Seattle Piloting Patrol Vehicles

February 04, 2013

Chevrolet Tahoe. Click this image to see additional phtoos.
Chevrolet Tahoe. Click this image to see additional phtoos.

The City of Seattle is conducting a Police Patrol Car Pilot Project, which will be used to determine which currently available patrol car will replace the police department’s Ford Crown Victoria-based cars. According to a bulletin released by the FAS Fleet Management Division, the Seattle PD has used the Crown Victoria-based vehicles for almost 20 years.

The pilot project is evaluating six models: Chevrolet Caprice, Chevrolet Impala, Chevrolet Tahoe, Dodge Charger, Ford Police Interceptor sedan, and Ford Police Interceptor utility vehicle. Over the past six months, 180 officers have been participating in the project by testing out these models in their everyday patrol activities. Officers will make a recommendation to the Police Chief, who will make the final selection. The PD is expected to make a decision next month.

The Fleet Management Division replaces approximately 50-75 patrol vehicles each year; the entire patrol car fleet consists of 260 vehicles that will be replaced over the next six to seven years. On average, the patrol vehicle lifecycle at Seattle is five to seven years and/or 100,000 – 125,000 miles.

After the pilot is completed, all test vehicles will become part of the PD’s fleet and will be operated by the department through a full patrol car lifecycle.

Fleet Management expects replacement vehicles to cost between $43,000 and $52,000 with upfitting included. The City will pay for vehicles using existing replacement funds.

Government Fleet will report on Seattle PD’s decision when it is available.

Ford Police Interceptor utility
Ford Police Interceptor utility
Dodge Charger
Dodge Charger


  1. 1. Tim Mullins [ February 07, 2013 @ 01:20PM ]

    They should go with either the Tahoe or Caprice!......Good choices! :)

  2. 2. Natasha Thompson [ March 02, 2013 @ 01:38PM ]

    I recommend adding NOPTIC SPotlight System - Saves money, save lives, protect yourself LEO's

  3. 3. JB [ August 05, 2016 @ 02:26AM ]

    Having driven them all as a LEO, the Ford Interceptor, Ford Interceptor Utility Vehicle and the Charger all make superior patrol vehicles than the 2 Chevys. My department presently deploys a reliable Crown Vic, 2 and 4 Chargers. I rode with a friend in another department who had all Chevys. The Caprice is a bit smallish to be suitable for patrol. His unit was unmarked, and the lights and radar took up a fair amount of your field of vision. They make them with a hell of a powerful engine though.

    The visibility out of the Tahoe is poor, especially when backing. Also difficult to tell where the front corners end. It also doesn't handle very well either (the Interceptor SUV is much better in that capacity). Another bad thing about the Chevys: one started using oil after 3,000 miles. The other required an engine replacement after 28,000 miles. Fortunately, after much arguing with the dealership, they finally agreed to warranty the replacement engine.

    Dodge had some growing to do from their early days. The Charger is a little difficult to see out of when backing due to the wide C pillars and high trunk, but it has improved greatly since their first police models a few years ago. That's what I drive now, and the Hemi is very nice. It handles well, drives well, and has good space for gear.

    But Ford has been the king of law enforcement vehicles for so long for a reason. They are better at it than everyone else. I dislike that the Taurus Interceptor is smaller than the Crown Vic, but its features make up for that to a degree. Also, the others are getting smaller too. But you could see clearly in all directions out of the Crown Vic, it's as easy a car to parallel park as any you'll find. The huge trunk was great for storing all kinds of gear. It handled well, had good power, and was a dependable vehicle.

    I was not surprised to learn from the salesman at the Dodge dealership where we bought our chargers that the Ford Interceptor SUV has replaced the Crown Vic as the most purchased police vehicle of them all. Hard to do without that room the Crown Vic provided.

  4. 4. JB [ August 05, 2016 @ 02:27AM ]

    That should have said a Crown Vic, 2 Tahoes, 4 Chargers...


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