By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 6/13/2011
The 2011 Ford E-Series van celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, marking five decades of tireless service and millions of miles logged. When it comes to shuttling large numbers of people or packages, there is no better vehicle than a full-size E-Series van. As valuable to the service industry and shuttle fleets as it is to retirees towing a mobile home around the country, the E-Series is no Plain Jane van. Equipped with AdvanceTrac traction and stability control, as well as an available navigation unit and the SYNC communications system, the E-Series is as modern as any vehicle in the Ford Fleet. Ford offers the E-Series in a number of configurations, including cutaway, cargo and passenger, and in half-ton, three-quarter ton and one-ton models.You'll Like This Car If...
Moving lots of cargo and people is what the E-Series does best, so if this is a priority for you or your business, the 2011 Ford E-Series is the vehicle for you. In addition to its gasoline-powered models, Ford also produces vans that can run on compressed natural gas (CNG) or E85.You May Not Like This Car If...
If you're thinking "van" because you need to haul around ten to 14 people, you might be concerned that the E-Series does not offer head-curtain airbags, a diesel-engine option or all-wheel drive. However, the above-mentioned features can be found in the Chevrolet Express Van.What's Significant About This Car?
On its 50th anniversary, the 2011 Ford E-Series van offers the SYNC voice-activated communications system, a 6.5-inch navigation radio, rearview camera (van and wagon only) and HD Radio.Driving It Driving Impressions
While one might think driving a full-size van is similar to driving a full-size SUV, there is a world of difference between the two. The 2011 Ford E-Series van's basic suspension, long rear overhang and smaller tires require a bit more attention at the wheel, especially when quickly rounding curves or making sudden lane changes. The E-Series' steering feedback is moderately dampened, giving the driver some sense of the road, and the ride remains relatively controlled even when the vehicle is fully loaded. Ford has worked hard to minimize the E-Series' massiveness, especially in areas frequently used by its passengers. The door handles, for example, are placed down low for easy access, and the there is a two-step tier at the base of the sliding side door making entry and exit less of a hike.Favorite Features
Developed by Magnetti Marelli and powered by Microsoft Auto, the in-dash computer allows businesses to do business on the road. The system even includes a hook-up for a printer}.
6.8-liter Triton V10
The 6.8-liter Triton V10 offers the potent torque of a diesel without the added cost.
Despite the vastness of the 2011 Ford E-Series dashboard, Ford has tried to cluster most of the vital switch gear as close to the driver as possible. Unfortunately, the radio and auxiliary input jack are still a bit of stretch, but updating to the SYNC system allows some functions to be activated via voice command; redundant audio controls in the steering wheel also help prevent unwanted muscle strain. Front captain's-chair seating is thick and supportive, but we do have some concern about the bench-style rear seats due to their lack of head restraints. We also question why Ford has does not offer side-curtain airbags. The E-Series can be configured to hold up to 14 passengers and offers a number of seating configurations. Owners can further customize their vans with such factory options as the QuietFlex rack and bin system, Masterack tool storage package and the Cable Lock tool-security system.Exterior
While it has been tweaked around the edges numerous times, the same boxy silhouette found on most of the 2011 Ford E-Series ancestors remains firmly intact. The side glass, flush-mounted and dark-tinted, provides excellent 360-degree visibility, and large side mirrors help the driver see objects close to the van's sides. If you have a conversion project in mind, the E-Series is the perfect platform from which to start, with a number of factory-installed pre-wiring packages to assist your installer.Notable Standard Equipment
The base 2011 Ford E-150 XL includes a 225-horsepower 4.6-liter V8, four-speed automatic transmission, air conditioning, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), dual side mirrors, driver and passenger front airbags, 12-volt outlets, swing-out side doors, AM/FM stereo, eight-passenger seating, tilt steering wheel, intermittent wipers and power steering. The XLT trim adds chrome bumpers, six-speaker stereo with CD, dual cloth captain's-chair seating and cruise control and power windows, mirrors and door locks.Notable Optional Equipment
Options include a 255-horsepower 5.4-liter V8, a 305-horsepower 6.8-liter Triton V10 and CNG versions of the 5.4- and 6.8-liter engines. Also on the list are a number of seating configurations, rear air conditioning, SYNC voice-activated communications system, navigation, HD Radio, CD player, auxiliary input jack, aluminum wheels, sliding side cargo door, telescopic trailer-tow mirrors, power driver's seat, a trailer towing package and the luxurious XLT Premium package. Other appealing options include the Masterack work-bin storage system, which includes steel shelving, drawers and cabinets; Tool Link tool-tracking system and the Magnetti Marelli on-board computer system (part of the Work Solutions package.)Under the Hood
The E-Series offers a strong line of engine choices, with the base V8 delivering good power and torque for the standard-wheelbase models. Extended-length E-250 and E-350 models offer a choice of powerplants, including the Triton V10 and CNG-capable 5.4 and 6.8-liter engines. The 4.6-liter and 5.4-liter V8 engines are also E85-compatible.}
225 horsepower @ 4800 rpm
286 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/17 (gasoline), 10/12 (E85)
255 horsepower @ 4500 rpm
350 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/16 (gasoline), 9/12 (E85)
305 horsepower @ 4250 rpm
420 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A
Pricing for the 2011 Ford E-Series vans covers a wide spread. The E-150 has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $28,000, while the E-350 Super Duty Cargo Van starts just over $32,000 and a loaded XLT Super Duty Passenger Van with navigation pushes close to $45,000. The E-350 Super Duty Extended Cargo Van starts just over $33,000 and the 15-passenger E-350 is a few thousand more at around $35,000. The gasoline Triton V10 adds a mere $800 to the base price. Additional options include a high-capacity air conditioner and a Class II/III/IV tow package. A look at the Fair Purchase Price will show you what the E-Series is going for in your area, so be sure to take a look at it before you begin negotiations. The E-Series vans are expected to hold an average resale value on par with the Chevrolet Express vans.