The Ford Explorer based Police Interceptor Utility

California Highway Patrol chooses the Ford Explorer to replace the Crown Vic

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The California Highway Patrol is in the market for a new fleet of police cruisers and with the Ford Crown Victoria out of production – the CHP has announced that they will beginning using the new Ford Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility next year.

The announcement by the California Highway Patrol to replace their fleet of Crown Vics with the new Ford Explorer Police Interceptor Utility may come as a surprise to many, considering the deep pool of new cop cars on the market. Unfortunately for the Ford Taurus-based Police Interceptor, the Dodge Charger Pursuit and the Chevrolet Caprice PPV, the CHP now requires that their vehicles be able to carry four fully equipped officers. Four officers and their gear can weight up around 1,700 pounds and no option in the new lineup of cop cars offers a weight rating to carry those loads. However, the Ford Explorer can easily carry that load so the new Police Interceptor Utility got the thumbs of from the CHP.

Due to the requirements of the CHP cruisers to carry such a large load, the group considering new models only looked at the Ford Explorer Police Interceptor Utility and the Chevrolet Tahoe PPV. The Dodge Durango Pursuit was not considered because it arrived too late and the decision process was too far along to squeeze in the Dodge SUV. The Police Interceptor Utility bested the Tahoe PPV in the majority of the testing procedures so the CHP board has decided to pick the Ford Explorer as the next highway cruiser.

The California Highway Patrol plans to order around 1,800 Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicles in the next two years as they slowly phase out the Crown Vic sedan. In addition to the highway patrol officers using the Explorer based police vehicle, this may encourage other departments within the state to also go with the Ford SUV. While the CHP will not be using the Taurus SHO-based Police Interceptor as a cruiser, they may purchase some of these sporty sedans for administrative use.

In the battle of the modern police vehicles, the announcement of the California Highway Patrol picking the Ford Police Interceptor Utility is a massive win for Ford Motor Company. Ford has long been the dominant force in the world of police vehicles and the CHP could lead the way for other police departments around the country to make a similar decision.


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It's about time the CHP gets some new cars. I've heard that their current cars are falling apart and putting the safety of the officers that protect us at risk. I think it's crazy that V6's on an Explorer outperform the V8's on a Crown Vic.