German Police Say BMW 318d Wagon “Unsuitable for Patrol”
Officers Complain of Cramped Cabin, Lack of Storage
Law enforcement officers in the U.S. have a choice of many fine patrol cars, among them the Chevrolet Caprice and Tahoe, Dodge Charger, and the Ford Police Interceptor Sedan and Utility. All of them are generously sized, providing ample room for tactical gear, weapons belts, and temporarily restraining suspects in the back seat. The choices of European police officers are not as ideally suited to law enforcement duty, according to German news outlet RP Online. According to a report which evaluated the BMW 318d wagon, officers panned the vehicle for its cramped cabin (especially when dressed in tactical gear) and its limited cargo utility.
When dressed in tactical gear such as a protective vest and helmet, the front seat area becomes cramped and uncomfortable. In training patrols, in which there are often three passengers, the issue is compounded, as the rear cargo area isn’t large enough to contain the necessary tactical equipment, meaning the rear seat is also frequently used as a cargo hold. Also, due to the limited space in the cabin, the police radio unit is by necessity mounted in the front passenger footwell, and wear and tear from front passengers’ shoes have caused premature cable wear and failure.
Although feedback from officers was predominantly negative, some did cite the navigation system and dual-zone climate controls as favorite features. Not specifically cited in the report, however, probably personally noted by officers, is the modest power output of the 2.0L diesel at 150 hp and 236 lb-ft. Although much heavier, the Ford Police Interceptor Utility’s 3.7L V-6 makes 300 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque, and the optional EcoBoost 3.5L V-6 producing 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. Might we suggest that officers upgrade to BMW’s own roomier X5 (ironically, made in the U.S.A.) or at least X3? The Explorer is not offered in Ford’s German lineup, however, the Edge crossover is. Is it time for German police to upgrade to SUVs?
Source: RP Online