The Ford E-Series van was released in1961, replacing the discontinued F-Series panel van.
The E-series was the bestselling commercial van in the United States from 1980 to 2015.
Also called the Econoline, the Ford e-series is a full-size van that can hold between eight and fifteen people at once. It also features class-leading cargo volume and hauling capacity, making it a favorite for families, businesses, and organizations.
Ford discontinued the Econoline passenger/cargo van in 2014, replacing it with the Transit. Nonetheless, there are plenty of used models available for purchase if you want one.
Although not as efficient and practical as its successor, the Econoline is still a capable van that can handle most of your needs.
Moreover, with the model no longer in production, you can expect some price drops on the vehicle. So you can buy one for cheap and get great value for your money.
This article contains important facts and numbers about the E-Series model during its 59-year production run:
How Many E-Series Have Been Sold Per Year in The US?
For years, the Ford Econoline was the go-to choice for individuals or organizations in need of versatile work vans.
It featured impressive towing ability (up to 10,000 lbs), superior engines (V8s and V10s), and expansive interiors. All these qualities helped increase demand for the model and kept sales at high levels for much of the model’s life.
It was so popular that it was America’s bestselling commercial van for over three decades.
Sales of the Ford Econoline have consistently topped 100,000 units and even crossing the 200,000-unit mark on occasions.
Read some important facts on our article on How Long do Ford E-Series Last?
Model Success and Sales
Many suggest the extensive list of models in the E-Series lineup is what helped increase sales in those years.
This explains the model’s accomplishments in 1995 when it dominated sales in both the commercial van and passenger van segments.
It also led to sales in the parcel delivery van, ambulance, and motorhome van markets.
Ford discontinued the Econoline passenger and cargo vans, although the model is still produced in cutaway/stripped chassis form.
For clarity, ‘cutaways’ are trucks sold with incomplete bodywork, allowing owners to configure them for various uses. Since 2015, Econoline sales have averaged 50,000 units per year.
Below is a breakdown of yearly sales figures for the E-Series models extending from 1995 through 2014 when it got discontinued:
|Year||No. Of Models Sold|
What Year Did Ford Start Selling the E-Series Models?
Production of the Econoline started in 1960, with the model debuting for the 1961 model year.
Early models were based on the Ford Falcon passenger car, which made them small compared to the models of today. Ford offered the Econoline in various configurations including passenger wagon, cargo van, and a pickup truck.
The second generation Econoline had its release postponed because of a United Auto Workers (UAW) strike. It debuted for the 1969 model year and featured increased body dimensions and higher weight.
This was because Ford had moved it away from its car-based platform to a newer truck-based platform. The second generation also marked the first time a V8 engine was available.
Ford redesigned the Econoline for the 1975 model year, starting off the van’s third generation. Models featured a lengthened hood and an all-new chassis, and a body-on-frame platform.
The body-on-frame design made the Econoline suitable for different configurations namely, ambulances, box vans, cutaway cabs, etc. Newer engine options appeared with the introduction of a 6.9-liter V8, 7.3-liter V8, and a diesel-powered V8.
Redesigns and Updates
Another redesign in 1992 brought more changes to the Econoline model.
Significant changes included a newer sheetmetal design, addition of an extended-wheelbase model, and the introduction of a bigger 6.8-liter V10 engine.
It was during this time Ford renamed the Econoline, giving it a new “E-Series” nameplate.
Ford stopped production of the cargo van and passenger wagon variants of the E-Series in 2014, replacing it with the Transit model.
The E-Series has been in production for 59 years, undergoing four separate iterations:
- 1961 – 1967 (First Generation)
- 1969 – 1974 (Second Generation)
- 1975 – 1991 (Third Generation)
- 1992 – 2013 (Fourth Generation)
How Is the Fuel Economy On a Ford E-Series?
In most cases, full-size commercial vans are hardly fuel efficient, thanks to their hulking weight and increased performance.
Powered by a series of fuel-thirsty V8s and V10 engines, the E-Series models have dismal fuel economy numbers. In fact, the E-Series’ fuel-inefficiency is among the reasons Ford replaced it with the Transit.
Engines on the E-Series come in different sizes, with the biggest being the 6.8-liter V10.
Across the lineup, the E-250 van with its 4.6-liter eight-cylinder engine has the best fuel economy. It earns 13 MPG on city roads and 16 MPG on highways for a combined 15 MPG.
The worst model is the E-350 Wagon featuring a 6.8-liter V10 engine. It gets 13 MPG on the highway and 10 MPG in the city for a combined 11 MPG.
All trims in the E-Series lineup are ‘Flex-Fuel’ vehicles, meaning they can run on Ethanol fuel (E85).
Below is a table showing fuel economy figures for the 2014 E-Series models:
|Model||City MPG||Highway MPG||Combined MPG|
|E-150 Van (FFV)
|E-250 Van (FFV)
|E-350 Van (FFV)
|E-150 Van (FFV)
|E-250 Van (FFV)
|E-150 Wagon (FFV)
|E-350 Van 6.8-liter (10-cyl.)||10||14||12|
|E-350 Wagon 6.8-liter (10-cyl.)||10||13||11|
Did Ford Recall Any of the Ford E-Series Models?
During the E-Series 59-year production run, Ford issued 18 recalls for the model.
We’ve ranked each model year according to the number of recalls for it:
|Model Year||No. Of Recalls|
How Much Do the E-Series Model Pollute?
Because of their enormous engines, the E-Series models have higher greenhouse gas emissions compared to the average vehicle.
If you’re concerned about environmental pollution, then you may want to look elsewhere.
Here’s a breakdown of pollution figures for the 2014 E-Series models:
|Model||Greenhouse Gas Emissions||Emissions Score|
|Gasoline||607 grams per mile||2/10|
|Ethanol Fuel (E85)||584 grams per mile||2/10|
|Gasoline||687 grams per mile||2/10|
|Ethanol Fuel (E85)||639 grams per mile||2/10|
|Gasoline||666 grams per mile||1/10|
|Ethanol Fuel (E85)||620 grams per mile||2/10|
How Much Can the E-Series Tow?
For 2014, the models in the E-Series lineup came with different engines, hence, they had varying towing capacities.
The E-150 and E-350 had a standard 4.8-liter V8 engine, although a 5.4-liter V8 was optional. E-350 models had the biggest engines in the lineup, sporting a 6.8-liter V10.
Here’s a breakdown of maximum towing capacities on each E-Series model:
|Ford E-150||6,000 – 7,500 pounds|
|Ford E-250||6,000 – 7,500 pounds|
|Ford E-350||7,200 – 10,000 pounds|
How Reliable Is a Ford E-Series?
Mostly, the E-Series lineup doesn’t do badly in terms of reliability.
In fact, the durability of these vehicles is one reason for their popularity.
RepairPal gives both the Ford E-250 and Ford E-350 a 3/5 Reliability Rating. The least-reliable model is the Ford E-150, which scores a 2.5/5 Reliability Rating from RepairPal.
How Safe Is a Ford E-Series?
Models in the E-Series lineup come with several safety-enhancing features namely, an anti-lock brake system (ABS), dual airbags, and an electronic stability control system.
Other (optional) features include rearview camera and trailer brake controller. Neither the IIHS nor the NHTSA tests commercial vans.
Hence, there are no safety ratings available for the models.
What Is the Typical Buyer Demographic for This Model?
There is insufficient buyer demographic data for the E-Series model.
However, our research turned up a few facts about the E-Series’ buyers:
- The E-Series is mostly bought by individuals with large families to transport daily. Organizations and businesses also form a huge part of the E-Series buyer demographic.
- They are less concerned about fuel efficiency or vehicle carbon footprint. Performance and hauling capacity are far more important considerations for E-Series buyers.
- Another least-considered factor by this buyer demographic is vehicle uniqueness. They see their vehicles as only a means of transporting people or things around them.
Ford E-Series Theft Numbers
The NHTSA Vehicle Theft Rate Database contains no data for the E-Series models.
However, the E-Series comes with Ford’s SecuriLock Passive Anti-Theft System along with an engine immobilization feature.
This will ensure that your vehicle proves a tough target for thieves.