We Called It – Ford Announced New Interior for 2009 Econoline

By Igor Holas

02.27.2008


Only days after we initially revealed Ford’s plan to upgrade the Econoline full-size van for the 2009 model year, Ford officially released information on this update.

The changes announced so far by Ford concern only the new interior and the availability of the Ford Work Solutions, new wide-opening rear doors, the ability to use E85 in the 4.6l and 5.4l gasoline engines.


The new interior clearly uses the old underpinnings, but uses some updated parts, and adds new features. The biggest improvement is in terms of storage space: the doors have two-level storage bins, there is a clipboard/laptop bin in the center stack, the top of the dash serves as a flat storage tray, and the big van finally(!) received a glovebox.


Besides increased interior storage, the new interior and its new wiring allows for installation of different stereo models, Ford’s navigation system, and the Work Solution’s in-dash computer. Moreover, newly available is a line-in jack, and four up-lifter switches for after-market solutions such as lights, ramps and what-have-you. Like most recent Ford interior redesigns, the materials and assembly quality should also go up by a big margin.

In the grand scheme of things, this update might be seen as minor, but it shows Ford’s focus on addressing the shortcomings of its models on a continual basis. After the 2009 changes, the 2010 model should receive further changes with a new 4.4l V8 diesel that will by then be available in the F150.



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Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

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3 Comments

  1. It looks more functional than the previous interior, with the WorkSolutions computer and additional storage, etc. From the photos, I certainly don’t see better interior materials – I see a lot of hard plastic and monotonous grey hues.

    I also can’t believe they are still using the same old steering wheel. Since the rest of the dash design mimics the F-150’s theme, why not use its steering wheel? The curvy plastic steering wheel doesn’t go well with the new angular dashboard in my opinion.

  2. Chris,
    I have no doubt the materials will be all hard plastics, but the old interior had materials rejected by Tupperware and even Fisher Price. The old interior was from circa 1997 – I have been in it numerous times and the materials were just awfully flimsy and cheap.

    So even though the plastics will remain hard, their quality will almost certainly go up – I do not know of ANY Ford interior that uses materials as cheap as they did in 1997.

    Re: the steering wheel – I agree. The thing with the interior is that it is a re-skin of the old one – and the wiring is probably the old one as well – so the new F150 and Super Duty or any other interior pieces do not always work – remember this is old Ford tech – nothing was transferable from one model to another – I bet you anything this 2-spoke steering wheel was wired completely differently, and made by different supplier than the same-looking 2-spoke wheel in the 1997-2003 F150, 1997-2003 Expedition, etc … remember – this is old Ford – nothing made sense back then 😀

    Igor

  3. This is Ford’s cash cow, and I’m surprised the materials aren’t better in the base models. From the photos I’ve seen of the luxury trim models like King Ranch, etc., the interiors look great. I’m a little surprised Ford didn’t boost up the base models of the F-150 in terms of materials. The extra functionality is there, but the materials are kind of ho-hum.

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