2010 Ford E-Series
2010 Ford E-Series Review
Other vans offer more engine options and better performance, but the Ford E-Series has the best towing capacity in the class and high-tech features vans from GM just can't match.
For most people, passenger vans are something you use to get a ride to the airport or something your plumber drives. Most vans on the market today were developed in the 1970s, and it shows. Still, the design hasn't changed because it's tough to get more utility than what you'll find in a typical work van package. Take the 2010 Ford E-Series, which is sometimes called the Econoline. Edmunds says "The 2010 Ford Econoline may be a child of the 20th century, but numerous updates through the years have kept it competitive in this utilitarian segment. As such, it earns our recommendation, though we'd advise sampling the competition as well to determine which passenger van best meets your needs."
The Ford E-Series, for the most part, is par for the passenger van course. It offers plenty of space and lots of utitilty. So do every other van in the class. But where the E-Series pulls slightly ahead is in its optional features. While other vans stick with the basics like air conditioning and an AM/FM radio, Ford offers the E-Series with innovative systems meant to appeal to business owners and even a few features that may appeal to Duggar-sized families who need the outsized seating capacity of a passenger van. Buyers can equip the E-Series with Ford's Work Solution system, which can track invoices, orders and even tools. It has available internet connectivity and fleet tracking, so a business can keep in contact with all of its vehicles. On the family front, the E-Series has an optional rear-view camera as well as a DVD player. By comparison, pretty much all that the vans from GM offer are seats.
Other Vans to Consider
Still, the E-Series, or any work van, is not for everyone. Full-size vans make sense if you have 12 or more people to haul or routinely carry heavy cargo and tow large loads. If you just need space, not power, consider the Ford Transit Connect. It starts at about $4,000 less than the E-Series, and while it can't match its towing or passenger abilities, for businesses with lighter loads, its better fuel economy makes sense. Plus, the Transit Connect can be outfitted with the same work solutions the E-Series has.
If you don't need bells and whistles, check out the Chevy Express and GMC Savana. These nearly-identical vans offer all-wheel drive (something the E-Series doesn't have) and have extra cargo doors that reviewers find handy. They start at about $1,000 less than the E-Series and offer diesel engines, which the E-Series doesn't. Also, they have more available safety features, including side airbags, than the E-Series.
If the E-Series or these vans just can't handle all the cargo you have, consider the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Its cargo capacity dwarfs the rest of the class, but you pay for the space: the Sprinter costs almost $10,000 more than the E-Series.
Details: The Ford E-Series
Last refreshed in 2008, the Ford E-Series line of vans is made up of the E-150 and the beefier E-350. Both offer a range of V8 and V10 engines. E-150 vans come in regular length configurations while buyers can opt for a regular or extended length E-350. The E-Series is available as a passenger van (which Ford calls the E-Series wagon) or a cargo van. Regular length E-Series wagons can hold up to 12 people, but the extended length models can handle up to 15. The E-Series comes in base XL or higher XLT trims.
- "Ford's E-series has been the full-size-van gold standard for decades and the bestseller for 28 years. Offered in commercial and passenger versions, these are rugged vans adaptable to a wide range of jobs. New high-tech features such as nav and Internet access enhance usefulness." -- Car and Driver
- "GM's vans offer all-wheel drive and driver-side cargo doors, but otherwise, Econoline lags GM's offerings only in quietness. The same goes for cargo versions. Still, most minivans can do a full-sizer's job except when it comes to outright load space and towing capability." -- Consumer Guide
- "Whether you need to transport up to 15 people or an apartment's worth of furniture, the Econoline is up to the task." -- Edmunds
- "If you need to move a lot of cargo or people, few vehicles are better equipped to do so than the E-Series." -- Kelley Blue Book