So the Panther platform that was underpinning the Crown Victoria for 31 years, making it the oldest in north America, has finally called it quits. Early last year we heard news of Ford’s plan to discontinue its supply of vehicles for Police fleet use with no real plan to release anything new. Fast forward to this year and we already have many police departments switching over to the Dodge Charger. To make matters worse, Chevrolet has announced that a Caprice from overseas will also be available. So Ford decides it better get its act together and unveils the new Taurus Police Package. Below, I will go over the pros and cons of each. Then, Matt and I will give our opinions on which is best…
Ford Taurus Police Package
Ford’s new Taurus has been released with great reviews from those in the media and most average consumers I have spoken to, but how does that translate to police use? There are two main powertrain options. The first is the normally aspirated 3.5L V6 giving about 263hp to the front wheels. There may be problems with this option because most cops dont want a FWD vehicle, even though the power and fuel efficiency are decent (18/28mpg). The other great option, however, is the 3.5l EcoBoost V6 showing 365hp and around 17/25mpg to all four wheels. The AWD will be great in those areas of the country where snow or other terrain would normally require the use of a large SUV or truck. Other great options include safety upgrades, such as larger brakes. Ford Sync will also be used to control things like lights or sirens. It also has the heritage going for it. Just having a Ford badge on the front may be its biggest advantage.
Dodge Charger Police Package
Dodge has recently made a huge improvement in fleet sales to the boys in blue ever since releasing the Dodge Charger package in 2006. It has many options going for it, including standard RWD, in both the V6 and V8 models. The 3.5l V6, however, only produces 250 hp and returns 16/25mpg, which is low when compared to its rivals. The best package is the optional HEMI engine with 368 hp V8 return 16/25 mpg as well. This engine makes it the fastest of the three. The Charger has also been upgraded with “performance-tuned steering and suspension.” The Dodge Brand has a well established heritage of great police vehicles and this is no exception. The company has seen a 17 percent growth in police fleet sales since its introduction.
Chevrolet Caprice Police Package
Upon the unfortunate death of Pontiac last year, GM was left with a fairly excellent vehicle, the G8, with no company to sell it under. The simple solution was to continue importing the vehicle, under the Chevy Caprice moniker, as a Police vehicle. It seems like a good idea and the car has many things going for it. The two engines are likely to be the same as those in the G8, which means a 3.6l V6 and a 6.0l V8. The V6 produces 256 hp, while returning 17/25mpg. The V8 gives those in uniform 361 hp with 15/24mpg. The car may have less horsepower than the Charger, but is lighter and therefore quicker than the Charger. The Caprice is also said to focus on comfortable seating and technology, such as touch screen controls in the dash.
Decision – Nolan
My basic knowledge of the needs of the police force stems from watching Lethal Weapon and Die Hard. So, in saying that, I believe the police are looking for a vehicle that meets the needs of driving quickly, being sturdy enough to jump curbs or ram child molesters in Buick station wagons, and it must also be reasonably affordable. In my opinion, if the Taurus is priced reasonably, it should be a huge hit in the AWD version. I believe the gas mileage and huge power in a very capable car could be the perfect combination, especially for those who need AWD to get through certain weather conditions. The Charger is a great bang for your buck and the Caprice is sufficient, yet I don’t see any reason it stands out.
My Rank : (1) Ford Taurus (2) Dodge Charger (3) Chevy Caprice
Decision – Matt
From a young age, I have dreamed of being a police officer. So naturally, I’ve always been interested in all things police, including their cruisers. Ever since Dodge released the Charger as the new police car, it’s made me want to become an officer that much more. I love it. It’s so intimidating, especially with all of the lights on. Even though it doesn’t get the greatest gas mileage and may not be the fastest of the the three, I still think it would be the best car for the police to use. Honestly, I think the Caprice and the Taurus look too common, and just like everything else. The Charger looks mean and so intimidating, and I think that’s something that the police need. I think it’s perfectly capable of handling the daily duties, ranging from traffic stops to high speed chases, and even pushing cars and driving up or down curbs.
My Rank: (1) Dodge Charger (2) Ford Taurus (3) Chevy Caprice