For 2003, Ford's largest sedan, the Crown Victoria, may look very similar to last year's offering, but there's been plenty of changes under the skin to keep it technically up to date. Key among them is a new, stiffer chassis that includes front frame sections designed to better absorb crash energy. Handling precision is improved via the adoption of more precise rack-and-pinion steering, plus there's been an extensive redesign of its front and rear suspensions. Once the most common type of automobile on America's highways, Ford's big rear-wheel-drive Crown Victoria is now something of an anomaly. But Ford's biggest sedan still has significant virtues: affordable V8 performance and room for six people (if configured with a three-abreast front bench seat). It almost sounds odd today, but this sort of car and seating arrangement is what most people drove in the 1950s, during the Eisenhower administration. Crown Vic's interior and trunk volumes compare well against those of an SUV. Indeed the Crown Victoria offers the largest trunk in its class. Its old-fashioned low seat height doesn't afford today's popular elevated-perspective of the road, but climbing in as effortless as settling into your favorite arm chair). This lowness also pays a noticeable dividend in ride quality over tall, hobby horse SUVs. This is why the Crown Vics are so popular as taxi cabs and police cars. The Crown Victoria is popular for its impressive safety ratings, easy entry/exit, big windows, pleasant ride quality, quiet interior, confusion-free controls, and adjustable pedals.
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