2011 Ford E-Series

Interior


2011 Ford E-Series Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2011 Ford E-Series was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 7.2

The Ford E-Series can be as basic as any other work van, but it can also be outfitted as a high-tech work station, and it even has some family-friendly options. While competitors from GM offer few features beyond a stereo, the E-Series has optional navigation, a DVD player and Ford's SYNC system. For work-oriented buyers, Ford's Work Solutions system, which includes an in-van computer with internet access and a tool tracking system, gets high marks.

  • "New high-tech features such as nav and Internet access enhance usefulness." -- Car and Driver
  • "Old-school big-truck design, but clear and convenient. We have not tested navigation- or Sync-equipped models. Interior is workman-like. Most surfaces are made of budget-grade plastic." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The Econoline Cargo van may date back to when stonewashed jeans were still kind of cool, but Ford has done an admirable job of keeping the van's technological side up-to-date." -- Edmunds

Seating

If you need to haul a crowd, the Ford E-Series Wagon has you covered. Regular-length E-Series passenger wagons can handle up to 12 people; extended-length models can handle up to 15. The E-150 can only handle eight people. That's on par for the class, but while the competition only offers rear bench seats, the E-Series has optional bucket seats for the second row. That decreases its seating capacity, but the extra comfort may be worth it.

Cargo van models come with standard seating for two, but again, the E-Series offers something the competition doesn’t -- an optional second-row bench seat in cargo models. Opting for the additional (and removable) row doesn't hurt cargo volume too much, and it means that you can transport an entire work crew in one vehicle. For small businesses, that can mean some fuel savings over time.

For the most part, reviewers are pretty blasé about the E-Series' seats, calling them adequate. A few complain that the rear rows are cramped.

  • "Improved seating provides greater support in the passenger van." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Indifferent seats, ample space. Entry and exit are not bad, but shorter folk might need side steps. Visibility astern is OK in wagons, but almost non-existent in vans without the optional side and rear windows. Bulky size demands care with parking and lane changes, especially in extendeds. Regulars seat up to 12, extendeds up to 15. All riders sit high yet have good headroom, but not that much legroom. Entry and exit is easy to 2nd row, but tight and tricky to 3rd, 4th, and 5th rows." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The optional captain's chairs enhance the Econoline's comfort, although legroom can be tight for second-row passengers in any configuration." -- Edmunds

Interior Features

Like most work and passenger vans, the Ford E-Series has a modest base interior. Air conditioning is standard, but that's about it. However, compared to the competition from Chevy and GMC, the E-Series has a long standard features list and even has options that might appeal to super-sized families and small business owners. For families, the E-series offers optional features like climate control, navigation, Ford's SYNC infotainment system and a rear-seat DVD player. The navigation system even includes real-time traffic info and fuel prices.

For businesses, the options step up a notch with Ford Work Solutions. The system incorporates an internet-connected computer that can track invoices -- you can even hook a printer up to it. The system also includes a fleet management system, which allows owners to track what vans in their fleet are doing. Having the exact location of a van can aid in dispatching, saving time and fuel. The system also includes vehicle diagnostics. Finally, the popular tool management system, which is a staple of Ford's trucks, is available on the E-Series. The system uses radio frequency tags attached to tools and materials so the E-Series can tell -- and let you know -- when you've forgotten something.

These features are well ahead of what Chevy and GMC are offering. However, they can be expensive add-ons, and the E-series already sports a starting price that's about $1,000 above the Chevy and the GMC's. If you don't need the tools, you can save some money by choosing the more basic vans from GM.

  • "The Econoline is also notable for its optional Ford Work Solutions. This brilliant piece of technology allows commercial buyers to keep track (via radio-frequency tags) of their power tools and manage their fleet via a telematics and diagnostics system.There is even an available Microsoft-powered in-dash computer that provides high-speed Internet access as well as mobile printing via an available wireless printer. " -- Edmunds
  • "Developed by Magneti 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." -- Kelley Blue Book

Cargo

The cargo space in the Ford E-Series in on par with most of the class. The space is comparable to the Chevy Express and GMC Savana, but bigger (by about 100 cubic feet) than the space in the Ford Transit Connect. No van in the class, however, can match the massive cargo space of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter -- but the Sprinter is by far the most expensive van in the class. As a result, reviewers say that most buyers and their cargo should fit just fine in the E-Series.

The Ford E-Series can be outfitted with handy (and customized) cargo management systems to store and transport tools and supplies. While this is a nice feature, most of the competition offers similar storage systems.

  • "Adequate to ample behind the rearmost seat in either body length, cavernous with the seats removed, though that requires tedious wrench work and none of the seats fold for cargo." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Cargo capacity is one of the shoebox-shaped Econoline's strengths, with 237 to 275 cubic feet of maximum cargo volume on hand, depending on the model." -- Edmunds
  • "Factory installed options such as the Masterack tool storage system, Cable Lock tool security system and the QuietFlex rack and bin system allow owners to custom-tailor their vans to better suit specific work-related requirements." -- Kelley Blue Book

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