Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
This price range reflects the Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value for all trim levels, but not necessarily all available options.
The Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value represents the amount an auto dealer might ask for a specific vehicle; the actual sale price will vary. A vehicle's popularity, condition, warranty, color and local market conditions are factors involved in determining a final price. The retail value is not a trade-in or private party value.
The Suggested Retail value assumes that the vehicle has been fully reconditioned and has a clean title history. The Suggested Retail value also allows for advertising, sales commissions, insurance and other costs of doing business as a dealer. Most vehicles offered at this price have passed an inspection, and some may carry a warranty. Vehicle mileage is assumed to be normal or below normal.
Best Bets get above-average mpg, class-average or better reliability, class-average or better crash-test ratings, and our recommendation.
By Jim Flammang
March 3, 2004
Vehicle Overview Ford’s full-size E-Series cargo-hauling Van and passenger-carrying Wagon received several revisions in 2003, including a new grille with an integral Ford emblem and a standard driver’s grab handle. Wagon models gained LATCH child-safety seat tethers and anchors.
For the 2004 model year, a 4.6-liter V-8 has replaced the 4.2-liter V-6 as the base engine. Rear disc brakes are now standard on all models. New 11- and 14-passenger configurations include a center aisle. A Chateau trim level replaces the former Chateau option package.
Formerly called the Econoline, the rear-wheel-drive E-150 comes in only one size and passenger versions are sold in XL, XLT and Chateau trim levels. Heavier-duty models — E-250 (three-quarter-ton) and E-350 Super Duty (one-ton) — are also available. (Skip to details on the: E-250 | E-350 Super Duty)
Exterior Available in only one length, the E-150 Van and Wagon have a 138-inch wheelbase and stretch to 211.9 inches long overall. Swing-out 60/40-split doors are installed on the right side, but a sliding cargo door is available as a no-cost option. Swing-out doors are the only choice at the rear. The Chateau edition features aluminum wheels and running boards.
Interior Aimed at commercial applications, the cargo-hauling Van is fitted with two bucket seats up front. Passenger models have seating for eight occupants on two front buckets and a pair of three-passenger bench seats. In the Chateau trim, captain’s chairs replace the center bench to provide seating for seven people. Cargo volume in the E-150 is 256.5 cubic feet. An optional cargo organizer may be installed behind the rear bench seat.
Under the Hood Two engines are available for the E-150. The base engine is now a 225-horsepower, 4.6-liter V-8. Stepping up a notch is a 255-hp, 5.4-liter V-8. Each drives a four-speed-automatic transmission.
When properly equipped, the E-150 Van can tow as much as 6,900 pounds, which is 400 pounds more than the equivalent E-150 passenger Wagon.
Safety All E-Series models have dual front airbags. Four-wheel antilock brakes and front seat belt pretensioners are standard. Side-impact airbags are not available.
E-250 Rated for heavier duty than the E-150, the E-250 Van has the same engine choices (with the addition of a compressed natural gas fuel option for the 5.4-liter V-8), but comes in both regular and extended lengths. Extended vans are 20 inches longer overall but have the same 138-inch wheelbase; maximum cargo volume is 309.4 cubic feet. The maximum gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) for the E-250 is 8,600 pounds, versus 7,000 pounds for the E-150. Passenger wagons are not available in this series. Back to top
E-350 Super Duty Moving up another notch, the E-350 Super Duty has different engine selections. During the 2004 model year, a 6.0-liter Power Stroke V-8 diesel rated at 235 hp and 440 pounds-feet of torque replaces the prior 7.3-liter diesel engine. Optional in the E-350, it mates with a five-speed TorqShift automatic transmission. The standard E-350 engine is a 5.4-liter V-8, but a 6.8-liter V-10 that generates 305 hp and 420 pounds-feet of torque may be installed. Ford also offers a natural-gas version of the 5.4-liter V-8. Available in regular or extended length, the E-350 Super Duty has a maximum GVWR of 9,500 pounds. Cutaway versions are also available. Back to top
Driving Impressions After a few minutes behind the wheel, it’s almost possible to forget the E-150’s truck origins. Engine drone is less noticeable than in Ford vans of the distant past. With relatively light steering, it maneuvers almost as easily as a smaller van. On the other hand, more effort is necessary in judging your position on the highway and while parking.
The 5.4-liter V-8 engine is strong enough to deliver satisfying and safe response. Ride quality is decent enough, but it’s not as well cushioned as most minivans. Compared to many smaller vans, the E-150 needs more steering correction on straightaways, but it’s reasonably stable. Drivers enjoy a commanding view and, despite the high stance, getting in and out isn’t too difficult.