PoliceLink Feedback & Feature Requests >> From the Desk of TheSarge >> New Chevy Caprice vs. the New Dodge Charger

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New Chevy Caprice vs. the New Dodge Charger

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Just_passin__thru_max50

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Posted over 2 years ago

 

Ok, I know this might make a few of you guys a little green with envy but I'm gonna tell ya anyhow because I think it might bear on department decisions in the future.


Back story: You already know that Ford discontinued the Crown Vic. But did you know that there are dealers out there that bought up hundreds of these 'NOS' Crown Vics for department and agency purchase in the future? I mean w--a--y into the future. Snoop around a little and you'll come up with a dealer willing to make a 'deal' on a new one.


But here's the real deal. Chevy and Dodge already have LEO vehicles to 'replace' the Crown Vic.


One is the Caprice and the other is the Charger.


And I got to test them both out on a pursuit course for evaluation.


Observations: Hands down, the Chevy Caprice out performed the Charger in all aspects except top end speed. For LEO work, tight-quick driving, hard continuous braking for pursuit or Code 3 driving, the Caprice will fit the bill nicely. It looks like crrap though. The Charger is much more 'tough' looking vehicle.


The Caprice police package harkens back to the Caprice of the early 1990's. Back then, a de-tuned LT1 Corvette powerplant was tucked under the hood. The hole shot and top end was pretty remarkable because the body style and suspension back then complimented a tuna boat. The new Caprice returns that detuned Corvette motor back to a LEO application in an ungainly looking sedan.  The brakes are wonderful. They made me very happy in full on ABS braking after getting up to speed.


The Charger is a growler with great knuckledragger appeal. It rumbles standing still and looks like an unfinished version of the Batmobile. Out of the pocket, it will pull back your face cheeks but lingers too long for maneuvers demanding a command of weight transfer. And I plowed through a set of cones trying to get the binders into a full ABS engagement.


Both vehicles I tested came with V8's. The Charger had a 5.7L Hemi (370 hp) and the Chevy had a 6.0L (355 hp). Both had speed limiting capabilities that your agency will want to spec to their own needs.


I am an EVOC instructor and have put many miles behind the wheel during pursuit training (including PIT training). For the work we do, the Chevy Caprice is my choice. I will just have to learn to avert my eyes when I see one or else I fear I will turn into a pillar of salt. 


The Guy !
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Blue_line_max50

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I too am an EVOC instructor in RI. My agency is pulling the plug on the Chargers. We have a fleet of 14, three HEMI's, the rest V-6's. I also have driven the Caprice V-8 and don't quite care for the location of the center console shifter. I see a few broken wiper control arms in the early stages of the transformation to the Chevy's. But it is fast. We are unfortunately going to the V-6's too.


Rob

Just_passin__thru_max50

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rkb66 says ...



I too am an EVOC instructor in RI. My agency is pulling the plug on the Chargers. We have a fleet of 14, three HEMI's, the rest V-6's. I also have driven the Caprice V-8 and don't quite care for the location of the center console shifter. I see a few broken wiper control arms in the early stages of the transformation to the Chevy's. But it is fast. We are unfortunately going to the V-6's too.


+++++++++++++++++


If you have the moxy and horsepower, why don't you try to sell your agency on the Caprice with the larger V8 that can have speed limiting capabilities ? You'd have the best of all worlds with a strong motor to run that car on idle for hours with the A/C going, the radio blaring, the on-board computer pootering, etc.


During my test drive, I didn't pay much attention to the shifter.



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1979_max50

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Sarge, did you use the 2011 Charger or did you use the new 2012 Police Pursuit Charger? Just asking as I understand that there is a big differance. I'll confess that I have not driven the Chevy Caprice but I have driven the new chargers and my wife even has one, (a R/T with Hemi), and I have found it to be one heck of a vehicle that is not only quick but handles exceptionally well. Additionally Ford has come out with their replacement Ford Police Interceptor. I have no information on it.  Man I would love to test drive all of them personally.

25-1-13-a_1__max50

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Our agency is going with the new Ford concoction.  I sat in one at a dealership and did not like the extremely large blind spots.  I am not at all sold on the V6, with or without the supercharger.  Both versions will see more time in the maintenance garages for repairs than on the road with the additional high cost of supercharger replacements.  In the end, it will prove once again that a standard police vehicle which will have to have a V8 as you can not ask the V6 (which will labor) to do the the job that the V8 can do with little to no effort.

Just_passin__thru_max50

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Robocop33 says ...



Sarge, did you use the 2011 Charger or did you use the new 2012 Police Pursuit Charger? Just asking as I understand that there is a big differance. I'll confess that I have not driven the Chevy Caprice but I have driven the new chargers and my wife even has one, (a R/T with Hemi), and I have found it to be one heck of a vehicle that is not only quick but handles exceptionally well. Additionally Ford has come out with their replacement Ford Police Interceptor. I have no information on it.  Man I would love to test drive all of them personally.



+++++++++++++


 I drove the 2012 Pursuit Charger. I did drive an '09 in '09. I did a flat out speed run and topped at 137. At the time I was impressed with it's overall performance. However, doing a side-by-side evaluation with the Charger and Chevy, the differences were immediately measurable.


And SkoolCop, all I can say is "yup".


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Rcsd04_max600_max50

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 My department uses a lot of different vehicles, and the Charger is one of them. Our Traffic Unit is the only unit that uses them and I really don't see any problems with them as far as handling. I've never seen any recks or control problems with them. Also the state donated a couple Chargers to the department so I wouldn't be picky with something donated. The only problem I see with the charger is fitting all your gear into the car. The space is very minimal and tiny. I have not seen or been in the Caprice, so I can't really say anything on that car. But i'll have to look into those. My department is actually looking into the Ford Taurus. Now those look pretty cool. Much different body style, looks like a sports car almost. Haven't really looked at those that much either. Anyone have info on the Taurus?


You wouldn't go in there for a million bucks...A Cop does it for less...A Reserve does it for free....

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When you spoke of the Caprice of the early 90's Sarge,that grabbed my attention.That was definately the pursuit machine of my time.We loved em.

25-1-13-a_1__max50

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StrykerBrig21 says ...



 My department uses a lot of different vehicles, and the charger is one of them. Our Traffic Unit is the only unit that uses them and I really don't see any problems with them as far as handling. I've never seen any recks or control problems with them. Also the state donated a couple chargers to the department so I wouldn't be picky with something donated. The only problem I see with the charger is fitting all your gear into the car. The space is very minimal and tiny. I have not seen or been in the Caprice, so I can't really say anything on that car. But i'll have to look into those. My department is actually looking into the Ford Taurus. Now those look pretty cool. Much different body style, looks like a sports car almost. Haven't really looked at those that much either. Anyone have info on the Taurus?



StrykerBrig21, See my comment above.  Short story:  The Ford Taurus (Sho platform) only options a standard V6 and a supercharged V6.


PROBLEM #1:  It's still only a V6 and both will ultimately see more time in the shop than on the road.


PROBLEM #2:  Too many blind spots.


PROBLEM #3:  Let's face it.  It's a Taurus and while larger than the original Taurus, it's still too small inside to accommodate the cage, rifle / shotgun rack, radio console and computer systems we need to operate.

Csi_squirrle_max600_1__max50

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I haven't driven either.  Recently the 2012 Charger turned the all time fastest time in the Michigan State Police Road Course. 

Rcsd04_max600_max50

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SkoolCop says ...



StrykerBrig21 says ...



 My department uses a lot of different vehicles, and the charger is one of them. Our Traffic Unit is the only unit that uses them and I really don't see any problems with them as far as handling. I've never seen any recks or control problems with them. Also the state donated a couple chargers to the department so I wouldn't be picky with something donated. The only problem I see with the charger is fitting all your gear into the car. The space is very minimal and tiny. I have not seen or been in the Caprice, so I can't really say anything on that car. But i'll have to look into those. My department is actually looking into the Ford Taurus. Now those look pretty cool. Much different body style, looks like a sports car almost. Haven't really looked at those that much either. Anyone have info on the Taurus?



StrykerBrig21, See my comment above.  Short story:  The Ford Taurus (Sho platform) only options a standard V6 and a supercharged V6.


PROBLEM #1:  It's still only a V6 and both will ultimately see more time in the shop than on the road.


PROBLEM #2:  Too many blind spots.


PROBLEM #3:  Let's face it.  It's a Taurus and while larger than the original Taurus, it's still too small inside to accommodate the cage, rifle / shotgun rack, radio console and computer systems we need to operate.


Okay, that's what I figured. My dad used to have a 90's model Ford Taurus and that thing was a piece of work everytime you looked under the hood. I do not want a car that is going to be in the shop more times than out. But my department is still looking at them for some reason. But the Sheriff is getting the new '12 Dodge Challengers . It will be for a certain unit though. Very nice under the hood. 


Now another department I used to do stuff with is looking at just switching to the Chevy Impala. Now I hate that car with a passion! 



You wouldn't go in there for a million bucks...A Cop does it for less...A Reserve does it for free....

Profile1_max50

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     We got some of the new Chargers. They performed great until they were all totaled because of the crappy visibility. We now use Expeditions and Crown Vics and will soon be moving to Tahoes. I personally don't like either of the vehicles (Impalas, Chargers) but the impala would win if I had to choose.

    What you said about the dealers reminded me about the California Highway Patrol (CHP). They're hoarding hundreds and hundreds of crown vics to roll into service instead of purchasing new vehicles.


"Any sudden hand movements will render your birth certificate a useless piece of scrap paper."

25-1-13-a_1__max50

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PCSO_Explorer says ...



     We got some of the new chargers. They performed great until they were all totaled because of the crappy visibility. We now use Expeditions and Crown Vics and will soon be moving to Tahoes. I personally don't like either of the vehicles (Impalas, Chargers) but the impala would win if I had to choose.

    What you said about the dealers reminded me about the Cali. Highway Patrol. They're hoarding hundreds and hundreds of crown vics to roll into service instead of purchasing new vehicles.



That's because they don't want to do what happened some years back when they decided for some odd reason to test the VOLVO S70R with a supercgarged 5 cylinder engine.

Eagle_and_flag_max50

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Maybe if my Department takes care of it, I can keep my Crown Vic until I retire (I know, wishful thinking).


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Through the years I've driven the old Caprice, the Impala (thats the one I totaled) the Tarus, the Crown Vic and the Charger. Of all the cars, by far my fav was the Crown Vicky, that car was my baby LOL. When I took over the desk I gave up an 08 Charger. Now it was a sweet ride but you had to get used to the blind spots !


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I started with a 1996 Chev Caprice with the LT1, I loved that car and it went like a scared cat. It handled well and was a big car. I then had years of Crown Vickies and some Luminas ( aka no-room-in-a) then to the absolutely terrible Chev Impalas. I have had a Charger, non-hemi version as well. The newer Vicky's have the worst headlights and the seats make me want to cry when I drive it.


My current ride is a 2011 Chev Tahoe PPV, unmarked and is my favourite. Plus it takes all my crash and CVSA stuff in it plus my regular patrol items.


My force is testing the Ford Interceptor Sedan and SUV, neither with the eco-boost. It is a twin-turbo not a supercharger which helps with turbo lag. Two small snails versus one big one. If any services go with the eco-boosts they will be throwing the bearings on the turbos at a regular pace because no one will let them idle for a couple of minutes to circulate coolant around the turbos to cool them down. I can't have either because of GVWR concerns due to my gear.


I will stick with my Tahoe as long as I can, then after I guess I will need a trailer.

Nintendo_max50

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I drive the ol' workhorse Crown Vic.  It seems that the Chargers are in for service far more often.......they sure look nice though.  Our dept. command staff recently previewed the Caprice.  I haven't heard what else our department plans to go to once our inventory of Crown Vics is depleted.  We stocked up on them before Ford quit making them.


"I have a strict gun control policy. If there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it."

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1979_max50

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When they finally get production rolling on the Carbon Motors E7 I think you will find a number of agencies that will suddenly become very interested in them after they see how well they work. The MSP will also be able to put one through it's paces during their annual testing session and I have hopes that they will do very well. I have so much sympathy for the group that have developed this police specific vehicle as they have had to jump through one hoop after another to even get permission to build it. Seems like at every turn the Feds try to shut it down and demand another permit or study or diagram.

Rcsd04_max600_max50

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 Just saw a picture from a friend that was just at the garage. 10 brand new dodge challengers!! They are to go to one of the specialized units for use. But the good part is since us reserves only have one crown vic, we are getting the specialized units dodge magnums!! The magnums have some pretty good handling and have great room to put stuff. Can't wait to get my hands on those!


You wouldn't go in there for a million bucks...A Cop does it for less...A Reserve does it for free....

1asteriskshield_ezr_max50

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OK, I got to drive one of our new Dodge Chargers the other day. All I have to say about it is HOLY COW! That thing is stupid fast! 0-100 in nothing flat (not that I went that fast Capt) but WOW! Be prepared to hold that wheel!


You can't cure stupid.