“If it were on looks alone, the Charger would win, hands down,” said sheriff's vehicle coordinator, deputy Kevin Dalton.
  • “If it were on looks alone, the Charger would win, hands down,” said sheriff's vehicle coordinator, deputy Kevin Dalton.
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The San Diego County Sheriff's Department is testing out three new patrol vehicles to replace the Ford Crown Victoria police squad car.

Last week, one prototype — a Dodge Charger — could be seen driving around Encinitas. The department has three Chargers patrolling.

There are two other models being tested in the county, with a decision to be made by next spring. Two Chevy Caprices are on the road, as well as two Ford Interceptor Utility Vehicles — a Ford Explorer–type vehicle.

With the life of an average patrol vehicle being around four years, the sheriff's vehicle coordinator, deputy Kevin Dalton, said the department will be purchasing about 100 new patrol cars next fiscal year.

The department will choose one from among the three as its standard patrol vehicle. Having one type of vehicle in the sheriff's fleet saves the department money with standardized training and cost of repairs.

“If it were on looks alone, the Charger would win, hands down,” said Dalton. “It looks and sounds mean.” But the department is researching the interior room and comfortability, blind spots, reliability, and repair costs.

The future changeover was brought about because Ford Motor Company ceased manufacturing the standard police cruiser — the Crown Vic; 2011 was the last model year. Even with a built-in market to police agencies across the country, the vehicle’s low gas mileage brought down the Ford product line's average fleet gas mileage. The Environmental Protection Agency has mandated that auto manufacturers gradually raise their average gas mileage.

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Comments

SurfPuppy619 Nov. 1, 2012 @ 8:43 a.m.

If the Crown Victoria is being canned then Ford has a replacement for it, as they are not going to turn their back on their #1 buyer, police agencies. So this "testing" is BS. Just find out what Ford is using as a replacement, or what the other agencies are not buying, simple stuff, unless you work for gov and have chimp brainpower.

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tomjohnston Nov. 1, 2012 @ 9:16 a.m.

surfpuppy619, you must not read very often. Ford introed their new police interceptor almost 3 yrs ago. It's a redesigned Taurus. It went into production when the last Crown Vic was off the line in September of last year. For 2013, they have also added an Explorer based version. Most reviews have said the Taurus better than the Charger and gets better mileage. The biggest advantage was that it was the first all wheel drive pursuit rated vehicle. I have read that Dodge was adding that option, with an up charge, but I haven't read any reviews of it as of yet. I'm surprised that the sheriff's dept. would even test the Caprice because they are crap.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 1, 2012 @ 12:40 p.m.

Then why are they testing new cars if Ford has the new vehicle ready to roll??? No good reason. And no do no follow Ford or their cars.

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tomjohnston Nov. 1, 2012 @ 3:31 p.m.

You would have to ask SDCSD why they would be testing something other than the new Ford. I don't "follow" Ford either, but I do read things like WSJ, Forbes, LAT, NYT Car and Driver, Motor Trend and Road and Track all of which made note of the change. They were tested by LA County Sheriff Dept. earlier this year and according to the story I read, the Taurus pretty much kicked ass on everything else. I read in Motor Trend earlier this year that the CHP is going with th Explorer-based Interceptor and is going to begin phasing them into their fleet after the first of the year

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 1, 2012 @ 10:39 p.m.

I do read things like WSJ, Forbes, LAT, NYT Car and Driver, Motor Trend and Road and Track all of which made note of the change.

I read the LAT and that is it-would like to read the WSJ but can't afford it.

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Ken Harrison Nov. 1, 2012 @ 5:53 p.m.

Because Surf Pup, Police = Power. Cops don't want to use a plain Jane 4-door that looks like a mid-size rental car. Ford miscalculated that police agencies would stay with Ford with its new Taurus Intercepter that is lighter and a V6 - thus more milage. Since when has any government cared about milage in their vehicles? If they did, every cop would be driving an Accord for 300,000 miles. I also agree with Tommy J, why mess with Chevy Caprice's? It really doesn't matter what kind of car they use, I tend to pay attention when a guy with a badge, gun, and red lights says pull over.

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