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New York's New Taxi to Be Unveiled This Week


Vanity Fair's Brett Berk outlines the new features of the Nissan NV200, which will be NYC's taxi for the next decade, and is shown at the New York Auto Show this week:

These include a standard driver’s navigation system that will preclude ever again having to explain which numbered streets precede and follow West 17th, a panoramic glass roof for staring up at the young men on those Hollister billboards, a low-annoyance horn tuned to a frequency that’s only audible to other cabbies (or so we hope), one 12-volt and two USB charging ports so all your batteries will be as fresh as the scent inside the cabin, fuel-economy numbers that double those of the neolithic Ford, and antibacterial pleather seats...

Also baked into the compact new cab: space. And not just inside the cabin, where a flat-floored, “no hump” rear seat and lengthy wheelbase will provide ample legroom for drivers and passengers. On the streets, too: “When all of the Crown Vics are replaced with NV200s,” David Reuter, Nissan’s V.P. of global communications, told us, “there will be five acres of real estate given back to the city of New York.”

The Nissan is set to replace the Ford Crown Victoria and the other models currently on NYC streets.

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  1. I was hoping to read that the rear doors are electrically operated by the driver, as they are in Japan.

    Posted by: Oliver | Apr 2, 2012 11:36:19 AM

  2. sad they couldn't find an American vehicle.

    Posted by: Alan | Apr 2, 2012 11:37:15 AM

  3. Fugly.

    Posted by: jersey | Apr 2, 2012 11:43:02 AM

  4. "... there will be five acres of real estate given back to the city of New York"

    Fat chance, everyone knows NYC abhors a vacuum.

    Posted by: Hotter Perry | Apr 2, 2012 11:50:25 AM

  5. Uh, Perry, you do realize they meant 5 acres of interior vehicle space and not parkland, right?

    Posted by: Derek Pearce | Apr 2, 2012 12:25:48 PM

  6. Why do they need an 'official' taxi?! This is BS. I understand having standards, of course, but there's no need to micro-manage and control to this degree. It'll also obviously cost substantial $ to change over to the new 'official' cab.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 2, 2012 12:29:28 PM

  7. They make enough money off the monopoly the city has granted them so if the city wants to set an official cab so be it. If they don't like it they can sell their medallions and become gypsy cabs.

    Posted by: MD | Apr 2, 2012 12:55:01 PM

  8. Speaking of taxis and monopoly. Were you all aware that NYC taxi drivers HATE the use of credit/debit cards...contrary to the ad campaign that runs inside the taxis and on billboards around the city? It's true. There are two companies that own the credit card processing services for taxis in NYC and every taxi must subscribe to one or the other service. Those services take 5% off of every receipt (and that includes tolls, tips, etc).

    Posted by: Oliver | Apr 2, 2012 1:05:00 PM

  9. There used to be an official taxi in NYC, the Checker. I really miss the space (and the jump seats) in those vehicles. This is an attempt to bring back that standard.

    @Oliver re the credit cards, it appears that the Global Payments problem (info on 1.5 million credit cards stolen) appears to be heavily weighted towards NYC taxis. I NEVER use my credit card in a taxi.

    Posted by: Jim | Apr 2, 2012 1:15:43 PM

  10. @Alan, there was a competition bid where the Nissan beat out the Ford Transit Connect and an independent entry.

    Posted by: fhrblig | Apr 2, 2012 1:24:14 PM

  11. Wow, that is one ugly piece of crap. Sad for New York.

    Posted by: Tyler | Apr 2, 2012 1:25:05 PM

  12. @Jim,

    I remember them as a kid. They were great. I loved riding in them. Never the less, the taxi business is too convoluted, micro-managed, and expensive. Standards of cleanliness and safety should of course be rigorously enforced, but I see zero need for an 'official' cab.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 2, 2012 1:26:54 PM

  13. Wheelchair users are S.O.L. though.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Apr 2, 2012 1:31:36 PM

  14. Sigh. Wish they could make a hybrid Checker. Still the best cab there ever was. Loved those jump seats!

    Posted by: jamal49 | Apr 2, 2012 1:45:01 PM

  15. it's ssoooooo ugly...

    Posted by: intristin | Apr 2, 2012 1:59:58 PM

  16. I really don't care what the cab looks like on the outside, so long as they are actually available between 3-5 pm (that's when every cab company switches drivers), they crack down on cabs refusing to go where the customer wishes, and they stop treating loading zones as holding pens for boutique fares.

    Posted by: Tom in Lazybrook | Apr 2, 2012 2:13:04 PM

  17. Who cares if the cab is ugly or not? You're not buying it. The goal is to provide a taxi that offers abundant space for passengers and their belongings (shopping bags, luggage, strollers) - not to make you feel fashionable while you're being driven around.

    On the question of the car not being American-made, I'd like to see more info. Many "foreign" brands of vehicles are actually manufactured in the United States, providing excellent jobs, salaries, and benefits to American workers.

    I'm not familiar with the NYC medallion system, but living in Washington, DC I can tell you that having a system where anyone can apparently drive any type of vehicle (with varying degrees of cleanliness and odor) makes me envy a city where you know what you're getting when you hop into a taxi.

    Posted by: Frank | Apr 2, 2012 2:26:48 PM

  18. The ugliness of a car isn't the problem for the people in it, it's a problem for the residents of the city, where the cabs are 80% of the cars. I know it's a shallow problem. But if they're going to regulate them so tightly, they could at least make them not look like a Scion and an Odyssey made a hideous lovechild.

    Posted by: Tyler | Apr 2, 2012 2:36:07 PM

  19. Really surprised it is not a hybrid... It would have been a good opportunity. Oh well. In 10 years maybe?

    Posted by: Martin | Apr 2, 2012 3:35:00 PM


    Posted by: PKNY | Apr 2, 2012 4:30:27 PM

    -- and it looks like the Asian market car it was derived from. VERY disappointing, non USA looking styling, but the Americans did not win the compettion.
    Trusting that they will be made in Nissan's Tennessee plant, or else!(not in Japan or Mexico or Thailand)

    Posted by: Bob | Apr 2, 2012 5:52:16 PM

  22. New York should show some national pride and use American badge cars. Yes, I drive a Toyota (union made in Freemont California) , but I am an individual not a city.

    I think maybe New York has forgotten what country its in long ago. They seem to have no respect for the Second Amendment and many don't seem to have a lot of respect for the First Amendment while the cops don't have a lot of respect for the Fourth Amendment.

    The madness takes its toll.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Apr 2, 2012 7:29:34 PM

  23. I still miss the Checker cab. Crappy car but great for a taxi. I drove one when I was in grad school.

    Posted by: Bob | Apr 2, 2012 7:51:10 PM

  24. There's a special kind of meta-irony going on when members of a marginalized minority make xenophobic comments about how the most international city in the world isn't being patriotic enough. Nice...

    Posted by: Hugh | Apr 2, 2012 8:09:19 PM

  25. Hugh,

    Did they move it since I was last there? I realize patriotism must seem awfully pedestrian to someone as clearly sophisticated as yourself. Deal with it.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Apr 2, 2012 9:21:54 PM

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