Michigan State Police tested the ’23 Charger, Durango—this is how they stacked up

Once again, the Michigan State Police have tested all the police pursuit and special duty cars they could lay their hands on. The pursuit cars were the Chevy Tahoe and Silverado, Dodge Charger and Durango, and Ford Explorer, F-150, and Mustang Mach E.

2022 Dodge Durango police pursuit car (squad)

Surprisingly, given its quick 0-60 acceleration, the Mach-E was not impressive during the vehicle dynamics testing phase. What’s more, the battery dropped from 100% to 55% over the course of 32 laps, despite 40-minute charges between runs.

Lap times were roughly the same for all vehicles in the field, with the best results coming from the Ford Explorer 3.0 turbo with all wheel drive, at 1:35.42. The next best was from the Dodge Charger Hemi (RWD) with an average lap time of 1:36.33; the worst, from the Silverado pickup (Z7X 4×4 V8), with an average run time of 1:41.27. The Charger V6 (AWD) ran the course in 1:37.8, the second best time, while the Durango ran it in 1:38.68 (V8 AWD) and 1:41.03 (V6 AWD). The Durango V6 and the Silverado twins were the only vehicles to need over 1:40 to complete the course.

In 0-100 acceleration, the Chevys all required over 18 seconds, with the Tahoe 4×4 taking over 20. The Charger Hemi took just 14.1 seconds, followed by the Charger V6 (19.1), Durango V8 (19.3), and Durango V6 (24.1). The Ford Explorer Turbo took 14.7 (behind the Charger Hemi); the Explorer Hybrid took 17.8; and the Explorer V6 took 19.7.  The Ford F-150 managed a surprisingly fast 0-100 of 14.2 seconds, and the Mustang Mach-E took the honors with a 12.2 second 0-100. (It is, however, limited to 122 mph).

2021 Dodge Charger pursuit police car

In 0-60 mph, which most Americans are more attuned to, the two Chargers were measured at 6.01 and 7.57 seconds; the Durangos at 7.27 and 8.65 seconds. The Chevys all came in from 7.4 to 8.0 seconds. The Fords, ranged from the hottest (Mach-E, 3.93 seconds; Explorer V6 turbo, 5.68) to the slowe1st (Explorer V6, 7.95 seconds), all had respectable 0-60 runs.

The vehicles all had similar braking runs, with the two Chargers doing quite well at 130 feet; the Mustang EV beat everyone with 123 feet, and the Tahoe RWD was respectably at 127 feet. The only real laggards were the F-150 at 162 feet, and the Chevy pickups at 140.

The ergonomics winners were the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Tahoe, with scores of 8.4 and 8.3 each. The Silverado was rated 8.2, not far from the Tahoe. The Durango, Mustang, and Explorer were all at 7.9, and the Charger at 7.8.

Fuel economy was highest for hybrid Explorer (24 mpg), followed by the V6 Mopars (21 mpg) and then the Hemi Charger, Explorer Turbo, and Explorer V6 (all at 19 mpg). The worst mileage was for the Chevys, with 16 mpg for the two Tahoes and 15 for the two Silverados. The Mustang, being an electric car, had an estimate of 84 MPGe.

Those interested in the motorcycles may note that the BMW easily beat the two Harleys in dynamics, acceleration, braking, and top speed. For full results, see the MSP tests.

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The current Charger Pursuits are the best-looking police vehicles since the early-1970s Dodge Polara and mid-1970s Dodge Monaco.

The Ford Explorers, while decent cop cars now, are homely vehicles,…makes it look like the officers are dropping the kids off at school. Chargers look like stiletto knives, Explorers look like a dollop of cookie dough.

I have enjoyed seeing the Chargers every day for a number of years being used by CHP (California Highway Patrol), but CHP is in process of phasing out Chargers and replacing with Chevy Tahoes. While the Tahoes are better looking than the Explorers, they’re nothing compared to the Charger’s looks.

The Tahoes cost a lot more to buy, and guzzle fuel compared to the Chargers, but CHP claims the Tahoes’ resale value is so much higher than the Chargers that it’s a wash cost-wise. I’d love to see the real numbers backing up that ratonale, because IMO it’s the officers’ union wanting a more prestigious vehicle than the Charger. Admittedly, the Chargers are a bit cramped inside & in the trunk, and the higher seating position of the SUVs is nicer, but in terms of operating costs and looking bad-a$$, the Chargers reign supreme.

With all due respect P-fan, the L.E.O.s that operate these vehicles enjoy the extra space in the S.U.V.s to store their tons of equipment and extra boxes of donuts to get them through their shift. Less stops = more time to patrol. Just for the record: Not a hater; L.E.O. in N.Y.S. (Retired). Have a great holiday season!

I get it, the larger SUVs are more comfortable due to their extra roominess, more space to put the ungodly amount of gear LEOs carry now, better visibility by virtue of the higher seating position and larger windows, and probably better protection in the event of a collision or needing to take cover behind the vehicle during gunfire situations. But those fuel costs for SUVs…

Just curious, how many years did you put in as a LEO, and in all those years of service what year make & model was your favorite police vehicle?

More N.Y. sarcasm on the Grand Wagoneers. Anyway 25 years on the job (1981-2006). Two years @ D.C. Metro P.D. Went back to N.Y. to recover from accident sustained responding to President Reagan’s assassination attempt in a Diplomat (head on collision, both doors opened and me and my partner were ejected) in March ‘81. Back to work @ N.C.P.D. (N.Y.) Twenty Three years. Drove early eighties Dodge Diplomat, three generations of Crown Vic’s, R.W.D. Impala’s, F.W.D. Impala’s, mid nineties Grand Cherokee (unmarked), Tahoe (very short period of time due to rollover) and back to final gen Crown Vic. Favorite was Tahoe but they were short-lived. Department purchased ten to experiment with but within a year they were ALL rolled (top-heavy). I’m sure that I’ll speak to you before, but if not have a great holiday season.

Better install extra fire extinguishers in the Ford’s and don’t ever park them inside. Also keep plenty of Crown Vic’s in service for spares. You’ll definitely need them.

I certainly hope that Stellantis remains in competition for squad cars after the Charger is discontinued. Here’s hoping the successor vehicle can put up similar numbers.

Does Stellantis even have anything that can compete as a police vehicle once the current Charger is gone?

My impression is that the Durango just isn’t competitive as a patrol/pursuit vehicle, and besides, it’s on an ancient chassis, so probably won’t be around much longer itself.

What could Stellantis use as a potential replacement for Charger Pursuit?

My former department is testing Jeep (oops, sorry) Grand Wagoneers with the aftermarket wood kit. Great for BOTH, regular patrol and under cover work. Two birds, one stone.

That sounds nice, the Grand Wagoneers are certainly solid, comfortable vehicles. But lordy they are expensive to buy…

Next gen Durango will be built on Stellantis Large Platform. New design, lighter, updated suspension, TT V-6, etc. We’ll see.

I grew up during the period when 80% of all cop cars (and the majority of taxis, except the NYC Checkers) were Mopars. The youth of today grew up when 80% of all US cop cars were Crown Vics or Explorers.

Did you ever get to drive any of the C-body Mopar cruisers (Polara/Monaco) back in the 1970s?

I did not. Were they pre-Diplomat? I should know but I’m old and my memory ain’t what it used to be. Did not drive gov’t. vehicles pre-1980. Have a great weekend!

We can only hope.