By on May 12, 2015

2015 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor Utility

In each of the last ten months, Ford’s Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility has outsold the Taurus Police Interceptor by at least two to one.

Beginning in July 2014 (a month in which Taurus Police Interceptor sales increased 15% and Explorer Police Interceptor sales jumped 64%) and continuing through April 2015 (when Explorer PI sales rose to their third-highest monthly level in the model’s history and Taurus PI sales slid 2%), the Police Interceptor Utility’s ten-month long U.S. sales tally rang in at 19,362 units. Ford sold 8,185 Taurus Police Interceptors during the same period.

Thus, 2.4 times more Explorer Police Interceptor Utilities are being sold than Taurus Police Interceptors. That trend falls in line with the civilian market, only to a severely lesser degree. Conventional Explorers are selling six times more often than conventional Taurus sedans through the first four months of 2015. Non-police Taurus sales are down 36%, year-over-year, a loss of 6,422 units. Non-police Explorers are up 18% to 69,372 units, a gain of 10,375 sales, year-over-year.

Ford police car sales chartEven by the standards of vehicles which sell to the general public, the Explorer Police Interceptor Utility isn’t uncommon. Year-to-date, more copies of the lights-and-siren Explorers were sold in the United States than there were sales of the Volkswagen Beetle, the Cadillac ATS, Volvo XC60, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Lexus GS, Lincoln MKC, Ram ProMaster, or any of Land Rover’s SUVs.

The Taurus Police Interceptor, on the other hand, with only 3,373 sales so far this year, is outsold by the Lincoln Navigator, Nissan Titan, Scion FR-S, BMW 7-Series, and Porsche 911.

Of course, none of these vehicles are rivals with which sales comparisons possess any great relevance. (Although, a track test between an EcoBoost Taurus PI and an FR-S would be interesting.) But the vehicles mentioned help to clarify the frequency with which Ford is selling their two main police vehicles.

2012 Ford Taurus Police Interceptor Sedan

Unfortunately, sales figures for police versions of the Dodge Charger and Chevrolet Tahoe, for instance, aren’t broken out. From a historical perspective, we also lack the necessary breakdown of Crown Victoria sales, as well. Ford averaged 38,000 total Crown Vic sales in the model’s final three full years and sold another 4,429 copies in 2012. Ford is on pace for fewer than 45,000 total Taurus sales in 2015 and could top the 250K mark with the Explorer lineup.

In 2013, the Explorer Police Interceptor Utility outsold its Taurus equivalent by just 29%. In their abbreviated launch year of 2012, the Taurus PI was the more common vehicle. More recently, in calendar year 2014, the police Explorer outsold the Taurus almost exactly two to one.

And again we ask, whither the Carbon Motors E7?

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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36 Comments on “Explorer Police Interceptor Still Outselling Ford Taurus Police Interceptor By More Than Two To One...”


  • avatar
    RideHeight

    The most concrete example of why modern sedans need to die. Yay cops!

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Yep. Plenty of space and better ride, handling and brakes at any speed than the old Crown Vic. I see this vehicle everywhere. Not bad looking either. Winner for Ford.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Drive one, I’m told the police spec Explorer handles like a bus despite be “pursuit rated”. The Taurus is preferred in actual pursuits but the Explorer is preferred for interior/gear room per the three LEOs I asked. A Taurus without all of the glaring design defects would spank it 2-1.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Disagree when you purposely do everything wrong from the gigantic console/limited interior room to the horrible visibility/styling, you set the model up to fail. Why FoMoCo would do this i couldn’t tell you. Maybe the crack was especially strong that business day when these decisions were made.

  • avatar

    COULD IT BE because the Taurus’ is BUNKERIZED and for larger men (fat cops), it doesn’t allow flexibility or comfort – especially when you’re wearing a vest, gear and cuffs???

    I enjoy watching stupid cars FAIL.

    The cops would probably be better off in Hyundai Genesis than Taurus.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    I hope this isn’t going to turn into another ignorant hate fest .

    L.A.P.D. has Taurus (? Tauri ?) Radio Cars and they suck , they’re tiny and no , we don’t have lots of fat cops like some small towns do .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Having driven both the Ford PI Sedan and the Ford PI Utility, I appreciate both.

      First, the Sedan does not suck. It is not tiny on the inside. The Taurus is no where near as small in the inside as people say it is. The PI Sedan removes the massive center divider, providing even more space. The sedan feels solid. Handling and power are exceptional. You’ve a lot of confidence driving this vehicle. Rearward visibility is poor, but tactical driving in reverse is done with the mirrors anyway.

      The PI Utility does have more room for the driver, but not by much. Storage for gear in the back is obviously much more. It’s also solid. It’s power and handling are pretty good, but clearly inferior to the Sedan. While both vehicles are AWD, not surprisingly, the Utility has better deep snow and off road performance.

      The reality is, as awesome as it might be, most cops don’t need the power and handling of the Sedan (or the Charger, etc). The Utility meets their needs and offers other advantages. This is why the Utility is the vehicle of choice. It’s not that the Sedan is bad. It’s just that the Utility is a better compromise.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        “The Taurus is no where near as small in the inside as people say it is.” Agreed. It’s certainly no marvel of packaging, but it’s not small in an absolute sense.

        I did strongly prefer the airiness of the 5th-gen Taurus, but apparently journalists and the buying public feel non-chopped greenhouses are dorky. Sadly, their loss is my loss too.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    Around here the Utility Inteceptor is quickly becoming the most common police vehicle on the road. The state patrol did try the Charger when it first came out and they did not find it acceptable, they quickly stock piled Crown Vics and supplemented those with the Tahoe PPV and once it was available the Caprice PPV. They also have a fair number of the F150 SSV.

    No local force has purchased any Chargers in some time, most went for the Tahoe PPV once the Crown Vic was no longer available though there are a few Caprice PPVs in a few jurisdictions. Many of those jurisdictions are replacing the Tahoes with the Utility Interceptor.

    The County Sheriff did try a mix of the Sedan and Utility Interceptors but quickly switched to mainly the Utility Interceptor.

    The city of Seattle seems to be the only local force that has gone for large numbers of the Sedan Interceptor.

    So yes based on what I see around here it does not surprise me that the Utility is outselling the Sedan by such a large margin.

    I can’t wait until these start crossing the auction block. One of the great things is the fact that they have a couple of black and white options that use vinyl wrap on the doors and the option of vinyl POLICE and SHERIFF decals for the doors. This means that a lot of the vehicles that come through the auction will just need some time with a heat gun to become all black. Because they do not come with a console that also makes for a cleaner interior post police use. The previous generation Explorers that are coming through the auction have had their consoles removed and end up pretty ugly because of the brackets and wiring plugs that are left exposed.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      The Tahoe is very popular in the Great White North. I am seeing more Taurus and Explorer’s around.

    • 0 avatar
      Lack Thereof

      “The city of Seattle seems to be the only local force that has gone for large numbers of the Sedan Interceptor”

      That’s absolutely incorrect. Seattle is NOT buying the sedan, they are buying the utility model. See http://spdblotter.seattle.gov/2014/12/18/new-look-new-vehicles-for-spd/

      They did buy one SMALL batch for testing only, alongside the Utility Interceptor, Tahoe, Caprice, Impala, and Charger.

      The final order went to the Explorer based interceptor, which was roomier than the Sedan, had larger back doors to shove perps through, had better grip on rain-slick Seattle streets (Seattle is using AWD interceptors) and got the best fuel economy and maintenance costs in SPD testing.

      -Patrol MPG in SPD’s testing-
      Caprice PPV: 6.4 MPG
      Crown Victoria interceptor: 6.7 MPG
      Tahoe PPV: 6.8 MPG
      Taurus sedan interceptor: 8.1 MPG
      Explorer utility interceptor: 8.3 MPG

      -Maintenance costs in SPD’s testing-
      Caprice PPV: $0.75/mile
      Taurus sedan interceptor: $0.51/mile
      Crown Victoria interceptor: $0.41/mile
      Tahoe PPV: $0.40/mile
      Explorer utility interceptor: $0.23/mile

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        I see the Sedan Interceptor in SPD livery quite frequently so the batch was not that small. I did not say that was all they use or that they were currently buying more of them just that I have seen more in SPD livery than King Co livery and I live out in the county.

        Note the study linked to in the article is well over a year old and in the mean time they may have decided to have a few of the Sedans as well. All I know was when I was working down town on a daily basis I saw quite a few an my son who works in Seattle has indicated he has seen a fair number of the sedans as well.

        • 0 avatar
          Lack Thereof

          I live just outside of city limits to the south. Perhaps whatever sedans they are buying are going to other parts of the city. In West Seattle, you only see Crown Vics and Utilities.

          The County Sheriffs down here in Burien seem to be adopting the sedans, though.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Well I see them in downtown/Capitol Hill area, my son works in the Gorgetown area. I still see a lot of SPD Crown Vics though.

            I live out in the Covington area and the the Utility is common while the Sedan is just about non-existent, again lots and lots of Crown Vics still. They did decide to keep them longer. Last fall I bought an 03 for my Daughter and it wasn’t the oldest one for sale, there was an 02 too as well as a bashed up 97 that was from the driving academy.

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        Explorer Utility Interceptor maintenance costs just over half that of a Panther platform PI?

        I may have found something in the transportation category to love when and if my Panther goes to the Elephant Graveyard.

        I have seen LEO’s elsewhere say that while the Dodges run like a striped ape, they have much worse maintenance records than for example the Explorers.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Personally I think there is some flaw in that SPD maintenance cost study. Fact is the Sedan and Utility share the majority of their parts, brakes, tires, wheels, filters, alternators ect and the same oil change intervals. It doesn’t say exactly which engines were in each of them though. So did they just track one of tow of each and there was some unusual failure on one of the Taurus?

          It was smart of Ford and they do advertize the fact that fleets can gain almost all of the advantages of a single vehicle fleet and still have a mixed fleet of sedans and utility vehicles. I know the local county seems to do things like swap the tires and wheels on the CVs before they put them up for auction with seemingly every one going out the door with tires due for replacement. Last fall I picked one up for my daughter and looking at the dates of the tires I found one from 03 when the vehicle was built, one from 05 one from 06, two from 07 and one from 09 since it came with two spares in the trunk.

  • avatar
    EquipmentJunkie

    Anybody have sales figures on the new Chevy Caprice police car? I believe that I’ve only seen two so far…and I have traveled in a total of 18 states so far this year.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Height is good for license plate readers.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Explorer is the new Crown Vic. I gotta memorize what the headlights look like at night.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    I saw one of these sedans pull somebody over the other night.

    Goddamn thing was putting on a light show you could see from space.

    Do the lights on cop cars really need to be that bright? Makes me want to put mirror tint in my back window just to give back a little.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      That’s a peeve of mine. Because cops were / are getting hit on the highway, they felt the need to be as visible as possible. Nice in theory, but…

      Pretty flashing lights can draw an inattentive drive to them.

      Really bright flashing lights can blind drivers at night. There might be a cop standing in the road, but you can’t see him because of the blinding lights (flashlights are getting brighter to compensate).

      Minimally, I’d like them to install day/night sensors. Go bright during the day. Dim it down some at night. Allow the officer to override either if desired.

      • 0 avatar
        Patrickj

        I agree on the flashing lights presenting the hazard of drawing an inattentive driver towards them.

        The LEDs may be less likely to cause it than the former strobe-based flashing lights, but I suspect there’s potential for seizures similar to what goes on with some video game users–called photosensitive epilepsy.

        EDITED TO ADD: WebMD.com identifies flashing lights on emergency vehicles as a potential cause.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    I did a little digging around and found data for Chevy police sales for 2013.

    “G.M.’s Chevrolet brand saw total sales of 21,784 of its Caprice PPV, Tahoe PPV, and Impala Police. Chevrolet sold 13,629 Tahoe PPV SUVs, 4,281 Impala Police front-wheel sedans, and 3,874 Caprice PPV rear-wheel sedans.”

    http://www.government-fleet.com/channel/law-enforcement/news/story/2014/03/ford-police-interceptor-utility-now-america-s-top-patrol-car.aspx

    Based on the increase of PI Utility sales and the fact that a number of departments in my area are replacing their Tahoes with PI Utilities I’m guessing the sales of the Tahoe PPV were down in 2014. The question is will the availability of a 4wd Tahoe PPV reverse that trend.

  • avatar
    taxman100

    My niece just started her engineering internship with Ford in Dearborn. I mentioned to her several times before she left to let upper management know that the best Ford platform they built in the last decade was the Panther, and they should figure out a way to bring it back.

    Of course it will never come back, but to be honest, I didn’t know Ford did much engineering in the United States, outside of the F-150.

  • avatar
    Omnifan

    Yes he is. Volvo donated the work on the Taurus etc while Mazda did the Escape etc.

  • avatar
    VolandoBajo

    Wouldn’t take much engineering work to bring back the Panthers, and you KNOW there is still a market for them.

    I heard that Ford bulldozed the St Thomas Plant, but moved all the tool and die and stamping equipment into storage at another plant. Just hearsay, but on aficionado sites by members who seemed to have some first hand knowledge.

    Good for you @taxman100 tell your niece we can get up a petition with a hundred thousand signatures, if they don’t believe us.

    Panther love will never die!


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