The 2003 Ford E-250 van continues a long tradition of serving many different needs. It should not be confused with a minivan and is not intended for family hauling. It handles like a truck. Fuel is poor and its looks are very bland. It is, however, one of the most prominent workhorses in American automotive history and a class leader due to its durability, versatility, and reputation. Buyers needing a vehicle for a small business, contracting or shuttling should consider it.
Body Styles: van
Engines: 4.2-liter V-6, 4.6-liter V-8, 5.4-liter V-8
Models: Ford E-250
The 2003 Ford E-250 get a standard set of power exterior mirrors. An upgraded set of mirrors with convex blind-spot reflectors and puddle lamps are new options as well. XLT models are now equipped with dual-illuminated vanity mirrors. Other changes involve minor exterior style details.
The 2003 Ford E-250 three-quarter-ton, full-size van comes in just one base trim level. It's equipped for either passenger use as a wagon or commercial use as a van. It is available in the regular length of 211.9-inches or in the extended length of 231.9-inches, depending on application. It comes with 16-inch tires with steel rims and most everything else is optional so that this classic workhorse can be customized to nearly any purpose. Exterior options are functional in design and include items like shorter axle ratios for enhanced towing ability or a full towing package. Most units feature a limited-slip differential. Alloy wheels can be had as stand-alone options or as part of a package.
The 2003 Ford E-250 keeps with the basic plan of customization and thus offers very little standard fare so that buyers can make it perfectly suited to any task. Two vinyl bucket seats, air-conditioning, tilt steering wheel adjustment, power mirrors, and a two-speaker stereo comprise the standard gear list. Options that allow tailor-suiting include a second-row bench and third-row bench for a shuttling configuration, as well as almost luxurious items like captain's chairs, cloth upholstery, cruise control, a six-speaker stereo with a cassette deck and a power group with keyless entry and power windows and locks. The cabin can be rather bare including unadorned walls and plain floors to accommodate customizing for a contractor or any type of small business needs. Due to the target market’s need for a specialized vehicle, it's a great choice that can be setup to almost any particular task or design.
Performance & Handling
The 2003 Ford E-250 base model comes with a 191-horsepower, 4.2-liter, V-6 engine that puts out 244 lb-ft of torque. The optional 4.6-liter V-8 cranks out 225 horsepower and 286 lb-ft of torque, while another optional choice is a 5.4-liter V-8 that makes 255 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. All engines hook up to a four-speed automatic transmission. Equipped with the 5.4-liter V-8, the E-250 can tow as much as 7500 pounds. Maximum payload ratings range from 1965 to 3430 pounds, depending on how the van is equipped. The 4.2-liter is the best choice for passenger use, while the larger engines are better suited to commercial use. Despite being a big and heavy van, it handles traffic situations rather well and the larger engines are needed only for the rigors of commercial use.
Since the 2003 Ford E-250 is a workhorse, things like handling and ride quality are not high on the list of priorities. It stands to reason that it handles like a truck and would not do well on long trips. Highway winds will have its way with drivers, the grip is somewhat tenuous to say the least, steering is a similar to using dumbbells and hard stops can be thrilling in an unpleasant way.
The 2003 Ford E-250 comes standard with safety equipment, including dual front airbags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes and front seat belt pretensioners. Side-impact airbags are not available. In NHTSA testing, it earned four out of five stars for driver and passenger safety and two stars for rollover safety. The IIHS has not performed crash safety tests.
EPA Fuel Economy
Ford E-250: 12/16 mpg city/highway
- Many configurations
- Cargo-hauling ability
You Won't Like
- Lacking convenience features
- Engines pale in comparison to GM vans’ power plants
Hard-to-handle gas-guzzler offers more space/hauling than minivan relatives.
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