Driving A Police Car: Six Things You Should Know Page 2

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It gets terrible fuel economy

When I say bad fuel economy, I mean pretty terrible. It averaged between 10 and 12 mpg in mixed driving according to the on-board trip computer. While no one's going to say the Charger is fuel efficient with a HEMI, that's especially bad. Why? For starters our Charger Pursuit was equipped with a HEMI, five-speed heavy duty automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive.

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The all-wheel-drive system adds weight, that five-speed automatic isn't nearly as efficient as the new eight-speeds in the non-pursuit Chargers, and then there's all the equipment. From the metal center tunnel between the driver and passenger in front to the sirens, lights, all the wiring, and the long list of other uprated pursuit ready gear—they all add weight, and much of it taxes the higher-capacity alternator.

I did happen to talk to a real cop, and he told me the last-generation (they don't have the new model in their fleet yet) with all-wheel drive, the HEMI engine, and the full police package averages about 8 mpg. So, in reality it seems my 10-12 mpg wasn't too shabby. Granted, we didn't have a computer, guns, or rear containment package, this time.

2015 Dodge Charger Pursuit

2015 Dodge Charger Pursuit

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The Take Down button is a massive letdown

As you look at all the buttons for the sirens and lights, one stands out. I nearly giggled as I spotted the Take Down button. This button, it must be the one. It must be what you push when the Gates of Hell are opening, right? It'll activate every single thing because we are about to take down a bad guy!

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Sorry folks, that button is a disappointment. Pushing it turns on the white LEDs on the front of the roof-mounted light bar. Essentially its purpose is to light what's in front of you so you can see what you're "taking down." Yes, I was just as disappointed as you, trust me.

2015 Dodge Charger Pursuit

2015 Dodge Charger Pursuit

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It's got a cop motor, cop tires, cop suspension, and cop shocks

All of that makes it awesome, but it also makes it heavy. Basically, every single thing on this powertrain is the "heavy duty" version as it needs to withstand a very hard life. As such, it's heavy, and boy does it drive like it. People make fun of the Dodge Charger for being heavy, but the reality is it doesn't drive nearly as heavy as the same car in pursuit configuration. From taking a corner to simply taking off from a stoplight, you feel the weight.

People at Krispy Kreme stare at you, with good reason

Of course I made a donut run—who wouldn't? Four dozen donuts boxed up, the lesson learned: If a cop rolls up to a donut place, no one's going to give them a second look.

Apparently, if someone who's clearly not a cop rolls up to a donut shop in a cop car, people start to wonder. Interestingly, only one person was brave enough to come up to me and ask what exactly what going on. Everyone else, well, they just stared at me when they thought I wasn't looking. I saw you.


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