It seems dominance in the police car market goes in decade or half-decade increments. You can almost pin the popularity of certain models to certain time periods. The early-to-late 1980s and early 1990s were clearly General Motors' decade of dominance, but the discontinuation of its full-size body-on-frame sedans in the mid '90s essentially ceded the police market wholesale to Ford. Dearborn was only too happy to step in with the Crown Victoria-based Police Interceptor sedan, which sold in huge numbers from the late '90s until the model's discontinuation in 2011. Now it looks as if Ford's dominance of the police market may continue with its two-vehicle strategy with the Police Interceptor Sedan and Utility.

The Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility outsold the Taurus-based sedan in 2013, 14,086 to 10,897, according to a report from USA Today. This is the first time an SUV model has taken the top spot in police car sales. Combined Utility and Sedan PI sales made up about half of police vehicle sales in 2013. General Motors offers an Australian-built Chevrolet Caprice and recently unveiled a police-spec Chevrolet Tahoe. Chrysler offers a police-spec Dodge Charger sedan, and a non-pursuit-rated Durango.

The move to SUVs among police departments is partially due to the larger load of tactical equipment officers are asked to carry in their vehicles to be prepared for any eventuality they may face in the field. Yet in the case of the Interceptor Utility with the EcoBoost V-6 option, acceleration and dynamic performance is in most cases even better than the predecessor Crown Victoria, and close to that of the Police Interceptor Sedan. According to Ford, the majority of Interceptor Utility models are being sold with all-wheel drive, whether equipped with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine or the 3.7-liter naturally aspirated V-6.

Source: USA Today, Ford