Recently, Ford Philippines has revamped their N.A.B.U. line up, or North American Business Units in which the E-150 is a part of, to meet today's customer demands. There's a new look, with a new front end dominated by a boxier look, a large chrome grille, stainless steel bumper along with new multi-reflector halogen headlamps, but the classic E-150 profile remains unchanged.
The E-150 is big on everything, and it's most apparent with the dimensions. It measures in at a colossal 5.5 meters long, 2 meters in width and height, generating plenty of space for the cabin. Both front doors open wide, while the rear occupants get in via a sliding door on the side.
Inside, there are seats for 7 large adults, all wrapped in premium leather and arrayed in a 2-2-3 format. Both the driver and front passenger have folding armrests while there are a pair of comfortable captain's seats occupying the 2nd row. Beyond the 3rd row is a large compartment for cargo, and can be accessed via the club door tailgate for easier loading.
The driver also gets a premium leather wrapped steering wheel with buttons for the cruise and speed control systems, as well as for the built in Bluetooth system. At the center of the dashboard is the E-150's audio entertainment system. Being a Premium version, the E-150 gets a Ford SYNC system, which allows it to respond and activate features via voice commands. Along with the SYNC audio system, there's an auxiliary port for your media player and a USB port for your flash drive. There's a pair of 12 volt power outlets in the center console as well for charging electronics like your iPod and mobile phone.
There's also a premium on safety with the E-150, as it comes equipped with plenty of top-of-the-line safety features. Traction is taken care of by Ford's AdvanceTrac system, and works hand in hand with Roll Stability Control and the 4-wheel anti-lock brake system to keep the vehicle's mass in check. Dual airbags are standard for the front occupants, while every seat receives 3-point safety belts.
Under the hood is a proper V-8 befitting an American van, displacing a total of 4.6 liters for a maximum output of 225 horsepower at 4800 rpm and an earthmoving 388 newton-meters of torque. Unlike old carbureted American engines, the E-150's V-8 features sophisticated electronic fuel injection and an electronic throttle system, and it can even use ethanol blended fuels up to E85 in composition for better emissions. In actual city driving, the big E delivers consumption levels of 4.8 kilometers to the liter, which doesn't sound like much, mind you, but considering the size, it's still a decent figure.
The undercarriage is quite heavy duty, as the E-150 has true truck pedigree like the rest of the NABU line with the Expedition and Explorer. The front suspension is a twin I-beam arrangement while the rear uses leaf springs and a rigid axle. The ride is alright, though slightly on the firm side.
The only actual issue is the airconditioning system. Ford have reworked the A/C system with a new max setting to better handle the tropical heat, but upgraded as it may be, however, it seems Ford's heavyweight contender is having a rather hard time going up against the intensity of tropical heat at the height of summer. It needs something that can better handle the sheer volume of the E-150.
Despite the A/C system, the E-150 has a lot going for it. It's big on size, big on comfort, big on space and big on safety, and for a PhP 1,948,000 price tag, the E-150 is big on value too.