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Just as Ford's F150 has been the best-selling vehicle in the United States for decades, their E-Series (née Econoline) vans have also been sales champs since before the dawn of the 1980s. A strong presence in the trades delivers forty percent of the full-size van market to the E-Series. Ford's adding some new features and an upgraded interior to the E-Series for 2009 to help it continue to earn its keep. The full-sizers got an exterior nip and tuck last year, so the biggest body changes this year are rear doors that open wider.

Ford's Work Solutions system is a natural addition, and it makes just as much sense in the work van as it does in a pickup. The biggest news is a revised instrument panel with -- bar the door -- four auxiliary switches. Actually, not having a mish-mash of toggles and rockers drilled through the dash face for aftermarket gear is a nice touch. The panel itself has an uncluttered, no-nonsense layout, though the vents look like they could chew off errant fingers. Also on the new dash is a navigation system, which should lessen the "I'm lost, so I'm going to lunch" calls from contractors. American cargo vans are unsung utilitarian heroes, and Ford doesn't want its class leadership to slip away. Press release after the jump


[Source: Ford]

2009 Ford e-series: Interior updgrades, more 'smart' features for america's best-selling full-size van

  • Ford's class-leading E-Series full-size van delivers even more functionality for 2009, thanks to class-leading convenience features including integrated navigation system and SIRIUS Travel Link™, plus a redesigned instrument panel that includes four new upfitter switches.
  • Ford Work Solutions, a collection of affordable 'smart' technologies – including four industry-first features – will provide E-Series customers connectivity, flexibility and security to better run key aspects of their business – from their van, cutaway or wagon, even on the job site.
  • Ford is the commercial vehicle leader in the U.S. with 40 percent share of the total commercial vehicle market and has been the full-size van leader with the Ford E-Series for 29 years running. Manufactured at Ford's Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake, Ohio, 2009 Ford E-Series will be available in August.

ATLANTA, Feb. 26, 2008 – Ford E-Series – America's top selling full-size van for 29 years running – delivers an improved interior for 2009, along with new tools designed to help customers manage their fleets more efficiently, track and secure tools and better serve customers.

E-Series updates include a redesigned instrument panel and console, door trim panels with more storage, built-in auxiliary switches users can customize, wider-opening rear doors, more comfortable seats, a first-in-class factory-installed navigation system and Ford Work Solutions


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  • 56 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's humorous listening to the Ugly Police here as if there was merit to criticizing a Utility vehicle. It's function over form folks....you know, like UPS's Big Brown Truck......
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ford told the world how bad the Silverado was a couple of years ago because they used a C-Channel frame for about 30% of the frame. The problem was and is they have a C-Channel frame under the Econoline and GM has a fully boxed frame on the Express and Savannah. If a C-Channel is bad for a truck, it should be bad for a van. Right Ford?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Does this new van still have the Twin I-beam front suspension that has been around since the beginning of time? My father had one of these vans and it ate tires like crazy. I also recall it being a nightmare just to change the spark plugs. We got familiar with the workings of this vehicle only because it left us stranded so many times.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The new-for-'08 front end is really not that bad when you see it in person. I didn't want to like it, but it's really better than I thought it would be. It has more presence than the low-mileage '02 E-350 Super Duty Extended Wagon I bought recently for our church.

      That said, I'm going to reserve judgment on the new dash until I can see one up close. I think it's good they're finally making a change, but I want to see the quality of materials up close and personal. Our '02's engine cover (and especially the swing-out glove box) is made of some pretty flimsy plastic. I hope the new one is better.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ford sell lots of these because American's have very little choice, It doesn't make it a great van.
        • 7 Years Ago
        A reason there are few choices is because it's a small market for passenger vans. They don't sell nearly as many of them as they do SUVs, so it's hard to justify the investment.

        Consumers don't buy a lot of passenger vans, businesses are more interested in utility/value. End result is fewer updates.

      • 7 Years Ago
      You people are all idiots, which full size van has 50.4% of it's market?
      The E series. Don't fix what isn't broke
      • 7 Years Ago
      No wonder Ford has improved much On E-series cause F150 is the best-selling car either the car or the Ford car parts. But now i think E-series is getting better compare to old models.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Does this mean our ambulances will get updated as well?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Give me a GM G-Van any day. No First On Recall Day vans for me thank you… Expecially one of those Ecoline's with a diesel. eek....
      • 7 Years Ago
      New face, 30-year-old chassis. That's Ford for ya.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I can understand the reasoning behind not modifying it very often, but still, up until a couple years ago these vans were miles and miles behind GM's. My mom has a 2003 E-150, which is very comfortable in the front because it's so heavy, but the rest of the structure is very poor and flexes horrendously over road imperfections. We also have a 1998 Chevy van with a wheelchair lift. This is a fine vehicle, as the structure is stiff enough that it allowed much softer shock tuning while maintaining decent cornering for a vehicle this size. It's a very solid vehicle, with none of the shakes and rattles of the Ford. Ours has a small V8, and still managed to get 22 mpg on the highway, even when loaded with a couple hundred pounds of my college stuff, plus the lift! The Ford? Not so much. 16 mpg highway is very good for that.
      • 7 Years Ago

      1999 called... It wants its steering wheel back.
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