The Most Widely Used American Police Cars

Law enforcement agencies use police cars in a variety of roles, including patrol, emergency response, showing presence (for crime deterrence), and transporting suspects. In the United States, several vehicles have become staples of police fleets. 

24/7 Wall St. reviewed various state and police sources to determine the most widely used American police cars. For each vehicle, we included horsepower, top speed, manufacturer, and body style. Vehicles are ordered alphabetically. 

The Ford Police Interceptor Utility has emerged as one of the most popular police vehicles in recent years. Built on Ford’s Explorer SUV platform, the Interceptor Utility allows officers to handle various terrains and weather conditions. As it is larger than the typical interceptor models, it provides more than enough room for equipment, officers, and if necessary, detainees. (Also see, the most popular police firearms.)

Although its production has ceased, the Chevrolet Impala remains prevalent in many police fleets. Its maneuverability and high top speed make it suitable for patrolling highways and for pursuit. The Impala has become commonplace across American law enforcement agencies.

Perhaps the most iconic police vehicle on this list is the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. While this vehicle has not been in production for more than a decade, it is one of the most widely recognizable police vehicles still on the road for some departments. Newer models from various manufacturers are quickly taking over for these outdated vehicles. (And these are the states with the most militarized police departments.)

Noticeably, most of these vehicles on this list come from only a handful of manufacturers, but mainly Ford. Large police departments, municipalities, and states are offered deals by Ford and other major domestic manufacturers to outfit their agencies with these vehicles.

The top speed of the vehicles on this list does not typically exceed 140-150 mph. While this is fast for most drivers and even for most pursuits, high-speed pursuits may require even greater speeds. However, departments tend to have policies regarding high speed pursuits to reduce death and injury to officers and bystanders and once conditions become too risky, other measures and tactics are employed to maintain safety.

As technology continues to advance, police cars are likely to undergo further enhancements to meet the evolving needs of law enforcement agencies.

Click here to see the most widely used American police cars.

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