friendly features. All E-150s feature rear cargo doors with two detents to hold the doors open at 105 degrees, or an extra-wide 178 degrees. Also standard is "double-wall construction" which makes the E-150's walls thicker than the traditional paper-thin walls of most other vans. Ford also offers many optional features that are sure to be handy on the job site. Optional on the E-150 is Ford's Crew Chief system, which allows fleet managers to remotely monitor maintenance records, vehicle statistics, and even dispatch drivers. Also optional is Sirius Traffic and Travel link, which is designed to help drivers cut down on time spent stuck in traffic, and SYNC, which should allow drivers to safely communicate while on the move.

The Range

Body Style: VanEngines: 4.6L V-8, 5.4L V-8, 6.8L V-10
Transmissions: 4-speed automatic
Models: Ford E-150 Passenger Wagon XL, Ford E-150 Passenger Wagon XLT,
Ford E-150 Passenger Wagon XLT Premium, Ford E-150 Commercial Van, Ford E-150 Commercial Van Extended

What's New

This year marks the stalwart E-150's 51st year on the market, as the E-150 has been in continuous production since 1961. For 2012, Ford has seen fit to include an auxiliary audio input jack as standard equipment across the whole E-150 range. The E-150 also receives a new exterior color for 2012, Steel Blue Metallic. Newly optional are 16-inch cast-aluminum wheels. The E-150 Commercial Van and E-150 Commercial Van Extended also get a new dual-battery system, replacing the old auxiliary battery setup.


The utilitarian and boxy E-150 got a substantial update back in 2009 and the exterior hasn't changed since then. E-150 Commercial Vans come standard with a blacked-out grille and dual-sealed beam headlamps. Optional on the E-150 Commercial Van and on the Passenger Wagon is a bright chrome grille reminiscent of Ford's Super Duty pickup trucks, which feature dual-sealed beam with fixed-lens headlights. The E-150 is available with a new paint option (Steel Blue Metallic) this year, and three 16-inch wheel options.


The interior of the E-150 is suitably spartan - it is a van, after all. The floors of E-150 Commercial Vans are vinyl covered to prevent loads from scratching the interior. Commercial Vans also have an optional second row of seating in front of the cargo area, similar to that of a crew cab pickup truck. E-150 Passenger wagons have the ability to seat up to eight passengers in relative comfort. All E-150s have an available rearview camera, navigation system, and Sirius Satellite Radio.

Performance & Handling

No surprise here but the E-150's performance isn't exactly spritely. Acceleration from a standstill to 60 mph takes between 9.0 seconds and 15.0 seconds, depending on the van's configuration and engine choice. Handling isn't the E-150's strong suit either. With a solid rear axle, the E-150's ride will be jarring to those not used to truck-like driving. That being said, like most trucks the E-150 drives better when it is loaded with cargo or passengers.


Airbags for the driver and front passenger seats, side-door anti-intrusion beams, four-wheel disk brakes with ABS, and Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems are all standard on the E-150. All E-150s also come standard with Ford's AdvanceTrac with RSC. AdvanceTrac with RSC combines traditional traction control, with roll stability control, and using a second gyroscope it prevents an over-exuberant driver from rolling the high-riding van over by applying the brakes to one or more wheels, or by reducing engine power.

EPA Fuel Economy

E-150 Passenger Wagon XL: 13 mpg city/16 mpg highway (4.6L V-8); 12 mpg city/15 mpg highway (5.4L V-8)
E-150 Passenger Wagon XLT: 13 mpg city/16 mpg highway (4.6L V-8); 12 mpg city/15 mpg highway (5.4L V-8)
E-150 Passenger Wagon XLT Premium: 13 mpg city/16 mpg highway (4.6L V-8); 12 mpg city/15 mpg highway (5.4L V-8)
E-150 Commercial Van: 13 mpg city/17 mpg highway (4.6L V-8); 12 mpg city/16 mpg highway (5.4L V-8)
E-150 Commercial Van Extended: 13 mpg city/17 mpg highway (4.6L V-8); 12 mpg city/16 mpg highway (5.4L V-8)

You'll Like

  • Versatility
  • Reliability
  • Cargo space

You Won't Like

  • Fuel economy
  • 4-speed Automatic Transmission

Sum Up

America's workhorse van

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Ford Transit Connect
  • Chevrolet Express

See the New 2014 E-150.

Front & Driver Side View

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