The Butler County Sheriff's Office chose the Tahoe based on a study done in Corpus Christi, Ind., which showed that those particular vehicles do well with rural work deputies often face, said Capt. Mike Craft. He also noted the Tahoes had a higher top speed and shorter braking distance. Tahoes have a retail starting price of $46,000 each.
"I think it's more down to personal preference and the needs of a city versus the county. That makes a big difference. For us, the Tahoe made better sense," he said. The sheriff's office purchased four of those, although none are yet on the road. The majority of the sheriff's vehicles -- about 80 -- are still Crown Victorias.
Middletown took a look at the Interceptors, but acting on the advice of their mechanics, decided to go with the Caprices instead, having eight of them at a cost of about $25,000, which is comparable to the Ford SUVs, said Major Mar2 Hoffman of the Middletown police.
The Chevys were a little less bulky, and they handle better," Hoffman said. "Our evaluation of the SUVs was that they were so new, and we were a little leery of a first generation vehicle," he said.
Middletown has about 27 marked vehicles, most of which are the old Crown Victorias. Middletown typically keeps cars for about three years before replacing them. Since police vehicles are driven 24/7, they take much more wear and tear than the average vehicle, Hoffman said. Middletown does have 4 SUVs in its fleet for two canine officers, a supervisor's vehicle and an evidence technician vehicle.
The Caprices are not on the road yet, as they are being outfitted, but they should be on the road in 2014, Hoffman said.
Cumberland Gas is providing fleets in the Georgia coastal region with the only program for switching to propane autogas in the region.
Tesla and Subaru move up in the rankings.