The Ford Crown Victoria is a long-familiar, full-size sedan. Introduced as the LTD Crown Victoria in 1980, Ford dropped the LTD name in 1992 coinciding with an update. The Crown Victoria is a traditional rear-wheel drive sedan and the pursuit vehicle of choice for police departments throughout its lengthy model run.
1992 to 2011: Ford Crown Victoria
The Ford Crown Victoria was introduced in 1992, replacing the previous Ford LTD Crown Victoria. The LTD models were initially offered in coupe, sedan and station wagon body styles. The Mercury Grand Marquis, Lincoln Town Car and Lincoln Continental Mark VI were each derived from what was known as the Ford Panther platform.
Throughout its extensive model run, the Ford Crown Victoria stayed relatively the same and has always lacked technology such features as Bluetooth or a navigation system. In 1998, the Ford received an updated body and in 2003 a new chassis was rolled out. As always, this traditional body-on-frame, rear-wheel drive sedan featured a V8 engine and a solid rear axle.
All Crown Victoria models are marked by a long, wide hood, upright roof pillars and a lengthy rear deck. Door panel trim, color-keyed side mirrors and alloy wheels are common to many models. Earlier models featured the tiniest of grilles along with narrow wraparound headlamp assemblies. Large wraparound combination lamps mark the rear, with only the license plate separating the two.
Beginning in 1995 and continuing to the model’s cancellation, all Ford Crown Victoria models were outfitted with a more pronounced grille dominating the front end. Ford also updated the rear combination lamps with triangular-shaped lamps.
Inside, the Crown Victoria offers room for up to six. Common standard features include air conditioning, power accessories, an audio system and cruise control.
Upon its release, the 1992 Ford Crown Victoria was powered by a 4.6-liter V8 engine paired with a four-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain combination stayed the same throughout this model’s 20-year run, although engine output changed and the transmission was updated.
In 2002, Ford introduced an extended wheelbase version, adding an additional 6 inches between the wheels. The model was marketed to commercial fleets only, such as livery services.
Coinciding with a chassis update, the 2003 model received optional head and torso side air bags. In 2004, Ford introduced an updated overhead console and made heated side mirrors optional.
Beginning in 2005, the Crown Victoria received a new steering wheel, a six-CD changer and an available moonroof. In 2006 the Crown Victoria received a new instrument cluster with an available tachometer. For 2007, sport-handling and performance packages were introduced.
In 2008, Ford phased out the consumer version of the Crown Victoria, making the vehicle available for fleets only until its cancelation in 2011. For consumers, Ford replaced the Crown Victoria with the Ford Five Hundred, which was later renamed the Ford Taurus.
Few models were direct competitors to the Ford Crown Victoria owing to the sedan’s dated design. Nevertheless, more recent full-size cars such as the Chevrolet Impala, Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 should be compared.