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Ford E-250 vs E-150

Heavy-duty vans are an important part of life for many who run their businesses. Most major manufacturers make heavy-duty vans, and there are drawbacks and benefits to every possible option out there. However, the Ford E-150 and Ford E-250 are two very popular heavy-duty vans that you should consider. While they may look similar and provide roughly the same experience, they are not the same.

While there are not a huge number of differences between the E-150 and E-250, you should know what they are before you take one out for a test drive or consider buying one. Of course, the wisest idea would be to look deeply at both and consider your wants and needs, budget and much more. With that being said, here is a look at the Ford E-250 vs E-150.

The Basic Difference:

When buying a heavy-duty van from Ford, you will want to know the one basic difference. The higher the number, the more weight the van can haul and the heavier duty it is. For example, in this case, the E-250 is more of a heavy-duty option than the E-150. This means that vans are all built with different parts, so they can accommodate different weights. For example, a van with more robust suspension and brakes and a bigger engine will be able to accommodate more weight, naturally. Think about Ford trucks, and you’ll see the same thing. An F-150 has less towing and payload power than an F-250, and an F-250 has less capacity than an F-350.

At the basic ideas, if you are looking to haul a lot, you are going to want a higher number. On the other hand, if you are looking to use the heavy-duty van to haul light items or even just use it for camping, you may not want to go too high as you will save money and use less gas.

How Are They Built Differently?

To haul more weight, whether it’s firewood, car parts, computers or anything else, a heavy-duty van needs to have certain parts upgraded so that they can easily accommodate the higher payload. For example, the E-350 and E-250’s have more robust suspension, brakes and other parts than the E-150. They may even have a better transmission and a larger engine, to help accommodate the extra payload being carried. Heavy-duty vans with a higher payload are heavier vans, so while you can haul more stuff, you will also spend more money on fuel, and your van will be slightly less nimble.

Towing Capacity:

A lot of people don’t really care much about towing capacity when it comes to vans. They think of towing a lot of weight when they think about trucks. However, the E-150 and E-250 both can tow, but the difference is that the E-150 can tow between 5,100 pounds and 7,500 pounds, while the E-250 can tow between 6000 and 7,600 pounds, depending on the model year.

As you see, the towing difference isn’t much, and since most people don’t tow a lot with a van, they don’t worry too much. Some model years have much better towing capacity than other years, and when buying used, you should research that, if you need a lot of towing capacity that is. Most people are concerned with other, more important factors, but again, if you plan to tow a lot, it may be worth considering.

Payload Capacity:

When buying a heavy-duty van, most people are concerned about the payload capacity, because generally that's what people use these types of vans for. If you're looking to haul a lot of heavy-duty items, you should look for the E-250 heavy duty van. On the other hand, if you are looking to haul branches and other small items that aren't too heavy, both heavy duty vans would work in your situation. The E-150 has a payload capacity of 3,220 pounds. The E-250 has a payload capacity of 3,470 pounds. With that being said, these are general numbers. You should verify the model year you're looking at as it can vary widely from year to year.

You should really think about what you'll be hauling around in your heavy-duty van. If you go with the E-350, you will have the ability to carry a couple hundred more pounds. However, generally, The E-350 will cost more and it gets slightly worse gas mileage. There's no reason to spend more on the E350 if you aren't going to be hauling a lot of heavy items.

Fuel Economy:

Now, while the E250 has a higher payload capacity and can haul more, gas mileage only suffers slightly. The E-250 averages around 13 miles per gallon, while the E-150 averages 14 miles per gallon. While not a huge difference in the short-term, if you are looking to buy the van for the long-haul and use it a lot, the difference in gas mileage may be enough to sway your opinion. However, don’t try to save a little on the purchase price or on gas if you are going to tow a lot or haul a lot of heavy items. Not only that, if you overload an E-150, you will actually likely get worse fuel economy than a properly loaded E-250. Meaning, don’t test the payload numbers!

Length & Wheelbase:

Many who want to buy a heavy-duty van think of the wheelbase. All E-series vans come with a 138-inch wheelbase. With that being said, if you buy the E-250 or E-350, you can get an extended version. For those who don’t know, the wheelbase is the distance between the front and rear axles. If you really must have an extended van and thus a longer wheelbase, then you have to get the E-250 or even the E-350 as you can’t with the E-150.

Cost to Maintain:

The truth is, both the E-150 and E-250 vans should cost about the same to maintain. Whether you want to replace hoses, the radiator or other parts, the overall cost is going to be the same.


Without a doubt, if you are in the market for a heavy-duty van, you are getting it for its capabilities. Luckily, other than slight differences in MPG, payload and towing capacity and overall comfort, they are all very capable vans that get the job done, and the only thing to consider is towing and payload capacity, and of course price. If you are in the market for an E-150 or E-250, either will serve you well, and it may be best to buy just based on what you find and the price and condition of the van.

If you buy an E-150 or E-250, you should take it on a test drive first. That way, you can spot any potential mechanical issues, and you can get a feel on how it is to drive. While they aren’t huge, they are bigger than the average vehicle on the road, so you will want to make sure that you are comfortable driving one.


While it may seem that one of the vans will be bigger and one smaller, that’s not the case. On the inside, the dimensions are exactly the same. The only differences are in the brakes, motor etc. While true, if you want more space, you can get the extended variants of the E-250 and even the E-350. This will give you more room to haul your goods.

What Should I Get?

When considering your wants, needs and options, you will be able to choose the right heavy-duty van for your needs. If you plan on handling smaller items that don’t weigh a lot, don’t plan on maximizing the towing capacity and want to save a little on gas, you should go for the E-150. On the other hand, if you want to haul and tow a lot and don’t mind a little worse gas mileage and a little bigger van, go for the E-250.

One thing to determine is what’s available in your area. If you are set on an E-150 but find a great deal on an E-250 that is in great shape and runs well, it may be worth it to jump on it. Either way, don’t forget to test drive it and maybe even have a mechanic give it a look-over to make sure that it’s in tip-top shape.

Take Both for A Spin

If you want to get a feel for the E-150 and E-250, you should head to Tim’s Truck. You can take both for a spin and see what you like about them. While taking a heavy-duty van for a ride, make sure to get a feel for how it handles and how comfortable you feel while behind the wheel.

When looking at both vans, you should consider what works for you and your situation. At the same time, if you find a good deal or one in great shape, you should hop on it. Either way, here at Tim’s Truck, we can show you all the heavy-duty vans that we have in stock.

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