2012 Ford E-Series

Pros & Cons

  • Strong optional engines
  • High-tech, work-friendly features
  • Maximum 15-passenger capacity
  • Short on safety features
  • No V6 or diesel engines
  • Lacks all-wheel drive

Research & Ratings

Currently, the Ford E-Series has a score of 7.5 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 36 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 7.7
Performance: 7.1
Interior: 7.2
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Ford E-Series Overview

As work vans go, the Ford E-Series is one of the most popular and easy-to-recognize members of its class. It was introduced in 1961, and remains one of the most common passenger vans on the road today. Test drivers continue to love the 2012 E-Series’ powerful optional V10 engine, and they say that it’s one of the only vans on the market that can hold up to 15 people. Plus, reviewers love Ford’s optional Work Solutions system, which has a tool tracker, a vehicle fleet monitor, a Wi-Fi hotspot and a printer.

However, with more rivals entering the field recently, the Ford E-Series may no longer be the obvious choice for shoppers in need of a work van. Test drivers say that all three of its engines are thirsty, and the E-Series’ base engine isn’t powerful enough to handle lots of passengers or cargo. Shoppers who can give up some cargo and passenger space may be better served by the smaller Ford Transit Connect, which is much easier on fuel and has much better handling. Anyone who wants more cargo space than the E-Series can offer will likely be happier with the larger Nissan NV or Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. And perhaps most significantly, the E-Series lacks important safety features like head-curtain airbags and all-wheel drive.

Overall, test drivers say the Ford E-Series isn’t bad for a work van. Whether you’re shopping for a high-capacity family vehicle or a work van tailored to your company’s needs, there are others that offer more features, better performance and more space.

Other Vans to Consider

The Chevrolet Express and its corporate twin, the GMC Savana, have long been the Ford E-Series’ main competitors, and with good reason. Though these vans don’t offer anything like Ford’s much-praised Work Solutions system, they do offer optional all-wheel drive and a better lineup of engines, including a diesel and a fuel-conscious V6. The Express and Savana have shortcomings of their own, including fewer standard features than most other vans and an interior that’s not particularly comfortable, but they’re a good alternative to the E-Series.

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a lot more expensive than the Ford E-Series, but test drivers say it drives fairly easily for a vehicle of its size. Plus, unlike the Ford or GM vans, it’s also available as a high-roof model, which significantly increases overall interior space. The Sprinter’s interior is far removed from that of Mercedes’ passenger cars, with a design and materials that are more utilitarian than luxurious, but no other passenger van can match the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter’s cavernous maximum cargo capacity.

Details: 2012 Ford E-Series


The 2012 Ford E-Series comes in regular and extended wheelbases, as well as passenger Wagon or cargo Van body styles. Three models (E-150, E-250 and E-350) are available, and each comes in either XL, XLT or XLT Premium trim. Ford offers three gas-powered engines, though a V6, a diesel and all-wheel drive are all unavailable. This year, the E-Series gains a standard audio input jack, a new blue paint color and optional cast-aluminum wheels.

See the full list of 2012 Ford E-Series specifications.

  • "A box is best for hauling a lot of stuff, and this is one of the biggest boxes. The E-series plugs away without complaint, which is why it doesn't matter that it's wieldy to maneuver and seriously not fun to drive.” -- Car and Driver
  • "GM's vans offer all-wheel drive, driver-side cargo doors, and now, a diesel engine. Still, most minivans can do a full-sizer's job except when it comes to outright load space and towing capability. Econoline remains a solid workhorse for the Ford faithful.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "Though it's based on an aging platform, the 2012 Ford E-Series Cargo van remains a decent choice for heavy-duty hauling.” -- Edmunds



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