If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s Ford’s approach to its E-Series wagons, which haven’t changed substantially since 1997. These plain, utilitarian vans have been selling steadily for, believe it or not, the last 40 years; changes for 2005 are a new electronic throttle on all powertrains, and for commercial use, a new powertrain control module on the E-350 Super Duty and a Quiet Flex rack and bin system.

The E-Series wagon (with windows) comes in E-150, E-350 Super Duty and E-350 Super Duty Extended models. Engine choices are a 4.6-litre V8, 5.4-litre V8, 6.8-litre V10 and 6.0-litre Power Stroke diesel.

For consumer use, major equipment packages include an XL with air, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, AM/FM/cassette, dual high-back front bucket seats, two three-passenger rear bench seats, tilt steering and intermittent wipers. The XLT adds chrome bumpers, aerodynamic headlamps, six-speaker stereo, dual cloth captain’s chairs, carpeting with floor mats, cruise control, and power windows, locks and mirrors. The Wagon Chateau adds two-tone paint, aluminum wheels, quad cloth captain’s chairs, CD player, privacy glass, overhead console, keyless entry and running boards.

Competitors’ vehicles in the segment include Dodge Sprinter, Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana; while the Sprinter is still more commercial than consumer, GM’s version adds stability control.

The E-Series is assembled in Lorain, Ohio.

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