The drama unfolded when officers pulled over the vehicle, midnight on Thursday morning.
When officers approached the driver mounted the curb, began doing donuts and rammed the stationary patrol car at speed.
"Our two young officers sustained minor injuries and were shaken by the experience," said Taupo area commander Insp Warwick Morehu.
He then started following the seriously damaged police vehicle as it tried to pull back.
The suspect fled when another patrol car joined in, and the Isuzu SUV was found down an embankment at Wharewaka on Thursday.
The offender, from south Auckland, was arrested at a Taupo motel.
He has been charged with two counts of assault with a weapon, theft and reckless driving.