Pros: Huge interior; highly practical; competitively priced; many available styles 

Cons: Ancient design; poor gas mileage; many recently redesigned competitors do it better 

What's New: The Ford E-Series is unchanged for the 2014 model year. 

The 2014 Ford E-Series is offered in two varieties. For shoppers who want to carry passengers, there's the E-Series Wagon, which is available in configurations ranging from seven seats to a whopping 15. This overview primarily covers the E-Series Van, a windowless cargo van aimed at commercial shoppers. 

Shoppers interested in the E-Series can choose from two body styles and three trims. The body styles are simple: There's the standard-length van, which is likely just fine for most jobs, and the extended-length model, which adds a few extra feet onto the van's back end. 

As for trims, the E-Series lineup starts with the base-level light-duty E-150, which is priced from $28,500 with shipping. It can tow between 6,000 and 7,500 pounds, depending on the capacity, while its gross vehicle weight rating tops out around 8,600 pounds. 

Next up is the heavier duty E-250, which starts just under $30,000. The E-250's towing capacity is identical to the E-150's, but its 9,000-lb max GVWR means it can haul more stuff. Topping the range is the E-350, which starts around $32,500. Its towing capacity tops out between 7,400 and 10,000 pounds, and its 9,500-lb GVWR is great for hauling. 

Ford offers three engines in the E-Series. E-150 and E-250 models come standard with a 4.6-liter V8, which boasts 225 horsepower. Optional on those models and standard on the E-350 is a 255-hp 5.4-liter V8. For shoppers who need to tow and haul the most equipment possible, the E-350 also offers an available 305-hp 6.8-liter V10. 

In terms of standard features, the E-Series vans don't have many, as you may expect. Stability control is standard, as is an AM/FM stereo with an auxiliary jack. But besides that, most features -- including power windows, power locks, power mirrors and keyless entry -- are relegated to the options list. 

If you're interested in a work van, the E-Series is the oldest around. We suggest shopping competitors such as the RAM ProMaster, Nissan NV and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter -- or just waiting for Ford's own Transit, due next year. But we also understand the appeal of the 2014 Ford E-Series, given its reliable powertrain and simple design.

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Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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