My hands still tense up on the wheel when I spot a white Ford Crown Victoria in the rearview mirror. But the days when the long sedan dominated police fleets are gone. The old Crown Vic hasn’t just been replaced by a newer sedan: police forces in Canada are beginning to diversify their fleets with a higher percentage of trucks and SUVs. And they’re not the only ones.
In the first ten months of 2016, SUVs and Crossovers accounted for 40% of all new vehicle sales in Canada. Light truck sales also soared, setting “a new annual sales record of 1,286,797
Units.” Meanwhile, passenger cars continued to lose ground. Per Autowatch, “total sales hit a historic low at 662,102 units” in 2016. It’s not as if Canadian roads are getting any worse. So, why the change?
Well, SUVs have become drastically more practical over the last decade. They’ve always had more space for cargo and comfort along with 4X4 capability. But now, SUVs also come with increased speed, and acceleration, and tighter turning radii. Add competitive fuel economy to the equation, and it’s obvious why Canadians are buying SUVs. In short, the performance gap between utility vehicles and passenger cars is negligible.
The RCMP’s entire land fleet consists of 11,500 vehicles. For now, that number is comprised mostly of sedans. However, Ford reports that their sales of pursuit-rated SUVs have reached 46% of their sedan numbers. The Ford Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility is the SUV of choice for law enforcement. As you might expect, the Interceptor has a few upgrades you won’t find on the average Explorer:
While (I hope) you won’t miss any of those features, your Explorer will share some key performance features with the Interceptor. Both models are powered by available 3.5L EcoBoost engines. For confident handling in unpredictable conditions, the Explorer and Interceptor also share AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control.™ And, of course, each model has 4WD.
So, if you want a taste of the performance police rely on, check out our inventory on the 2017 Ford Explorer. (And remember to slow down when you see a black Interceptor…)