SUM UP (2 Stars)

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for E-250 in 2013

Although there have been a few very minor tweaks to the E-250 over the many years it’s been in production, usually it’s the same old thing, and that remains true for 2013. However, if you’re a fan of the Ford E-250, get yours now, because after over 50 years, it’s ready to be phased out by Ford’s new, updated Transit van...
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When it comes time to transport a load of cargo, the answer has been the Ford E-Series cargo van for decades. To get a lot of equipment or materials from point A to point B, all you really need is a large vehicle with lots of space, reliable construction, and an engine strong enough to pull the whole thing along. Ford created just that in the E-Series, and as years have gone by, the philosophy has been ""don’t mess with success."" That’s just what Ford has done, putting out essentially the same van year after year, and year after year, commercial fleet owners and private businesses have been snapping them up.

The 2013 Ford E-250 is the middle child of the E-Series group. It can do a little more work than the base E-150, but isn’t quite as strong as its big brother, the E-350, also known as the Super Duty van. You have a few important options with the 2013 Ford E-250. You can go for the commercial version with side panels, or the personal version with side windows in the rear. If you’ve got a lot of passengers to haul rather than cargo, you can opt for a passenger model that seats 15 people. You’ll also need to decide whether you need the regular or extended length version of your 2013 Ford E-250. The extended model lengthens the chassis 20 inches, from 212 to 232.

An option that you’ll want to keep in mind if you’re using your Ford E-250 for commercial purposes is Crew Chief, a system that fleet managers can use to monitor use, maintenance, and costs on their vans.

Exterior

The Exterior of the Ford E-250 isn’t exactly something to get excited about, but it looks like what it should look like, a sturdy, dependable van that’s going to get lots of cargo and passengers where they need to go, and nothing’s going to stop it from getting there. The 2013 Ford E-250 features 16-inch steel wheels with all-season tires and an underbody mounted spare tire, with a rear barn door. If you want, however, there are a bunch of exterior options that you can use to spruce up your Ford E-250, including aluminum wheels, a chrome or black rear step bumper, white painted steel wheels, privacy glass, running boards, and telescopic power trailer tow mirrors. Available colors include the classic Oxford White Clearcoat, Vermillion Red Clearcoat, Dark Blue Pearl Metallic, School Bus Yellow, and Ingot Silver Metallic.

Interior & Cargo

Cargo capacity is what it’s all about when it comes to the Ford E-250 after all, this is a cargo van. You don’t have anything to worry about on this score. The 2013 Ford E-250 has an impressive maximum payload of 3610 pounds and can haul 7400 pounds at maximum when properly equipped. Maximum cargo capacity measures in at 278.6 cubic feet, 319.1 cubic feet on the extended model, which knocks about 100 pounds off the towing capacity and about 150 pounds off the maximum payload. The interior is comfortable enough for you to ride it around all day, with vinyl captain’s chair front seats, although you won’t necessarily choose it for your Sunday drive. Conveniences like power steering, air-conditioning, and a tilt steering wheel are standard. Entertainment comes in the form of an AM/FM stereo with two speakers and an MP3 audio input. In addition to the Crew Chief system, you have a fair number of interior options, including a power driver’s seat, navigation, satellite radio, cruise control, and a Cargo Lighting Package.

Safety

While cargo vans are not necessarily designed with safety first in mind, you do want to feel safe in your cargo van, and the 2013 Ford E-250 does offer safety features such as a four-wheel anti-lock brake system, stability and traction control, front and rear ventilated disc brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, and tire monitoring. Of more interest to van owners will probably be the rear back-up camera system, reverse sensing system, and for protecting that precious cargo, the SecuriLock Passive Anti-Theft System and E-Guard Cargo Protection System.

Driving Experience

No need to sugarcoat it, you won’t necessarily be happy taking the Ford E-250 out on winding mountain roads. Do the fun driving on your own time; this vehicle is a workhorse. You will appreciate AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control in some of those tougher driving conditions, which is standard on the 2013 Ford E-250. The rear-drive Ford E-250 comes with a 4.6-liter V-8, which should be muscular enough to handle just about any job you have for it. It’s linked to an automatic transmission and takes both regular unleaded gasoline and E85. That V-8 engine will deliver 225 horsepower and 286 lb-ft of torque. Gas mileage is meager, 13/17 mpg city/highway, but that’s to be expected in this type of vehicle. Some mechanical options include dual heavy duty 78-amp batteries, an integrated trailer brake controller, and a 3.73 limited slip axle ratio. You can also upgrade to the 5.4-liter engine normally found in the E-350.

In the end, if you’re just looking to take a bunch of kids to soccer practice, get a minivan. You’ll be a lot more comfortable and so will your passengers. But if you’ve got a commercial transport business or lots of cargo to haul, you should be very happy with the Ford E-250. That being said, you may want to hold out for the new Ford Transit to see Ford’s idea of a 21st century cargo van.

Key Competitors For The 2013 Ford E-250

  • Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
  • Nissan NV
  • GMC Savana

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