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Police1 readers reflect on the enduring legacy of the Crown Victoria police cruiser

Despite production ending in 2011, the Crown Victoria still holds a special place in the hearts of many law enforcement officers

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By Police1 Staff

As the Ford Crown Victoria is declared the “Best Police Cruiser of All Time” by Haloid Fleet, we turn to the experiences of the Police1 readers who have driven this iconic vehicle on patrol.

Despite production ending in 2011, the Crown Victoria still holds a special place in the hearts of many law enforcement officers and continues to set a high bar in terms of performance, safety, reliability and cost.

Here’s what readers had to say about why the Crown Victoria still reigns supreme in the eyes of those who’ve had the privilege of driving one.

  • I pushed one for just shy of 17 years. I abused them, as anyone I worked with could attest, including the shop. They were all but indestructible, only blew one engine and a couple of transmissions usually driving the same car for years so it was constant abuse and it just kept taking it. It was such an amazing car I bought a low mileage (2002 46k miles) personal one. Such a good car. I cannot believe Ford quit making them. Bring it back and don’t change much Ford!
  • Still drive three of them, can’t get enough. I’ve hit a deer at 45 with no damage to the car. Can’t say enough how amazing they are.
  • The Crown Vic had great performance power and excellent cornering ability. I drove one in the early 1990s.

  • It was solid and it held the road. It was a big boat but didn’t float like a Caprice. It offered a lot of cover protection. One anecdote: I chased a Ferrari one night on I-171 in Fort Worth and caught him. I let the guy go with a warning telling him I caught him with an old Crown Vic with over 100,000 miles on it. He wondered why and I told him it was not his father’s V8 under that hood. It was a great car.
  • Fantastic K-9 vehicle. All your gear fit in the trunk. As long as you do all the required maintenance and repairs, the Crown Victoria will last many years. Both of mine had over 250,000 miles before I was required to return them back to the county that I worked for.
  • First and foremost, it was a car, as in a police car. Not a tall wagon/van (called a SUV or crossover now). It was RWD, handled very well with a great turning radius and the power a police car should have. Did I mention it was a CAR!

  • Many years ago I drove through some very tough neighborhoods. That car was my friend.
  • In my experience, the Chevy Caprice beat the Crown Vic in acceleration, braking, passenger room and trunk space. The Caprice also had a larger alternator to keep pace with the extra lights on a police car.
  • Beautiful highway car.
  • The Crown Vic was a very stable platform. Mine was very reliable as long it was taken care of. There was also ample room. I also loved how the rear-wheel drive car excelled at driving in snow and ice. I teach EVOC at ID POST and we use an older Crown Vic as the rabbit car during the pursuit course.
  • Still drive a 2005 P71, 239,000 and still a beast. The only issue with these cars is the crappy plastic intake. They all cracked and that was a $1,000 repair job. Other than that, Panther Platform 4ever!
  • Very roomy, has excellent handling, is reliable and the A/C got cold enough to hang a side of beef inside (definitely a plus working in Florida).

  • You cannot beat a body on frame, rear-wheel drive car for toughness, durability and a great driving experience. The Crown Victoria had/has all that and Ford kept this platform long after Chrysler and Chevrolet ceased making them. Although the Chevrolet and Chrysler counterparts were fairly evenly matched, Ford deserves top honors for keeping their body on frame cars well past the others (Chrysler 1989 and Chevrolet 1996). The replacement vehicles are just not the same. The Impala for example was referred to as the “Wimpala” by the Ford guys.
  • Owned a 99 white one. P71. Loved that car. Saw the newer model and got a detective’s car. Still have it. Has 160000 miles and runs and looks like new. Love the push button middle of the dash for the trunk, and the headlamp above head. Put a cold air kit on it and you can hear that Crown Vic sound. 235 55 r17 tires coil over shocks handles great. Never sell it!
  • I drove them since they were boxes, great room and visibility. When I retired in 2018 I bought my own 2010. I love that beast and call it the Battlestar Galactica. Best police car ever made.

  • Imported a 2009 CVPI from Warminster, PA to the UK. Despite coming into the country with 130k miles, it drives like new. Still has all the original lights, sirens, graphics, partitions, etc. The only problem I had that put it off the road was the intake manifold cracking. This car can take abuse. I can floor it over speed humps, knock into curbs and reverse into concrete posts, and the car just keeps it together. Ultra reliable and sounds awesome when you floor it. Pretty quick for a car weighing 2 tonnes!
  • I currently still push one with SDPD in the Mid-City Division. I love the stability, suspension, engine power and full fuel injection. Not like the new slow hybrids with engine lag delay. I can still fit a 300lb 10-16 in the back seat.
  • Still use them in our training environment. They are the only platform we can get consistent skids (oversteer and understeer) for our recruits to experience. In my 36-plus years in law enforcement, it is and will be the best and most consistent platform for law enforcement.
  • Great acceleration, responsive handling and it looked like a police car!
  • Despite its unflattering description as an “upside down bathtub,” the Ford Crown Victoria was a beast! Rapid acceleration, smooth motor function, easy handling, could turn on a dime, and roomy enough inside for even the biggest officers. Nothing since has compared to it. In my humble opinion, it was a mistake for Ford to discontinue production.

  • I never lost a pursuit, always had room to put my gear and it ran like a scalded dog! The new stuff just cannot even come close to comparison.
  • I started my career in 1986 and after three agencies, I have driven the Ford Crown Vic, Chev Caprice, Chev Lumina, Ford Explorer, Chev Tahoe and Dodge Charger on patrol. The Ford Crown Victoria was the best car for the patrol function because of the room, outside visibility, handling and reliability. Even with the MDT in the vehicle, it was by far the most functional vehicle ever suited for patrol use. I was disappointed when the model was discontinued.
  • I owned a 94, 97 and 2003. The 03 had 165,000 miles on it and I had it for 15 years. it was dependable, easy to service and handled great. The only two reasons I replaced it was that Ford would not sell me one in 08 so I went to the 17 Expedition in 2018 and I needed more room for grandchildren.
  • I loved the old Crown Vics. Very rarely was the phrase “down your car” used when we had them in the fleet. And nothing will ever take a speed bump the way they could.
  • The ability to quickly turn around on violators. All you had to do was pull over, come to a quick stop, turn the wheels to the left and then PUNCH it! The rear-wheel drive would spin you 180 degrees in a split second and you were in pursuit and gaining ground as compared to today’s all-wheel drive Explorers.
  • As a retired California Highway Patrol sergeant, I can only speak highly of the Ford Crown Victoria. For the bulk of my career, the Crown Vic was the primary patrol vehicle used by the CHP. It was comfortable, reliable, functional and durable. It performed well in virtually all conditions and was easy to get in and out of, an important issue with all of the gear we wore on duty. I personally loved the car so much that I owned one for a number of years and recently bought a 2011 Mercury Grand Marquis, a cousin of the Crown Vic, because no other car in the market today has the same qualities that this Ford product possesses. I disagree with the belief that full-size cars like the Crown Vic will no longer sell well. It’s been over a decade since a true full-size car has been available to the public. As a result, SUVs and minivans have been the only vehicles that could come close to replacing the full-size car market. The revival of a reliable, affordable and comfortable full-size car that provides solid, economical performance, and built with quality parts and materials, would be a tremendous product in a market barren of such a vehicle. Bring back the Vic!

  • The A/C was almost too powerful, which was perfect for hot days in an under-the-shirt vest. The way they feel when you are flipping around on someone is unmatched by the all-wheel drive SUVs. When you were in a fight and backup was a block away, the sound of the V8 on high RPMs is like the sound of angels.
  • I loved the reliability. I was an MS Highway Patrol Trooper and, although not the fastest thing out there, the Crown Vic was tough as nails. We have a take-home agency, so if your unit went down, you were borrowing your partner’s unit. That was the worst thing EVER. Turn the key, put her in drive, and you were 10-8. I drove one from 1993-2011 when I was issued a Tahoe, which I also LOVED. Then, in late 2019, was issued an Explorer. After about a week, I requested my 2011 Tahoe with 250,000+ miles on it back. Hated the Explorer.
  • The Crown Vic was over and above our other police zone cars in Cleveland, Ohio in my opinion. You would not lose us on cornering, through alleys and around curves. It really held the road. Even with 100K miles on them, they had a comfortable ride that was appreciated. In all, it outperformed ALL other makes and models.
  • As the fleet got older, the new officers would always want to drive the new Explorers and would leave me (one of the older cops) with the older Crown Vics (which made me very happy – they had no business driving my car). Neither the rookies, nor their fancy Explorers, could outperform us. I ran the FB page and since I drove Cruiser 28, it was the most photographed cruiser on our page. Cruiser 28 had its own following on the page (Out and About With Cruiser 28) and many even thought our department only had one vehicle. We even posted a retirement video when it was retired:

  • I’ve had 2 Crown Vics, 2001 and 2006. I still have the 2006, they were both retired police. My first one my dad bought me before he passed away in 2010. It was a black and white and fully loaded minus the radio and cage but it had everything else. It was a very fun car to drive. I used it for the fire department when I was on the fire department but unfortunately, that one got totaled in a car accident when an old lady pulled in for me. Then I bought another one. It was all white. It was fully loaded with everything except the radio. I used it as well for the fire department. It has been a very dependable car.
  • It was just an awesome police vehicle. It held the road and was extremely durable. I worked the Interstate on a highway interdiction team, and each of my Vic’s dependable and very few offenders got away!
  • I was in law enforcement for over 40 years and I drove a lot of vehicles. The Crown Vic was bomb-proof. Cops are hard on vehicles and having a bunch of different drivers makes a new vehicle old in no time. The Crown Vic was tough, reliable and had the get-up-and-go that cops needed. I was sad to see it go.
  • I’m still driving a 2010. They are comfortable to sit in, handle very well and have a lot of cabin and trunk space. They were true workhorses that could flat get down the road.

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