Ford E-250 Econoline Origins
Ford’s venerable Econoline series vans have been handling commercial work with durability and loads of space for decades. While Ford maintains a ""if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it"" attitude towards its workhorse van, occasionally the company adds features to keep the model up to date. There have only been major changes twice in the last 20 some years, so expect this vehicle to always fit a certain amount of gear, tools, or people. No matter the job at hand, shuttle duty, service fleet, or hauling tools and equipment, for more than 50 years the E-Series vans always get the job done.
The E-250 differs from the E-150 model in that it can handle heavier loads. It accomplishes this with a bigger axel (10.25 vs. 8.8); larger springs, brakes, wheels, and tires; and a three-quarter-ton frame versus a half-ton frame on the E-150. This all makes for a stiffer and more truck-like ride. The handling has more of a commercial vehicle feel. While some buyers of the E-150 may use that van for personal purposes (coaching and transporting a little league team, for example) buyers of the E-250 should be aware that the design of this vehicle keeps serious commercial applications in mind; thus, it does not offer an easy, lazy handling drive. Even SUVs require less from a driver than an E-Series van. With that in mind, it should be noted that these vans have been reliable work vehicles for years.About the Ford E-250 Econoline
The exterior of the E-250 clearly indicates its intended use, with its boxy and utilitarian style. It employs double-sealed headlamps, a blacked-out grill, and 16-inch steel wheels. Like other E-Series vans, it has rear doors that swing 178 degrees and a 60/40-split side door that can be replaced with a sliding door at no extra cost. It offers all the basic exterior looks and features of the utility-oriented body style.
The engine options include the E-Series basics: a 225-horsepower, 4.6 liter V-8 with 286 lb-ft of torque. That can be upgraded to a 255-hp, 5.4-liter V-8 with 350 lb-ft of torque. The E-250 weighs more than the 150 and hauls more, resulting in another engine option. The 305-horsepower, 6.8-liter Triton V10 will handle even bigger jobs than the V-8 models and takes the place of a diesel option without the extra cost. All engine choices pair with a four-speed automatic transmission.
The interior of the E-250 is a Spartan and plain design that typifies the commercial hauling vehicle. Scratch resistant vinyl floor coverings and a basic layout handle the rigors of a vehicle work life. Options for the layout include seating for eight, two bucket seats, and space or options such as a ladder rack, a 12-drawer cabinet, and special up-fitting for duty in the plumbing and air-conditioning repair trade.
Standard features include air-conditioning, dual side mirrors, 12-volt outlets, an AM/FM stereo, a tilt steering wheel, intermittent wipers, and power steering. The XLT trim adds chrome bumpers, a six-speaker stereo with a CD player, dual cloth captain's chairs, cruise control, power windows, mirrors, and door locks. Other available options include the Sync multimedia system, an in-dash computer with high-speed internet access to which a mouse and printer can be connected, and a navigation system with real-time traffic data and fuel prices.
The E-250 drives like a van, not an SUV or car. The handling and ride feel like a commercial truck because everything about the frame, suspension, and design remains that of a commercial vehicle. The AdvanceTrac stability control and roll stability control help save aggressive drivers who are unprepared for the way this type of vehicle behaves. More attention to the steering and the rear navigation camera can prevent fender benders.
Safety features such as the four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, dual front airbags, and the aforementioned control features, inspire confidence. The lack of side curtain head airbags is worth mentioning as they prove helpful in this vehicle class. Overall safety meets acceptable standards, but the model provides a bouncy ride and slightly demanding drive.Ford E-250 Econoline Features
Ford has included a new paint color, Steel Blue Metallic, for 2012. The model also offers 16-inch aluminum wheels, and a new jack on the stereo allows for the use of MP3 players.
The price range for the E-250 falls in the typical range for commercial vans. Expect to pay $27,000 for a base model. Features and trim upgrades can take the price up to the $44,000 range.Ford E-250 Econoline Evolution
There have been a few notable differences 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 passenger front airbag. The interior receives an update, and the exterior changes to match Ford's new oval theme. In 2003, the E-Series vans got 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 six years earlier.