Ford’s Crown Victoria sedan was the best-selling law enforcement vehicle in America for 15 years running. Police departments from coast-to-coast embraced the Crown Vic for its durability and ease of maintenance, which made it a favorite in taxi fleets, too.

We doubt that anyone would praise the full-size, V-8 powered Crown Vic for its fuel economy, and municipal budgets from coast to coast are being trimmed to save every available nickel and dime.

Enter Ford’s latest police vehicles, which promise to deliver significant fuel savings when compared to the discontinued Crown Vic. The Taurus-based Police Interceptor Sedan is rated at 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway, an improvement of 4 mpg city and 5 mpg highway over the Crown Vic.

The Explorer-based Interceptor Utility gets an EPA estimated 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway, which is best-in-class for police utility vehicles. It also beats the Crown Vic by 2 mpg in the city and 1 mpg on the highway.

Since police vehicles can spend as much as 6.7 hours idling per 10-hour shift, the fuel savings offered by the Police Interceptor Sedan is even more impressive. Compared to the Crown Victoria, Ford’s latest police sedan uses 35-percent less fuel at idle, thanks to its smaller displacement engine and advances like EPAS electric power steering.

Smaller displacement doesn’t mean less power, either. The base 3.5-liter V-6 in Ford’s Police Interceptor Sedan delivers 288 horsepower, or 38 more than the V-8 used in the Crown Vic.

If that’s not fast enough, the available EcoBoost 3.5-liter V-6 Interceptor Sedan gets 365 horsepower and all-wheel-drive, allowing it to out-accelerate competitive police sedans from Dodge and Chevrolet, according to Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department 0-60 mph testing.

Even the V-6 equipped Police Interceptor Utility can hold its own against the V-8 powered Chevy Tahoe PPV, beating it in the run from 0-60 mph by just over a full second.

Chicago will soon take delivery of some 500 Ford Police Interceptors, giving the brand its first real-world, big-city test of its new products. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on what we hear about Ford’s latest Interceptors.