We have two fully marked 99 Ford Explorers and a low profile 2003 Ford Taurus. Both Explorers look very "Police" / not a big fan of the Taurus but since its low profile and has a great light package its not that bad. My vote is CV and it should win in a landslide.
I'm assuming that most of those that have replied have only driven a crown vic for a cruiser. Those of us that were fortunate enough to have a '95/96 Chevy Caprice can appreciate the difference. With a tap of the gas you took off like a rocket. It literally pushed you back into the seat. I suppose when the power plant is a LT1 350 (yes, a corvette LT1) it has to make a difference. They were also not governed/chipped out at any speed. They faded off somewhere in the 140's depending on if you did any aftermarket upgrades. If so, you could get 150's out of them. They were big and heavy and they stuck to the road. Very rarely did the rear end break loose unless it was because you put too much pedal into it. In 2000 I got my new CV. It looked great, it was very comfortable but I missed the "Holy Sh$%" when you stepped on the gas.
The down side of those Caprices was as they got up in miles they spent a great deal of time getting fixed and not on the road. That is probably why MSP bought the 100K warranty with their 95's. You can still see some of these beasts out on patrol. They more likely than not have 200K+ on the odometer and would still beat a 2003 CV to a call. For those of you interested they will be auctioning off quite a few at the Devens/Ayer MSP Fleet section coming up soon.
Talking to an insider at Chrysler I have been advised that in 2004, Dodge will be coming out with a rear wheel drive Intrepid that boasts a 5.9L Hemi under the hood. That should be interesting!
1991-1996 Chevy Carpice with the 9c1 engine. Now baby that is a cruiser. Tons of room handles like a dream and more get up, horse power and speed then the C/V. As of 1996 Chevy held 51% of the police cruiser market and most of that was with the caprice. To bad Chevy is not smart enought to bring them back. And yes they are still made by Chevy in Australia and the Middle East.
My Brother is a Special Agent (US ARMY CID) in Kuwaite and he drives the newer Caprices. A little smaller but still with the V* and rear wheel drive. He said it is a nice ride.
When I last inquired with MSP Fleet section they informed me they go to highest bidder. If you are the only bidder, you start low. Some vehicles in the last auction were able to be driven off the lot (with propper plates of course) for a couple hundred bucks! If I were in the market for a used car I would be there.
Just my :2c: on what msp357 said, a couple years ago I bought a retired troop E turnpike car for short money and it ran great until I sold it last year. The only thing I had to do was replace the exhaust. Was a hell of a deal.
When I worked patrol Plymouth Fury wasn't bad (yeah I'm old) Chevies had bad front ends and CV could not be beat. Now that I work plainclothes I've had small Dodge something or other (terrible) Mid size Pontiac (never guess your law enforcement) and Ford Taurus with hidden lights, console radio etc. again extremely low profile and for me comfortable. We've also used rentals, Ford Focus, small Ford trucks, Grand Prix, Grand Am for special operations they did the job but couldn't withstand constant pounding (broke some parts on some). Have recently driven the Impala but find it uncomfortable. So I guess if you spend lots of time in a car you should make it a Ford CV or Taurus.