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“I GO somewhere, I take a cab.” This world view of New Yorkers is about to change to “I take a Nissan.” This company’s NV200 Taxi of Tomorrow (NV, as in “Nissan Van”) has now been approved by New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission as the official NYC hack. Two other small vans took part in the competition, the Ford Transit Connect and a Brooklyn, New York-designed vehicle called the Karsan V-1.
Beginning in October 2013 and extending for a decade, any retiring cab in New York City must be replaced with an NV200 Taxi of Tomorrow. The NV200 takes the place of the Ford Crown Victoria (last produced in 2011) and the Toyota Camry in this regard.
Earlier in this decade, New York City and its taxi commission experimented with the Toyota Prius and Ford Escape Hybrid, but owner/operators argued their maintenance costs outweighed fuel savings. Also, there were shortcomings for wheelchairs.
The winning Nissan is powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine. (There’s a diesel NV200, but not for North America.) As with many other Nissan models, the taxi’s transmission is a CVT. The NV200 will be built in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and carry a MSRP of around $29,700.
The Taxi of Tomorrow also has what’s termed a “low-annoyance horn” linked to exterior lights that show when the horn is honking. Apparently these lights are supposed to reduce horn use. Now you tell one.
Early on, Nissan partnered with Braun Corp, a specialist in automotive mobility products, to ensure wheelchair compatibility. Other passenger amenities include independently controlled rear air conditioning, a mobile charging station with two USB ports, overhead reading lights and floor lighting to help locate belongings. Unlike current taxi models, there’s ample room for four passengers and their luggage. Sliding doors provide easy entry and exit.
The NV200 even has spiffs such as an Active Carbon Lined headliner, said to help neutralize interior odors, and a transparent roof panel “presenting unique views of the city.” ds