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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A LE agency in my area is considering buying twenty new cars. They are choosing between the Impala and the Charger. Which way do you think they should go?

The Charger is a bit better with gas mileage and has more get up and go. According to the patrol garage supervisor, they are a maintenance nightmare. Lots of little things always happening to them, especially a weak front end. The rear wheel drive makes it an easier car to spin around on traffic stops.

The Impala is a more solid car that gets 10-15% less gas mileage but has less maintenance problems than the Charger. The weak spot with the Impala is the transmission. It doesn't have the top end speed of the Charger but it doesn't live in the garage with petty mechanical problems.

I've spoken to many patrol mechanics over the years and they one and all say that the only decent patrol car ever built over the years was the LTD and the Crown Victoria. However, the Ford is not being considered by this municipality.

A city close by bought several Chargers last month and the guys love their horsepower and speed. Another city bought several Impalas about two years ago and they love them, though they are slow. They haven't have a lot of mechanical problems with them.

Your thoughts, please?
 

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EV, see if you'd care to read this. http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sed ... index.html

I think I'm going to overlook my own prejudices and have little to say, without me driving both. I will say someone isn't comparing apples to apples in saying that the Charger gets better mileage, I can't find a single listing where even comparing the anemic V-6 in the Charger, it does better than the highest HP Impala. Nor do any around here, in real life, even come close.

I'd also suspect they're comparing the mid HP Hemi in the Charger with the 3.6-3.9 V-6 in the Impala, as far as running is concerned.

I will say since the demise of the painfully missed Caprice, Chevy hasn't cared to build a cop-car. Yeah, they've put some band-aids on to give the impression they really cared but the truth is, to me, a front wheel driver isn't ever going to be a chaser/bad-guy catcher.

Chrysler has usually stepped up to the plate when law enforcement needed a rig, they may not do it as it should be but they'll bolt on some heavy stuff in the right places. I don't think you can bolt on enough stuff (including sub struts--sub-frame stiffeners) to a front wheel drive rig and get there. Not for guys who're going to treat one like they think they're running Baja. :roll:

Nor do I think either can step up to the plate with a full frame car. In the same vein though, I have some cop aquaintances, it's not uncommon for them to say they'll take the Impala or Charger over the LTD at speed. "Porpoising" is the most common term used, floating/wallowing a close second.

Personally, I don't know a single city cop who deserves a Schwinn-----maybe a Murray :evil: though I know some HP's that are good at their job and care to take care of equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Steve. That is good info.

I sit in on the meetings and listen to the different dealers with state contracts trying to sell the guys on the merits of their product. The last car I was issued was a 1993 Crown Vic, IIRC. That was a "bullet proof" car mechanically, though a bit anemic with horsepower.

I tried to make some notes but found that the newspapers condensed it more than I could. The Dodge Chargers have the largest Hemi engines. I don't remember what engine the Impalas come with. I do know that there are less mechanical complaints from the Impala drivers than the Chargers. The HP has gone to Chargers and the mechanics are throwing up their arms in despair.

I listen and try to make suggestions when I know what I'm talking about. My function is more as an advisor on patrol procedures and crime prevention. I think they have already made up their minds to get the Chargers.
 

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The Chev might be a little slower but don't they put radios in those now days. I couldn't out run the radio on my v65 honda mc :) .
 

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evbutler said:
I think they have already made up their minds to get the Chargers.
When you said:

evbutler said:
The Charger is a bit better with gas mileage
And I took that to come from the "patrol garage supervisor", I also figured they had their minds made up because that mileage statement isn't true. Not in real life here, nor on any test (at least a dozen) that I found on the web.

If you don't know it already, I'm not a [email protected] guy and never will be-----but I wonder why it's (CV/LTD) not in the running? Wouldn't happen to have some political background to it, you suppose?
 

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my dad works for los angeles PD he is the guy who gets on the horn and orders the vehicles. When i was a kid I got to go around the track in the cameros at 120+ during the yearly testing.

Anyways they went with the charger and so have all the other cities in my area.

Some cops up north have volvo! I would probably take that. I drive a ranger cuz it was all i could afford. However its had tons of problems ever since i got it brand new .It has spents months in the shop.My old chevy same thing always broken down. The only good products made in america are the jeep wrangler and full size trucks. I've had my fill of american vehicles. Toyota, audi, and subaru for me!
 

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A friend of mine is a mechanic and he services the local police cars. He says that the Crown Vic has brakes that are much too small for cops. You guys tend to do a lot of hard stops. Honestly, if I were a cop, I'd take quality handling and braking over horsepower any day. Also, I'd rather have one car that always works than two that are always in the shop.

I vote for the Impala.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I met with the sheriff this morning about his choice of cars. The men want the Charger. The mechanics want the Impala. In my conversation with the sheriff, he emphasized that nothing the dealers told him made sense. I gave him the link that Steve sent to me. He will review it this afternoon and will try to make the decision by the weekend. That is good data, Steve. Thanks again.

Why they aren't considering the Crown Vic is something they aren't talking about. Nada. Zip.

I'll let you know what he decides. I'm guessing that he'll get what the troops want.
 

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Ev, I know this is beside the point but if I hadn't run into an old friend in the next town over, I would never have thought of it. This guy is car pore, has been as long as I've known him and that's since HighSchool (we won't talk about how long that was).

Anyway, this guy has a year old SRT Charger and a Z06 Vette (among others, not the ZR Vette). Trying to catch up on what's happening, I asked him specifically about the mileage for the Charger and Vette------he just busted out laughing, said you won't believe it, and I said I bet I will.

I said "let me guess, the Vette, just cruising on the highway gets 10 mpg better than the Charger?" He said NO, but you're close, it gets 9 mpg better on the highway than the Charger and surely I don't have to tell you what they are like, side by side??

I said probably not, is it embarrasing?? He said "only if you're driving the Charger"!!!!! :D

I know this is OT, but I got a kick out of it and thought you would too.

He did say though, the Charger probably got as many lookers as did the Vette, I can't imagine why except the Vette is pretty much an everyday thing---------to the unknowing. :roll:
 

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My patrol car is a 2008 Dodge Charger with the V6 :( . Anyway I would say its been a good car up to this point (26,000 miles). The only problem I have had with it has the brakes. The rotors have been replaced twice. I have heard alot of bad things about the transmissions in the older impala's from 01 to 07, but maybe those problems have been fixed. I like the way the Charger rides and handles compared to a Crown Vic. My V6 Charger has beat a V8 Crown Vic top end, and will stay right with a Vic up to that point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
LawDog, I haven't been listening very well at these budget meetings as most of the stuff is boring. My question: What is the large Hemi engine that the dealers are trying to sell to the agencies? I'm thinking it is the same engine as the HP uses.

I need to pay more attention at the Friday meeting as both the Dodge and Chevrolet fleet sales managers will be present.

Thanks, Steve, for your post. It helps me think. I don't have a vote as I'm just an advisor, but I can influence the guys to ask the right questions.
 

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I thind Dodge is making 2 hemmi's. A 5.7 (350ish for the non metric) and a 6.1 (370 +/- :shock: ) I'm not much of a car guy but I do know a thing or 2 about trucks. Car and driver ran a stock Dodge 1500 up against the Silvarado SS. The chevy was AWD and top of the line factory everything against daily driver type Dodge. IIRC the chevy came out on top in the 1/4 by like .05sec. IMO the chevy will do much better on gas (they usualy do) but I think an overlooked factor (and you can set my straight Ev) is that an officer driving an Impala looks like a meter maid. IMHO some teenags delinquent would be more likely to run from an Impala then a charger. (that may not mean much) I think the Charger will be more costly to maintain though. As to top speed my wifes Focus WILL do 120. (not that I've tried :wink: )
 

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Ev, there are two, best I can come up with. And----these two, are the only V-8's available. As lil alluded to, the base model ain't no slouch and is what you'll get if you just order a base model but with the V-8. Step up to the SRT or RT and pick up some inches and ponies-----and likely problems. Not important to this discussion but they are/were supposed to bring in another Hemi for 2010, calling it a 6.4l so the lineup would be 5.7/6.1/6.4 if completed.

Unless some law agency applied for and got the funding for a genuine pursuit vehicle, say one out of the 20 to be kept on the Interstate or drug runners etc etc, I don't think you'll see any of those 20 come with more than the base 5.7 motor.

Unless there was a huge difference in $$$$, I don't like them playing games with comparing a 5.7 Charger to a 3.6 Impala in terms of performance. Why not compare the SS Impala with the 5.3 to the small V-6 Charger??? Same concept :roll:

But I don't know if the 5.3 is available in the Impala, for cop car purposes, in a cheaper trim package so to defray the SS damage.

Here's another test on the just the different Chargers http://www.allpar.com/squads/police-car ... sting.html

I think I'll bow out now. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Steve, don't go anywhere! HALT! FREEZE!

You have given me a lot of great info to share. Thanks a lot! I'd have never gathered all this data with out your kind assistance. Though I don't get to vote, I can influence the guys.

Thanks again. And don't go anywhere. I might need you again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ford enters the bidding! The rushed in a couple of bids this morning before the meeting.

The bids were made public today.

The lowest bid for the Ford Crown Vic is $22,100. The Dodge Charger V-6, $20,347, Charger V-8, $20,850. The Chevrolet Impala was withdrawn from the bidding process. They want a rear wheel drive car, that leaves the Impala out, as it is a front wheel drive.

I suppose the purchasing director will make a decision by Friday. The troops are filling out a form voting on what they want. The final decision will be made by the sheriff.

Why am I posting this? Because someone might find it interesting to know how the LE agencies operate and do their purchasing. Last month another agency in my area got twenty Chargers on a grant that paid much more than these bids.
 

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Very interesting Ev. Let us know the fial decision. Sounds like a no brainer to me but I'm a MOPAR fanatic. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Jake, methinks you are probably going to be happy with the decision as the county commissioners are going to want the lower priced cars. They have the final decision to make after the purchasing director makes the recommendation. I though that the sheriff would make the final decision due to it being a line item in his budget, but they want to get involved. The troops want the V-8 Charger. The deputy's votes are in except for the night shift. It is 100%. Their vote is only a popularity contest that won't really matter in the long run.

I like the Crown Vic but for some reason the deputies don't want them any more, even though they have driven them ever since they joined the force. I guess they want something different.

Steve (TexasTon)has been a very good source of info for me. Thanks again.
 

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In my opinion, a police car should be bad.

Imagine Ward and Wally Cleaver going to the car lot.

Who would want the Ford Crown Victoria?

And who would think the Dodge Hemi Charger was swell :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I see your point, Counselor. With the county commsssioners getting theri noses into the decision making, I'm prediciting that the V-6 Charger will be the pick, though the troops one and all want the V-8. I meet with the night shift, just got back, BTW. They are 100% for the V-8 Charger. For only $500 difference in the V-6 and V-8, I'd go with the V-8. The county commission chairman said that the county could save $500 per car by buying the V-6.

We'll have an answer by Friday, I hope. I think the Charger looks cool and with the twenty or so strobe lights on them, they are very intimidating.

Well, it is after midnight. The night shift is on now and I'm going to bed. I needed to collect their informal poll about the car they wanted. It is the V-8 Charger. I hope they get what they want and that the county commissioners back off, as there is a line item in the budget already approved for more than enough to buy the V-8s.
 

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I'd definatly spring for the extra ponies.
 
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