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Victoria Police will introduce the Hyundai Santa Fe and Toyota Kluger to its SUV fleet to replace the locally-made Ford Territory in March.

With Ford’s local production ending last October, Victoria’s police force evaluated a range of large SUVs and subjected them to a range of tests developed by Monash University’s Accident Research Centre (MUARC).

The tests help to determine the vehicles’s safety classification under the Victoria Police Fleet Safety Strategy, with the replacement vehicles required to achieve a ‘Silver’ classification.

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Above: 2017 Toyota Kluger (facelift), Top: Hyundai Santa Fe

Victoria Police says the Toyota Kluger all-wheel drive and Hyundai Santa Fe both achieved Silver ratings, with the Kluger likely to replace all-wheel driven Territory vehicles and the Santa Fe taking over the rear-wheel driven Territory in the fleet.

For now, Victoria Police will continue to purchase Holden and Toyota sedans and wagons until the end of 2017, in accordance with Victorian Government policy.

In the lead-up, however, the Transport Division will evaluate a broad range of vehicles during the first half of this year to find replacements for the current sedan and wagon vehicles in 2018.

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Above: Hyundai Sonata

This announcement comes after Kia pitched its Sorento SUV (closely related to the Santa Fe) to Victorian and Queensland’s police forces to replace the Territory – however, it appears it wasn’t chosen for Victoria at least.

Queensland Police Service recently committed to replacing its fleet of six-cylinder vehicles with the Hyundai Sonata, with the Sonata Turbo also being considered for higher-performance duties.

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