Just as their name implies, Ford cargo vans are a group of large vehicles with spacious luggage compartments and comfortable passenger seats. These vans include Ford Transit and Econoline models.
Both models are the darling of commercial operators thanks to their customizable designs. But do these vans last long?
Read on, and you will find out.
Do Ford cargo vans last long?
Going by official data and customer feedback, Ford cargo vans can last 250,000 to 300,000 miles before falling apart. However, this depends on the work you use the van for and proper maintenance. Because most people use these vans for highly demanding tasks, they require regular maintenance to achieve 250,000-mile longevity.
How Long Do Ford Cargo Vans Last?
On the average, Ford cargo vans can last for 250,000 to 300,000 miles, based on our review of customer feedback and several expert reviews. However, with regular maintenance, they can last even longer.
A Ford E25o cargo van owner claims his van has lasted for over 400,000 miles even though he constantly hauls cargo weighing 18,000 pounds on it.
Another E250 owner, Chef Dennis reported that his van is still in perfect condition even though it has lasted for over 400,000 miles.
In addition, Ford cargo vans have recorded exceptionally high mileage. For example, a Ford Transit van in Germany only broke down after it had worked for 620,000 miles.
Likewise, a news website, Toledo Blade, reported the case of a man whose Ford 1997 E250 Cargo lasted for 1,000,000 miles.
How Soon to Expect Rust on Ford Cargo Vans
When they lack manufacturing defects, Ford cargo vans rarely start rusting until about 10 years after production.
According to many Ford cargo van users, the first signs of rust appear on places like the roof, floor, wheels and doors of the van. For instance, in Ford E250 and E350 vans, the moisture the floor mat absorbs causes rust on the underside of the vehicle.
How Long Do Ford Cargo Vans Last Compared to Similar Vans?
Compared to other brands of cargo vans, the durability of Ford Cargo Vans is just about average.
Ford Transit vs. Chevrolet Express
Users say these two vans offer satisfactory cargo space. However, our research shows the Chevrolet Express is more durable than Ford Transit.
Just like the Ford Transit, Chevrolet Express will most likely last for 250,000 miles in most cases.
Ford E150 vs. Mercedes Sprinter
If you require a vehicle for hauling cargo, then you should consider the Ford E150 or the Mercedes Sprinter. However, the Ford E150 lasts longer than the Mercedes Sprinter van.
Most Mercedes Sprinter vans will last 200,000 miles, although user experience will depend on maintenance and the work the van does.
The Ford E150 delivers better longevity, as it can deliver 250,000 to 300,000 miles on the average.
The E150 also sports a more powerful engine, has a higher towing capacity, and a larger fuel tank.
Ford E250 vs. Ram ProMaster Van
If you run a delivery service, any of these vans will work for you. Both vans provide large luggage compartments. When it comes to longevity, the Ford E250 and the Ram ProMaster are equally matched.
Your Ram ProMaster and Ford E250 probably won’t breakdown completely until after 300,000 miles.
Are Ford Cargo Vans Reliable?
It depends on which cargo van you are talking about. Ford Econoline vans like the Ford E150 and E250 are quite reliable. In fact, these vans were rated 4 out of 5 in reliability by Consumer Reports.
Also, unlike most Ford vehicles, Econoline vans are relatively more fuel efficient than similar vans.
Compared to Chevrolet Express which can only travel about 13.5 miles per gallon of fuel, the Ford E350 offers 15 mpg.
However, the Ford Transit van is not very reliable. The T-150, T-250, and T-350 all received an average 3/5 reliability rating from RepairPal. Ford Transit van users complain that they spend too much money on repairs, which adds up to $972 per annum for the T-150, as per RepairPal estimates.
A Ford Transit owner in Illinois claims his vehicle’s transmission collapsed after he had only driven it for 19,000 miles.
That might be an extreme case, but several other users reported issues at about 80,000 miles.
That said, the Transit is the clear leader in its segment thanks to its generous cargo hold, exceptional towing capability, and comfortable cabin.
It is also relatively affordable and has a decent fuel economy.
Best and Worst Model Years of Ford Cargo Vans
The best and worst models of the different Ford cargo vans occur in different years.
So, it would help to address them separately.
Customer reports shows 2011 is the most terrible of the E150 model years. It had serious transmission problems and frail windows. Ranker.com lists the 1997 model as the best model year for Ford E150. Most users complimented this model year on its plush exterior and interior designs.
Ford E250 had their worst model in 1997. The model year was named the worst by Car Complaints because users had to pay a lot of money to fix its repairs. According to ranker.com, the 2009 Ford E250 had the highest positive reviews because of its exceptional cargo capacity.
- Ford Transit:
Car Complaints rates the 2012 model as the worst model year for Ford Transit. Drivers of the 2012 Ford Transit often claimed that their transmissions fell apart while they were driving.
Ford Transit users on Ford Transit USA forum rank the 2020 model as the best model year. For them, it had more design and engine upgrades than any other model year.
What About Recalls for these Model Years?
According to cars.com, the Ford E150 has been recalled 64 times. The platform also reports 72 recalls for the Ford E250 and 10 recalls for the E350. The low number of recalls for the E350 may likely be due to the fact that the E150 and E250 are more popular among users.
Conversely, the Ford Transit 150 currently has 30 recalls. The Transit 250 and 350 have zero recalls
Ford Cargo Model Years
The Econolines were produced from 1960 t0 2014, introducing the Transit as a replacement in 2015. This means that the Econoline cargo vans were in production for 54 years. The Transit only entered the American market in 2015.
Are Ford Cargo Vans Expensive to Maintain?
Ford cargo vans have relatively affordable maintenance costs compared to their competitors. According to RepairPal, it costs about $936 per year to maintain cargo vans on the average.
RepairPal also estimates that maintaining the Ford Transit 250 only requires about $947 yearly.
Conversely, it costs an average of $1,070 to maintain the E-150 annually.
Since the cost of maintaining Ford Cargo vans is probably just a few dollars above the class average, we can say they are not expensive to maintain.
However, the source of spare parts, the auto shop, and location can all affect the actual cost of maintenance.
How Long Do Ford Cargo Van Brakes Last?
The brakes of Ford cargo vans often have a general longevity rate of 30,000 to 50,000 miles.
However, regular maintenance such as topping the brake fluid and changing of the brake pads can extend the service life of your brakes.
How Long Do the Batteries Last?
Just like other Ford vehicles, the battery in your Ford cargo van will most likely last up to six years. Cleaning the terminals and charging the battery when not in use will make it last longer.
How Long Do Tires Last?
Ford recommends that you change their vehicle’s original tires after six years. However, tires can last longer if you rotate them whenever you change the engine oil.
How Long Do Transmissions last?
According to transmissionrepairguide.com, the transmissions in Ford E250 cargo vans have a life expectancy rate that ranges from 130,000 to 180,000 miles. Since most Ford transmissions last an average of 150,000 miles, we can fairly say all Ford cargo vans’ tranny will last the same time.
How Long Do Spark Plugs Last?
Going by user reports, Ford cargo van spark plugs usually have a life span of 100,000 miles.
However, driving habits and usage can also influence the service life of spark plugs.
Also read our article about How Long Do Ford C Max’s Last?
What Is the Insurance Cost of Ford Cargo Vans?
On the average, it costs an average of $102 to insure Ford cargo vans, according to thezebra.com.
Actual annual insurance expenses will depend on the model year, insurer rates, and other factors.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Ford Cargo Vans
Here are tips to prolong the life of your Ford cargo van:
- Park your vehicle indoors, especially in the winter to delay rusting.
- Replace the engine oil regularly to improve performance and prevent wear.
- Follow the recommended maintenance schedule and repair any faults immediately.