There is no secret that Ford’s E-Series lineup dominates more than half of the full-size van market. The dominant figures include about 65 percent share of the cutaway segment, including more than 90 percent of the ambulance business in this category. These figures said a lot about the E Series success reliability and given its reliability it doesn’t surprise us at all.
The Ford E Cutaway series is one of the most versatile commercial vehicles build by the American manufacturer. With GVWRs ranging from 9.000–14.500 lbs, the Cutaway is based on the van version of the E Series van which is around flexing its muscles for almost 50 years. The Ford E Series Cutaway has a starting price of $25,230 and is available with choice of V8 or V10 engines.
With an imposing exterior design based on the aggressive Super Duty, the E Series Cutaway demands attention. Like most commercial vehicles designed for the US market, the E series Cutaway features a conventional cab configuration and shares the same front fascia with the van version.
Thanks to its Super Duty origins, we dare to say that the E Series Cutaway is among the most attractive commercial vehicles in its segment. The front end features a big and bold grille which features the classical chrome treatment that can be found at most Ford vehicles destined for commercial purposes. However, the imposing grille wasn’t put there only for its shiny pretty face, as it also improves capability by increasing airflow to the powerful engine.
The bumper has also received a chromed treatment and provides a base for the rectangular dual-beam headlamps which look kind of utilitarian. Base models come with a sharp, contrasting black bumper, grille and headlamp surrounds, while the high series feature an all-chrome treatment.
Despite, the rugged exterior design, the interior remains a pretty nice place to be in. The dashboard features a manly design with robust shapes and rectangular patterns while the instrument cluster is fitted with two huge circular gauges which can be read from a mile away. Needless to say that the build quality is bullet proof and the materials feel suitably meaty and durable for a vehicle of this size.
The ergonomy is also good and you are rewarded with easy access to all the controls and switches. The driver is met by an excellent seat which can be fully adjustable, hence offering a great driving position. The all round visibility is also pretty good and you won’t have any complains about the plate sized door mirrors either.
Despite the fact that the two spoke steering wheel didn’t manage to please our eyes with its dull design, its dimensions are perfectly choose and is not intrusive like other units in the segment. Moreover it’s also fitted will all sorts of useful controls which will make your life on board easier. Like other Ford products, the steering wheel features a set of buttons for controlling the small LCD screen nestled between the tachometer and speedometer. Though somewhat distracting to navigate while in motion, the system features a logical setup and provides useful information on fuel economy, vehicle systems and other.
There are also plenty of storage places available which include a set of functional, user-friendly cup holders mounted into the center console, door trim panels with integrated second-bin compartments, instrument panel with a storage tray above the passenger airbag, an integrated clipboard holder and even space for a laptop.
The optional navigation system features a 6.5-inch touch screen display integrated into the instrument panel, plus HD Radio technology for additional listening options.
Engines and transmissions
The E-150 and E-250 models come with a 4.6-liter TRITON V-8 engine, while the E-450 is fitted with a standard a 5.4-liter V-8. The E-350 model is equipped with a 6.8-liter TRITON V-10 delivering a maximum output of 305 horsepower and 420 ft.-lb. of torque. The engines lineup is completed by a 6.0-liter Power Stroke diesel that makes 305 horsepower and 420 ft.-lb. of torque available for the E450 versions.
Thanks to these powerful engines the E-150 can tow up to 10,000 pounds. In order to offer better performances Ford added a Class II/III/IV Trailer Tow Package which includes an electric brake controller with tap-in capability, a seven-pin trailer wiring harness with bumper bracket, and a relay system for backup and running lights.
The vehicle is also available with a choice of 5-speed automatic gearboxes with TorqShift and tow haul mode while the Power Take-Off Provision system is optional on the 6.8L E Series Cutaway and strip chassis with 158- and 176-in. wheelbases.
|Engine capacity (l)||hp@rpm||lb.ft.@rpm|
|4.6-liter V8||225@4,800||286@ 3,500|
|6.8-liter V10||305@4,250 rpm||420@3,250|
Ride and suspensions
In 2008 the E-Series line-up received a totally improved chassis with a series of upgrades to the braking, suspension and steering systems.
The redesigned front suspension features an all-new geometry and larger sway bars to improve the vehicle’s stability, while the new valve technology on the rear shock absorbers further enhances the ride and handling.
These upgrades don’t look good only on paper as the E Series provides a traditional well balanced driving experience. The ride is pretty pleasant too, while the road stability is also hassle free.
Ford did a great job of properly weighting the electronic power-assisted steering as well. Low speed maneuvers are managed easily, while at high speeds, the steering weights up and gives you a strong feel of confidence without being overly light.
The chassis and suspension improvements have also resulted in an increase in the maximum gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) from 14,050 pounds to a class-leading 14,500 pounds.
The safety department is also pretty well represented with airbags for driver and passenger, side door intrusion beams, advanceTrac with Roll Stability Control, four-wheel disc Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS), and Tire Pressure Monitoring System.
The Ford E Series Cutaway has already a big success among the commercial vehicle drivers. Its biggest strengths are the strong V8 and V10 engines which can deal effortless with any demanding situations. The ride and handling is also pretty good for this segment, while the cabin is ergonomically designed with a strong build quality and it will age pretty well over the years.