For 2008, the E-Series receives new front-end styling similar to Ford's full-size SuperDuty trucks, with a large front grille and squared-off highlights. The E-Series is available as a passenger wagon that can carry up to 15 people, and there's a commercial van version that offers up to 275 cubic feet of cargo space.
Formerly called the Econoline, the rear-wheel-drive E-150 comes in only one size. Passenger versions are sold in XL, XLT and XLT Premium Wagon trim levels.
A 4.6-liter V-8 is the base engine, and a 5.4-liter V-8 and 6.8-liter V-10 are available. An electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission is standard on all models. A storage system consisting of racks and bins inside the walls of the van is available as a no-charge option.
(Skip to details on the: E-250, E-350 Super Duty)
Offered in one length, both the E-150 van and wagon have a 138-inch wheelbase and are 212 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 new, larger grille serves another purpose in addition to making the vehicle look more defined: it allows more air to pass through the cooling systems.
Chrome bumpers and aerodynamic headlamps are mounted on the XLT. An XLT Premium package replaces last year's Chateau edition and features aluminum wheels and running boards, as well as two-tone paint.
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. Captain's chairs in the XLT Premium version replace the center bench, reducing seating positions to seven. Air conditioning and a tilt steering wheel are standard. The XLT adds carpeting, cruise control, and power windows, locks and mirrors. An overhead console and keyless entry are included in the XLT Premium wagon.
Cargo volume in the E-150 is 236.5 cubic feet. An optional cargo organizer can be installed behind the rear bench seat.
Under the Hood
Two engines are available for the E-150. The base engine is 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 7,500 pounds, while the passenger van can tow 7,100 pounds. Suspension components have been upgraded for 2008, and the E-Series now has heavier-duty sway bars and larger brakes. The 6.8-liter V-10 is available on E-350 versions.
All E-Series models have dual front airbags. Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes and front seat belt pretensioners are standard. Side-impact airbags are not available. A traction control system and electronic stability system are optional.
After a few minutes behind the wheel, it's nearly 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, an E-150 maneuvers almost as easily as a smaller van. On the other hand, more effort is necessary when parking the van and when judging your position on the highway.
The 5.4-liter V-8 is strong enough to deliver satisfying and safe response. Ride quality is decent, but it's not as well cushioned as most minivans. Compared with many smaller vans, the E-150 demands more steering correction on straightaways, but it's reasonably stable. Drivers enjoy a commanding view, and getting in and out isn't too difficult despite the high stance.
Rated for heavier duty than the E-150, the E-250 van has the same engine choices 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 275.1 cubic feet. The maximum gross vehicle weight rating for the E-250 is 8,600 pounds, versus a 7,000-pound GVWR for the E-150. Passenger wagons aren't available in this series. Back to top
E-350 Super Duty
Available in regular and extended lengths, the E-350 Super Duty has a maximum GVWR of 9,500 pounds. Cutaway versions that can be used for motor homes and box vans are also available. Single and dual-rear-wheel trims are available. The E-350 passenger wagon seats seven, eight, 11 or 12 people; extended-length vans seat 11, 12, 14 or 15 occupants.
The standard E-350 engine is a 5.4-liter V-8, and E-350 models with the 5.4-liter come standard with an electronic stability system. A 6.8-liter V-10 that generates 305 hp and 420 pounds-feet of torque can be installed. E-350 extended passenger wagons can tow up to 10,000 pounds. Back to top
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