Cops and also cabbies don"t monitor automotive fashion, and also they don"t thoughtlessly chase patterns as early on adopters. The end necessity, these professional chauffeurs use cars together their most crucial work tool, and a big number of them drive the Ford Crown Victoria. In fact, only around one-third the Crown Victoria sales room to the general public. The rest go to police agencies, taxi companies, and also other fleet buyers. The current Crown Victoria days back an ext than a dozen years, and also the vault model released the nameplate way back in 1979. This ubiquitous Ford has conquered fleets because Chevrolet retired its rear-drive Caprice in 1996, handing the market monopoly to FoMoCo on a stainless-steel platter.

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When human being talk around a timeless American car, they"re talking around something like the Crown Vic (or that twin, the Mercury grand Marquis). It"s a huge car v a V-8 engine under the lengthy hood and also a body different from its steel frame. The Crown Victoria additional hews to the domestic big car archetype v its large bench seats, soft suspension, huge trunk, and reasonably poor fuel economy. Police departments choose the Crown Vic due to the fact that the V-8 makes it relatively quick, the rear-wheel drive provides predictable handling, the interior has enough space for an officer and all his gear, the an easy mechanicals room durable, and the dare aren"t expensive. Taxi companies choose Crown Vics for few of those exact same reasons--affordability, internal space, durability--and additionally because the auto has remained in production because that so lengthy that its dedicated repair shops have actually mastered the maintenance and also parts are reasonably cheap. While some of these features may make the Crown Victoria sound prefer a an excellent civilian machine, its newer rivals perform far better in countless ways.

The Crown Victoria come in 3 trim levels: Standard, LX, and also LX Sport. The Standard model is very plain, although that"s fixed an issue since most space destined for fleets. The mid-line LX in ~ least has alloy wheels (in place of steel wheels and hub caps), which renders it look an ext like a civilian machine. The LX Sport has actually slightly bigger alloy wheels (17 inch instead of 16 inch) and, when ordered in dark red, gray, black, or silver birch, consists of color-matched monochrome trim. A black color LX sports looks a lot choose an unmarked police car, so other vehicle drivers often will slow-moving down and also move to the best lane as soon as you come increase behind them, an extremely useful attribute for highway commuters.

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The Crown Victoria is one of the couple of remaining cars sold in America that still provides a bench former seat. (The LX Sport has actually leather buckets). Three-abreast seating is possible, however the middle spot is cramped, leave the passenger to compete with the driveline hump. The soft seat in the Crown Vic feel good at very first sit, yet their absence of support provides them uncomfortable for much longer drives. The ago seat isn"t as spacious as you could think provided the Crown Victoria"s size; Ford"s newer five Hundred sedan is far roomier inside, despite much more compact exterior dimensions. Much shorter drivers fit just fine, though, and they"ll evaluate the easily accessible power-adjustable pedals. This invited feature, optional ~ above all three versions of the Crown Victoria, move the brake and accelerator pedals closer to the driver, permitting him or her to sit a safe street from the steering wheel and also its airbag. Instruments and also controls are fairly simple and straightforward, if somewhat outdated and unstylish.

One of the downsides to the Crown Vic"s progressed age is the it"s missing some that the safety and security gear uncovered in more recent cars, although the huge car has actually performed fine in crash tests. Next airbags space optional, however there space no curtain airbags. Traction control is available, bundled through panic brake assist, i beg your pardon helps apply full braking strength in quick stops. Stability control, however, isn"t offered. Laminated next glass, i m sorry is more shatter resistant than constant glass, is easily accessible for the LX and also LX Sport.

All Crown Victorias have V-8 power, a four-speed automatic, and rear-wheel drive. Regardless of the include promise the eight cylinders, the 4.6-liter engine makes an unimpressive 224 horsepower in Standard and also LX trim. In the LX Sport, it musters an additional 15 hp. In one of two people case, the harsh 4.6-liter V-8 it is intended its power higher in the rev band than is typical for bigger displacement engines. Towing volume is a reasonably modest 1,500 pounds. The Ford engine"s calculation trails far behind the 340 hp available by the 5.7-liter hem V-8 accessible in the Chrysler 300C and also Dodge Charger in ~ a price allude comparable come the LX Sport.

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The Crown Victoria is just one of the critical American dare still making use of body-on-frame construction, a V-8 engine powering the rear wheels, and also a heavy (or "live") rear axle. Due to the fact that this layout was usual in year past, the Crown Vic has a particular "retro" feeling behind the wheel. The steering is light and numb, and also the handling is fairly lazy. The LX sports tightens things up a bit with firmer springs and dampers and also a stiffer behind stabilizer bar. (This very same setup is obtainable as the Handling and also Performance Package because that the LX, together well.) neither suspension setup is really smooth riding, however, as the solid behind axle makes the automobile hop end bumps and under hefty acceleration. Again, Chrysler is may be to provide both a better ride and much more composed dealing with thanks to the much more sophisticated, independent rear suspension in that 300.

Aside from its main audience that fleet customers, the Crown Victoria appeals mostly to mature drivers who find the car"s old-school driving endure comfortably familiar, or even nostalgic. Yet even among this crowd, the slightly much more plush however functionally similar Mercury cool Marquis is a more popular choice, despite costing a few extra bucks. Someone who"s interested mostly in a huge car through a spacious internal would be much better served through Ford"s more contemporary Five hundreds sedan or Mercury"s variation of the same, the Montego. Both space far an ext comfortable inside and offer a large trunk, and also provide a smoother ride, far better handling, and also overall more-modern driving experience. Both of those more recent models usage V-6 engines and either front- or all-wheel drive. Buyers who really desire a V-8, rear-wheel journey American sedan--and room willing to invest a little bit more--should also consider the Chrysler 300C and Dodge Charger. These relatively brand-new entries offer an ext powerful engines and far better ride and also handling. The Charger is the less expensive the the two, yet has a stiffer ride. Of course, if her ultimate score is to play "Hawaii Five-O" or be Travis Bickle, the Crown Vic is absolutely the automobile for you--at least until the police version of the Charger hits the streets.

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A definitive American sedan, the Crown Victoria appeals many to drivers who mental first-hand the standard cars from the 1960s. Otherwise, the Crown Vic is best left to the professionals.