by Alex Gibson

The US police car market has opened up following the retirement of the long-serving Ford Crown Victoria, and SUVs are muscling in.

Until production ended in 2011, the Ford Crown Victoria – a V8-powered, rear-wheel drive, body-on-frame sedan – was the leading choice for police units in the market for a law enforcement vehicle. This was despite it being on sale since 1983.

Since its demise, though, several options have been developed for police by the three major US carmakers.

Ford offers the ‘Police Interceptor’ in Taurus-based sedan and Explorer SUV body-styles (pictured top); GM offers the Australian-built Holden Caprice-based PPV (Police Pursuit Vehicle) sedan and Chevrolet Tahoe SUV; and Chrysler has its Dodge Charger-based police sedan and Dodge Durango SUV.

Interceptor

Ford says their Police Interceptor sports utility vehicle (pictured above) now accounts for over half of the year’s total police fleet orders, and that most officers choose the SUV when given a choice between it and the sedan.

According to US data, to the end of July, Ford sold 7288 Police Interceptor SUVS, compared to 6046 Taurus-based sedans.

Ford fleet brand marketing manager Jonathan Honeycutt told the Detroit News in a recent report, “It’s not a fad, this is where the industry is moving.”

InterceptorSedan

According to the report, US police officers believe SUVS are more efficient, roomier and safer than sedans.

The Police Interceptor SUV has previously only been available with a 227kW/378Nm 3.7-litre V6, however a 271kW/475Nm turbocharged 3.5-litre ‘EcoBoost’ V6 has just been made available, leading Ford to believe SUV sales will continue to grow even further.

Ford’s Interceptor sedan also comes with a choice of engines and drivetrains – a 3.5-litre front-wheel drive V6 or all-wheel-drive versions powered by the same engines found in the SUV – depending on patrol requirements.

CapricePolice

GM’s Caprice-for-police (pictured above) is built by Holden in Adelaide, however, despite being significantly more advanced than the ancient Crown Victoria, the Caprice failed to outsell the Ford upon its release. To add further insult to injury, the Interceptor sedan also out-accelerated the 265kW/521Nm 6.0-litre V8-powered Caprice at a testing day held two years ago.

Ford also claims its Interceptor SUV betters its Chevrolet Tahoe rival in areas such as acceleration, braking, handling and fuel consumption.




  • James

    Go ford!!

    • TED

      YEAH !!!

  • Tom

    I fear for the day when Holden goes (if they go that is, I still have hope) and our policeman can’t buy anymore Commodores for duty. What would they choose? Corollas and i30s? Or would they follow the Americans and buy dreary SUVs? Whatever the outcome, it’s bad.

    • Tone

      British police make do with Astra diesels. Perhaps Cruzes for metro policing and WRXs for highway patrol work?

      • Dave

        WRX’s are almost on their death bed too…maybe Focus ST’s ;)

    • Observer

      I hear Queenland Police jumped on this trend already.
      They drive the Hyundai Sante Fe… :|

    • Rocket

      With Falcon winding up and Commodore likely to follow they could use the 300. Who would have thought Chrysler would end up being the last man standing with affordable RWD V8 after the Valiant departed over 30 years ago . The irony of it………

  • Doctor

    The Exploders would be good for crashes like in the Blues Brothers movie!

    • Igomi Watabi

      Welcome to the 21st Century. Please leave your outmoded “knowledge” at the door.

  • Rick

    Doesn’t say much for the Taurus if they prefer to drive the explorer

    • Robin_Graves

      They also believe the suvs are more efficient. Goes to show the IQ levels.

      • PG

        Doubt they’re talking about fuel efficiency. Efficiency as a usable package would be the direction I’d be thinking

        • Robin_Graves

          Yeah lets hope so.

        • Phil

          Packaging efficiency? What, easier to reach out for the box of donuts at the drive through?

          • The Fuzz

            Loves me a Risky Kreme

  • Tez

    Why are American cop cars sooo much cooler than here in Australia? I think people would be more inclined to move out of the way seeing something like that coming up in the rear view mirror. Maybe make the ambulances look the same too??? Btw this is tongue in cheek only, no seriousness intended. Apart from the cars looking cooler. That’s just a fact :-D