Skip to main content

Ford, Chevy, and Dodge square off in Michigan police car showdown

2016 Ford Police Interceptor Utility
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Sometimes, police departments need car-shopping advice, just normal consumers. But instead of turning to Consumer Reports, they rely on an annual group test of all available cop cars conducted by the Michigan State Police.

This year, Michigan’s finest found that Ford had the overall best-performing police cars. Police versions of the Taurus and Explorer (which Ford refers to as the Police Interceptor sedan and utility, respectively), posted the quickest 0-to-60 mph and 0-to-100-to-0 mph times in their categories, and were the fastest around Michigan’s Grattan Raceway. Chevrolet and Dodge managed to prevent Ford from completely dominating the test, though.

Ford does cop cars a little differently than its rivals. Both models tested are based on front-wheel drive platforms, while Chevy and Dodge use rear-wheel drive setups (all three offer all-wheel drive). Chevy and Dodge also offer V8 engines, while Ford’s lineup consists of an assortment of V6s and the smallest engine tested, a 2.0-liter, turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder in the Taurus-based SSP sedan. Chevy models included the Caprice sedan and Tahoe SUV, while the only Dodges in the test were different versions of the Charger Pursuit sedan.

Read more: NYPD’s latest police car is the Smart Fortwo

Ford’s divergence from the traditional cop-car approach seemed to pay off, for the most part. Equipped with the 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6, the Police Interceptor sedan managed 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, while the Explorer-based utility model with the same engine did the deed in 6.4 seconds. However, the four-cylinder SSP sedan was the slowest car, posting a 0-to-60 mph time of 8.2 seconds, and a top speed of just 120 mph.

In contrast, the highest top speed was achieved by the Chevy Caprice equipped with a 6.0-liter V8, at 155 mph. The Ford Police Interceptor Utility and Chevy Tahoe tied for  highest SUV top speed, both reaching 132 mph. Meanwhile, a rear-wheel drive version of the Charger posted the best braking figures.

Looking at these stats, it’s clear that today’s police cars aren’t nearly as fast as some of the performance cars currently available in showrooms. But lawbreakers should note that evading the cops isn’t all about speed. As the saying goes, “no car can outrun a Motorola.”

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
The Tesla Model Y is far from my favorite EV, but I’m pretty close to buying one
Tesla Model Y One Millionth Car

I may finally be on my way toward buying my first EV. Sure, I've tested dozens of electric car models over the years, but despite that (or perhaps because of it), I have yet to buy one. But my family is growing, and my wife and I aren't so sure about carting our future kids around in an aging car that lacks the safety features of modern vehicles.

Because of the fact that we're expecting our kid in January, we have a bit of a deadline. So what are we leaning toward? Well, despite the fact that it's far from my favorite EV, we may actually end up just getting a Model Y.
Timing makes a difference
If the baby was coming along in a year's time, things might be completely different. There are a few reasons for that.

Read more
Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally kicks up some dirt
Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally driving on a dirt road.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUV pushed the hallowed Mustang nameplate in a different direction, and it's doing that again with a new performance variant. Debuting in 2024, the Ford Mustang Mach-E Rally is designed for fun on both pavement and dirt.

Rallying is a form of motorsport where drivers compete to set the quickest time over a course — usually a closed road or trail — rather than a dedicated racetrack that includes a variety of surfaces like dirt, gravel, or even snow. Rallying has inspired some epic performance road cars over the years, including the Subaru WRX, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, and Ford's own Focus RS, but it's never really been associated with the Mustang.

Read more
BMW scraps its unpopular approach to heated seats
Driver's seat and dashboard of the 2023 BMW iX M60.

BMW caused much consternation last year when it launched a subscription-only option for heated car seats.

The idea of having to pay a monthly fee of $18 to keep your posterior warm during the winter months still seems as absurd as ever, but the good news is that the German automaker has now decided to scrap the fee. What particularly irked customers was that they felt they were being forced to cough up extra for functions that would previously have been expected as standard. The fiasco even prompted a community of hackers to offer their services to unlock the feature for those unwilling to pay extra for it.

Read more