Ford E-150 Origins
The Ford Econoline van has been the number one selling full-size van since 1980. Ford last made a major revision to the model over 20 years ago. This vehicle can haul people or cargo, and its ability to handle such duties results in its lack of change. Whether drivers use the van to transport 15 passengers, haul tools, or get the news team to a story, no one wants the dimensions or setup to change as they have probably standardized passenger layout or gear to fit the Econoline’s interior. Buyers should expect any model year changes to stay minor or cosmetic.
In 1997, Ford made major interior and engine updates. In 2008, the Econoline series received steering, brake, and suspension improvements. This willingness on the maker’s part to stick with a winning design can be viewed two different ways. Up-fitters will appreciate that the unchanging platform allows modifications to remain usable year after year. Others would probably prefer changes that help this model keep up with the times. Increased utility and improved driving dynamics mark the two main things that Ford could change. Other vehicles in this class allow people to walk into the vehicle upright, and they also handle much better.
That said, affordability and a strong record of dependability make this a viable option for drivers needing a vehicle for many different tasks.About the Ford E-150
The E-150 has squared-off headlights, a chrome or blacked-out grille, and rear doors that swing out 178 degrees. The side doors split 60/40 and swing out; drivers can replace this setup with a sliding door at no cost. Sixteen-inch steel wheels come standard and Ford offers chrome bumpers at no extra cost.
The standard engine, 225-horsepower, 4.6 liter V-8, produces 286 lb-ft of torque. Upgrading will get a 255-hp, 5.4-liter V-8 with 350 lb-ft of torque. Both engines hook into a four-speed automatic transmission. Notably, this model lacks a diesel option.
The E-150 gets 12/13 mpg in the city and 15/16 mpg on the highway, depending on engine choice and configuration.
The Econoline interior keeps things very basic, as expected for a van with commercial applications. All models do include a rear-view camera, a navigation system, and Sirius Satellite Radio. The commercial model has vinyl covered floors to prevent scratching. The two basic configurations include a passenger model with seating for up to eight and a cargo model with two front bucket seats.
The trim packages include passenger XL, passenger XLT, and passenger XLT premium. The commercial trim comes in basic and extended, which adds 20 inches to the vehicle’s length. Air-conditioning comes standard on all models. The various trim packages and options allow buyers to add a Sync multimedia system and power windows, locks, and mirrors. For the tech crowd Ford offers an in-dash computer with high-speed Internet access, to which a mouse and printer can connect. To help find your way, add in a navigation system with real-time traffic data and fuel prices.
Vans tend to be similar to trucks when it comes to driving, and the E-150 makes no exception. Handling isn’t a strong suit, since this vehicle aims to haul people and things with reliability. Also like trucks, the E-150 handles better when loaded. Unfortunately, this model lacks all-wheel drive, a feature that competing models offer.
Safety features include front airbags, an AdvanceTrac electronic stability system, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, roll stability control, and available trailer brakes. This all adds up to a driving experience that requires some attention to certain maneuvers, but the safety systems won’t let exuberant drivers roll the vehicle. The ride can get bouncy due to a work-ready suspension. The E-150 certainly doesn’t have sporty handling, but it does inspire confidence in somewhat tricky situations.Ford E-150 Features
Ford includes an MP3 audio player input jack on the 2012 model’s radio to bring the E-150 up to date. It also offers a new color option, Steel Blue Metallic, and optional 16-inch aluminum wheels. The two commercial van models now come with a dual-battery system that replaces the old backup battery.
The E-150 models sell at competitive prices for work duty vans; affordability has always enticed buyers of the E-150.Ford E-150 Evolution
The E-150 has seen some notable changes over the years. In 1997, Ford replaced the E-250’s engine with a new V-6, two new V-8s, and a new V-10.
1997 brought the first significant upgrade with the addition of a tilt steering wheel, anti-lock brakes, and a front passenger airbag. The interior shows an update, and the refined exterior matches Ford's new oval theme. In 2003, the E-Series vans receive a grille redesign to match the F-Series Super Duty truck.
Since 2008, the E-250 has benefited from modifications to the steering, braking, and suspension systems that improve driving dynamics. The 2010 model year marks the last for the 6.0-liter PowerStroke turbodiesel V-8, which replaced the 7.3-liter engine six years earlier.