The Eugene (Ore.) Police Department is switching to the Ford Police Interceptor Utility and is planning to purchase 23 new SUVs. After replacing the vehicles, the agency expects to save more than $150,000 in fuel costs each year.

Switching the 42 existing Crown Victoria Police Interceptors (including patrol and command vehicles) to the Ford P.I. Utility will improve average mpg from 8 to 11.41 and reduce fuel use by 30,049 gallons, according to the agency. Replacing the older 12 Chevrolet Tahoe vehicles in the city's fleet (used by sergeants and K-9 officers) to the Ford P.I. Utility will reduce fuel use by 6,757 gallons and save $26,960 per year going forward.

Key features the agency considered when choosing the new vehicle for its fleet include rear storage capacity, available space for computers and other electronic equipment, ease of getting prisoners into the vehicle and safely transporting the vehicle, the ease that officers can enter and exit the vehicle in normal operations and high-stress situations, driver visibility and overall vehicle safety, and driver comfort, for example when officers are taller or wearing a duty belt, for example.

Eugene PD expects to replace its entire fleet by 2018 and will have replaced 35 percent of its fleet by the end of 2014.