2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder: Quick Spin

2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder IMG_8683 II

Police cars are both the most awesome and most maddening vehicles to drive on public roads. On one hand, you're the apex predator: Other drivers get out of your way in a hurry, and highway traffic parts for you quicker than the Red Sea parted for Moses. On the other hand, everyone slows down on surface streets, causing you to be stuck behind people going 5 to 10 mph under the speed limit for no obvious reason.

I recently took a Quick Spin behind the wheel of one of the newest police vehicles on the market: Ford's unique 2018 F-150 Police Responder, which became available earlier this year. Ford expects the pickup to head to mostly rural constabularies, border patrols, fish and game services, and agencies that need the capability of an off-road pickup truck instead of an on-road patrol car.

Inside the Cab

The truck starts with the F-150 XL work truck trim and adds the FX4 Off-Road Package. That means it has vinyl flooring, basic cloth seats and a tiny multimedia screen instead of Ford's larger Sync 3 touchscreen.

The truck I drove didn't have the lights and sirens of a typical police vehicle, but it was outfitted inside with an aftermarket console that allows control panels and computers to be mounted. Because the truck has its factory center console deleted, it features a column shifter to free up some room between the seats.

Under the Hood

2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder IMG_8703 copy II

But Ford uses this tough-truck starting point as a platform to build on, adding the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine making 375 horsepower and 470 pounds-feet of torque. It's mated to the latest 10-speed automatic transmission and has a part-time four-wheel-drive system. Ford adds extra underbody protection with more skid plates, 18-inch alloy wheels with Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires and heavy-duty brake calipers. Under the hood, the only modification is a heavy-duty 240-amp alternator that powers all the onboard electronics and computers that law enforcement agencies install.

How It Drives

Out on the street, the F-150 Police Responder was remarkably civilized for a police vehicle. Law enforcement Chevrolet Tahoes I've driven have all been piggish, heavy and sluggish in their responses, with a lot of weight to haul around and a top-heavy feel that makes me marvel at the skills of the law enforcement officers who pilot them in high-speed pursuits. The F-150 had no such hang-ups: Despite the off-road tires (which allowed for a remarkably supple ride on-road), the pickup felt responsive and quick. Credit the torque profile of that 3.5-liter engine, but the 10-speed automatic also does wonders for keeping things in the hot zone for engine response.

Steering feel was light and heavily boosted, as one would expect from an FX4 F-150, but thanks to the aluminum construction of the F-150 shifting its center of gravity lower than that of a traditional steel pickup or SUV, it felt planted and stable around corners without the tippyness that plagues the Tahoe. The brakes are strong and easy to modulate, with the extra grip from the larger calipers bleeding off speed in the F-150 with absolutely zero drama. Acceleration is decent, but the secret to getting the most performance out of the F-150 Responder is to press the Drive mode button until it's in Sport mode.

2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder IMG_8697 II

Sport mode wakes this truck up and turns every turbocharged F-150 into a sports truck regardless of its trim level. Throttle responses get more immediate. Gears are held longer. I predict that most law enforcement officers who end up behind the wheel of these things will keep them in Sport mode most of the time just to get the most performance out of their trucks on a daily basis.

What It Costs

The 2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder starts at $44,450 including destination, but don't rush to your local Ford dealer to buy one; they're sold only through Ford's fleet outlets and only to registered law enforcement agencies. If you want one, you'll have to wait a few years to see if one shows up on the used market, like all police vehicles eventually do.

So, if you live in a rural area, you have our condolences. The best-selling vehicle in the world now gets a police package that will make spotting our friends in blue on the highway more challenging when exceeding the legal speed limit. Not that any of our readers do that. Nor do our writers. Of course not.

Cars.com photos by Aaron Bragman

 

2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder IMG_8687 II

2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder IMG_8684 II

2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder IMG_8691 II

2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder IMG_8693 II

2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder IMG_8699 copy II

2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder IMG_8688 II

2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder IMG_8689 copy II


Comments

What a great addition for law enforcement.
Tough, capable, reliable and great looking.

@PUTC: "The best-selling vehicle in the world", is that true? Toyota fanboys claim the Hilux is the best selling truck in the world. I'd like to see the numbers please.

The 2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder starts at $44,450

@PUTC

Considering the much higher cost of the average squad car, I'm skeptical about the $44k price tag. I wonder what the real world price will be.

"Out on the street, the F-150 Police Responder was remarkably civilized for a police vehicle. Law enforcement Chevrolet Tahoes I've driven have all been piggish, heavy and sluggish in their responses, with a lot of weight to haul around and a top-heavy feel that makes me marvel at the skills of the law enforcement officers who pilot them in high-speed pursuits."

Why do you have to take a swipe at the Tahoe in an article about an F 150? That whole comment just seems out of place. I thoughts everyone understands that a full sized SUV handles differently than a pick-up and I'll bet this truck handles worse than a police charger.

Part 2

I am noticing the photo of the F150 in the story. There's no rear-seat cage for confining unruly passengers. I cannot remember the last time I saw a police car without a "cage"

Fake papajim

The best selling vehicle in the world is the Toyota Corolla. If one wishes to combine all sales of a complete truck line-up to surpass this one model vehicle from Toyota, then knock yourself out.

Bet the police departments that use this junker will be on foot patrol more often because of breakdowns. RAM would be a much better choice!!

GUTS

GLORY

CLASS LEADING

MOST POWERFUL

MORE RELIABLE

RAM

"Out on the street, the F-150 Police Responder was remarkably civilized for a police vehicle. Law enforcement Chevrolet Tahoes I've driven have all been piggish, heavy and sluggish in their responses, with a lot of weight to haul around and a top-heavy feel that makes me marvel at the skills of the law enforcement officers who pilot them in high-speed pursuits."

Why do you have to take a swipe at the Tahoe in an article about an F 150? That whole comment just seems out of place. I thoughts everyone understands that a full sized SUV handles differently than a pick-up and I'll bet this truck handles worse than a police charger.


Posted by: Jack | Aug 20, 2018 9:35:41 AM

\\\\

Fair comment based on that seems to be what a lot of fish and game guys drive in currently other than pickups. I don't believe anything is done to the Tahoes and the ride is definitely tuned for the average family. A Z71 or RST would probably be better than the f-150 but not likely they ever get spec'ed that way.

What still amazes me is how plasticky and cheap F-150 interiors are. Easily the 3rd or 4th best interior in the full size trucks right now.

Listen to the whine of the fanboys.

What still amazes me is how plasticky and cheap F-150 interiors are. Easily the 3rd or 4th best interior in the full size trucks right now.

Posted by: andrwken | Aug 20, 2018 10:02:45 AM

Agreed. In 2015, Ford had an opportunity to bring an interior that should have been truly unique, stylish and more importantly functional. Instead, they remained boringly conservative and must now compete with smarter, more stylish interiors from GM and RAM.

Those dura-tracs better be 20ply, the set I have are 4 ply, yeah they ride good but sidewalls tear easy and get punctured alot,

That's what I'm talkin' about!!

My 2005 Tacoma X-Runner would kill this thing on Road America!

It is too tall, too heavy to handle proper corners on pavement!


"The best selling vehicle in the world is the Toyota Corolla. If one wishes to combine all sales of a complete truck line-up to surpass this one model vehicle from Toyota, then knock yourself out.


Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Aug 20, 2018 9:42:24 AM"

This is funny! Coming from someone who believes a silverado, silverado 2500hd and a silverado 3500hd should be considered one model. The username says it all.....

NoQDRTundra, see this link. You'll need to do some scrolling on the page but you'll find a chart showing the F150 is the best selling model in the world. Toyota is the best selling BRAND but none of their models outsell the F150 - http://carsalesbase.com/global-car-sales-2017/

This is funny! Coming from someone who believes a silverado, silverado 2500hd and a silverado 3500hd should be considered one model. The username says it all.....

Posted by: FullSize_only | Aug 20, 2018 11:12:34 AM

The police responder package is offered only on the 1 f-series model, the F-150, not the Superduty line-up. To claim that the vehicle in the article is the best selling vehicle in the world is grossly in-accurate. Just a little additional info, the Corolla is offered in one body configuration only, 4 door sedan.

What up with this guy? saying all of that “CRAP” Mark Williams is not even talking about FIAT TRUCKS and this guy comes out with this. Maybe he suffers from retardation. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Bet the police departments that use this junker will be on foot patrol more often because of breakdowns. RAM would be a much better choice!!

GUTS

GLORY

CLASS LEADING

MOST POWERFUL

MORE RELIABLE

RAM


Posted by: HEMI RAMPAGE | Aug 20, 2018 9:48:43 AM

“ If one wishes to combine all sales of a complete truck line-up to surpass this one model vehicle from Toyota, then knock yourself out “

And then there’s you adding GMC lineup in with Chevrolet ( and still come no up short )

It doesn't seem like you get much for $44 grand, just an XL with the ecoboost and a few bolt-ons. But it's just taxpayer money so who the F cares anyway.

It doesn't make much sense unless you're enforcing hunting/fishing/game regulations.

For just about EVERY other law enforcement application a SUV, Sedan or even in some situations pony car makes ALOT more sense for LE.

Those are NOT Duratracs. They're the Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure.

This is funny! Coming from someone who believes a silverado, silverado 2500hd and a silverado 3500hd should be considered one model. The username says it all.....

Posted by: FullSize_only | Aug 20, 2018 11:12:34 AM

The police responder package is offered only on the 1 f-series model, the F-150, not the Superduty line-up. To claim that the vehicle in the article is the best selling vehicle in the world is grossly in-accurate. Just a little additional info, the Corolla is offered in one body configuration only, 4 door sedan.
Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Aug 20, 2018 11:25:45 AM


Yes to say that the F-150 without the rest of the F-series lineup is the best selling vehicle in the world would most likely be inaccurate (i'm not aware of any F150 ONLY sales figures) but the F-series nameplate IS the worlds best selling model according to the sales chart. Pickup trucks by the very nature of the buyers varying needs will always be offered in multiple body configurations. As for the "little additional info" you are incorrect, Toyota makes a wagon version of the Corolla in certain markets and just introduced a Corolla hatchback.

This is funny! Coming from someone who believes a silverado, silverado 2500hd and a silverado 3500hd should be considered one model. The username says it all.....


Posted by: FullSize_only | Aug 20, 2018 11:12:34 AM

Silverado says it all...........mic drop.........

Sport mode wakes this truck up and turns every turbocharged F-150 into a sports truck regardless of its trim level. Throttle responses get more immediate. Gears are held longer.

@PUTC

The EPA ratings for this truck go up in smoke the very second you press Sport Mode. 8 mpg City/12 mpg Highway

@ papajim And your point?

This is funny! Coming from someone who believes a silverado, silverado 2500hd and a silverado 3500hd should be considered one model. The username says it all.....


Posted by: FullSize_only | Aug 20, 2018 11:12:34 AM

Silverado says it all...........mic drop.........
Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Aug 20, 2018 12:01:25 PM


Silverado say something alright, it says always second place to the pickup truck whose name starts with a big ol' F followed by a dash!!

I would be curious to see how much these F-150s would sell used at an auction. At the right price this would be a good weekend vehicle for chores or a good farm truck for lighter duties. My nephew got an 06 F-250 fleet truck for the family farm with 4 wheel drive about 7 years ago for about 7k. It has been a great truck and used by the family whenever they visit the farm.

name starts with a big ol' F followed by a dash!!


Posted by: FullSize_only | Aug 20, 2018 12:21:17 PM


What model is that?

This is funny! Coming from someone who believes a silverado, silverado 2500hd and a silverado 3500hd should be considered one model. The username says it all.....


Posted by: FullSize_only | Aug 20, 2018 11:12:34 AM

Silverado says it all...........mic drop.........


Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Aug 20, 2018 12:01:25 PM
————————-
Silverado 1500, vs 2500HD, 3500HD...

Different frame, different engines, different suspension. Just like the F150 vs F250/350/450.

Therefore like you say for the F Series is 2 different truck lines, then the same applies to the GM trucks.

You can’t have both ways GMShill

@ papajim And your point?

Posted by: Just the truth | Aug 20, 2018 12:13:54 PM

More tax dollars spent on fuel.

Sorry pops, but I couldn't resist.

Silverado say something alright, it says always second place to the pickup truck whose name starts with a big ol' F followed by a dash!!


Posted by: FullSize_only | Aug 20, 2018 12:21:17 PM
—————————

And there’s the mic drop....dropped right on that sponge head GMShill

@ BA
Silverado = 1 model offering increasing levels of capability.
F-series = 2 models offering increasing levels of capability.
Capeesh?

@PUTC…, C'mon..., GMSRGREAT's I.P. address should be banned from posting until a public apology is made for the assault on humanity comment.

@GMSRGREAT..., Seek The Lord for guidance...

name starts with a big ol' F followed by a dash!!


Posted by: FullSize_only | Aug 20, 2018 12:21:17 PM


What model is that?
Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Aug 20, 2018 12:25:38 PM


Okay pay attention: Name starts with F followed by dash ends in 150 then goes up in series by 100 (F-150, F-250, F-350, F450 you get the picture).

Should be easy for you since in Gm land it starts with Silverado (used to be silverado followed by 1500) next its silverado followed by 2500 and ending with hd going up in 1000 sequence to silverado 3500 hd

@FullSize_only

It's safe to assume you drive/push a Ford. Which model do you drive, the independent front suspension F-150 or a death wobbling solid front axle Superduty?

@ BA
Silverado = 1 model offering increasing levels of capability.
F-series = 2 models offering increasing levels of capability.
Capeesh?
Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Aug 20, 2018 12:38:26 PM

Answer me this. Do the "2 different F-series models" offer a level of capability that is the same? Or do the "2 different F-series models" offer the same ladder of capability that the Silverado line-up offers and the reason that gm cannot call all its full-size trucks Silverado only without number designation after the half-ton capabilty??

GMshill is so jealous that the F Series outsells the Silverado ( and even outsells the Silverado and Sierra when one combines the two ) he has to create fake news

Pretty low. Even for a moron such as himself

Pretty low. Even for a moron such as himself


Posted by: BA | Aug 20, 2018 1:06:11 PM

All GMshills are this

$44k MSRP sounds about right. Just a XL SuperCrews 4x4 EB with FX4, chrome, wheels, etc. Is $46k. Educate yourself.

@FullSize_only:

What?

All GMshills are this


Posted by: That Guy Frank | Aug 20, 2018 1:13:11 PM

Says the leader of the Ford Shills.

@FullSize_only

It's safe to assume you drive/push a Ford. Which model do you drive, the independent front suspension F-150 or a death wobbling solid front axle Superduty?
Posted by: GMSRGREAT | Aug 20, 2018 12:57:43 PM

Let me correct you: Only 4x4 F-series SuperDuty trucks have a solid front axle.

You would be wrong to assume i drive only a Ford. I do have a older F-150 that has been a great truck and very reliable. I also until recently was driving a 2016 Silverado with a terrible shake over 70mph (dealer couldn't remedy in 1 year) and what i would call the worst shifting (operating as designed) trans i have experienced (lag and gear hunting ALL the time). It was a nice truck i wont leave that part out i just couldn't live with the driveabilty. I have owned plenty of Gm's and Fords i can tell you that.

High density urban LE doesn't require a big huge truck. Rural areas where they patrol offroad around farms yeah for durabilty. TRUCKS ARE TOUGH.

I THINK THE FIRE-150 WOULD NOT MAKE A GOOD VEHICLE FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME. SENDING A VEHICLE PRONE TO STARTING FIRES INTO THE WOODS IS NOT VERY SMART MOVE. NOW THE FIRE DEPARTMENT WILL SEE INCREASED WORK LOADS. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Fake commentary

WE ARE IDIOTS HAHAHA

The Gm kids are behaving like Yellowjackets just before the frost.

Wow the sales champions are really out defending their brand today.

Comeon guys.

GM sells more trucks. Ford sells more full size trucks. Both true the last couple years. Ram doesnt selll anywhere near as much as either one. Probably going to see a shakeup in the next few years but its been pretty static Lately.

Go ahead and argue about specs and quality but for gods sake the numbers are there. Not much to refute unless your slow.

Some of you guys are definitely slow.....

Or 10 years old.....

Or crazy.....

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
what he said



Post a Comment

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
  • Your email will not be shown.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Home | Buy or Sell a Truck | News | Special Reports

Powered by Cars.com. By using this site, you agree to our terms of service | © 2017 Cars.com | Privacy Statement | Contact Us