Used 2001 Ford Crown Victoria Review
This is our favorite full-size sedan under $30K. You don't have to be a cop, a taxi driver or a Floridian to appreciate the Vic.
If you've been pinching your pennies to buy a new full-size, rear-drive American sedan, we hope you like Fords. The Blue Oval is the only manufacturer building such cars these days. Decades-old technology allows Ford to keep the prices low, and the car is a favorite among fleet buyers for taxi companies, police departments, or just those who need space and don't want a minivan or sport-ute.
These days the Ford Crown Victoria and its Mercury Grand Marquis stablemate offer much more value than most compact and midsize cars being peddled at your local auto mall. Think about this: the Crown Vic costs less than 30 grand fully loaded with electric everything and a leather interior. In contrast, a similarly equipped Toyota Avalon runs several thousand dollars more.
The five- or six-passenger Crown Vic is available in either base-model trim or upscale LX trim. Both have similar levels of equipment, though optional features like automatic climate control and leather seating are only available on the LX model.
Both versions get mild interior updates for 2001. There are new front-door map pockets, a relocated digital clock, new switches for the power mirrors, traction control and headlights and a new horn system. The best addition is the optional adjustable gas and brake pedals. The pedals can be moved up to 3 inches towards the driver to improve comfort and to keep shorter drivers from sitting too close to the steering wheel-mounted airbag.
The Crown Victoria was never a slouch in terms of acceleration (as you would hope, seeing as how so many police departments use it), and this year Ford bumped the output of the 4.6-liter V8 engine to 220 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. The only transmission offered is a four-speed automatic.
In stock trim, the Crown Victoria drives and handles like you would expect a big American sedan to. It's comfortable, but it's all too happy to float around over bumps. The handling and performance package adds a few horsepower (boosting output to 235) and improves the car's stability in the twisties; we recommend it to anyone who enjoys backcountry highways more than mind-numbing interstates for their family vacations.
And if you do plan to haul around a family, you can sleep better at night knowing that the Crown Victoria scores well in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests. Last year's model did very well, so the 2001 safety improvements (a crash severity sensor, safety belt pre-tensioners, dual-stage airbags and seat position sensors) should make the Crown Vic even better.
If you're one of the few people unwilling to pay for a sport-utility's high insurance premiums and abysmal gas mileage and if you just can't stand the idea of a minivan, we hope that you like the Crown Victoria. It's your only choice for an American full-size, rear-wheel-drive sedan.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.