If we made a list of the hardest working vehicles in the car business, the New York City taxi cab would certainly be close to the top. Three years ago, New York picked a new taxi designed just for them. The winning entry was a bit of a surprise; a taxi based on the humble Nissan NV200 cargo van. Well, Nissan’s “taxi of tomorrow” is now on the streets, including ours!
BEN DAVIS: Hey, where to sir?
PATRICK LUCAS: I’m just…oh lost my glasses there…I’m just heading down the road there, but I’m in a little bit of a hurry, though, so if you could…you know…
BEN DAVIS: Oh OK. There’s a little bit of a detour down here, so could you please put that helmet on?
PATRICK LUCAS: Uh…alright. Sure.
BEN DAVIS: You’re going to love it!
PATRICK LUCAS: Alright.
BEN DAVIS: Have you there in a jiffy, sir. Relax!
PATRICK LUCAS: I’m trying--you’re driving a little fast!
BEN DAVIS: Enjoy that coffee!
BEN DAVIS: Not much longer, sir. Almost there!
BEN DAVIS: That’ll be 75 dollars and 80 cents!
JOHN DAVIS: Yes, the 2014 Nissan NV200 Taxi is not your normal vehicle and this is not your normal MotorWeek road test.
In creating the ultimate taxi, Nissan has taken the NV200 compact cargo van and transformed it into a modern people big city mover; with attention paid to just about every detail to make the trip as pleasant as possible for both passengers and driver.
It all starts with the substantial annoyance proof interior partition, so no matter how obnoxious things are in the back seat…
GIRL: YES! I’ll send you a picture!
JOHN DAVIS: …the driver can remain calm and concentrate on doing his job safely. There is an intercom system that allows for back and forth when necessary.
If you’ve spent any time crammed in the back of a Crown Vic you’ll certainly enjoy the almost limo-like amount of space in the NV200 Taxi.
If you’re the one doing the driving, you’ll also find a much more comfortable space up front. Plus, a fold-forward passenger seat that makes for a nice work space; and standard navigation with back-up camera.
The passenger compartment is industrial strength with no gaps or small places for things to get lost in. Clean up is easy, and seats are made with hospital-grade anti-microbial material, and fares can control their own climate. There a big video screen and even USB ports for charging your devices.
Sliding doors open wide and stay out of traffic for safe, easy access; a slide out entry step helps as well. While the van’s side windows don’t roll down, Nissan added some handy sliders there for extreme party relief. Plus, with the transparent roof, passengers can soak up the city skyline.
Luggage space is plentiful, with minimal wheel hump intrusion and a low load floor.
Engine is the same 131-horsepower 2.0-liter I4 found in all NV200’s, but both it and the CVT transmission get slightly beefed up internals to handle the anticipated daily abuse they will surely be subjected to.
The most abuse we were able to subject it to, was a day at our test track. Acceleration is slow and steady, with a 0-60 trip taking 12.6-seconds. If your next fare is a ¼-mile away, it’ll take you at least 19.3-seconds to reach them; and you’ll be travelling 73 miles-per-hour as you pass them by. Slamming on the brakes will have you coming to a halt in an average of 131-feet from 60.
As for the visual aspect, what other color would it be for New York City except yellow? The painting is done with a 1-step process with no clear coat that makes for easier touch ups.
Clearly understood vacancy lights are in place up top, and 911 lights can be triggered by a dash mounted button if there is an emergency situation.
So, if you’re thinking of adding one to your fleet, pricing starts at $29,700, and includes a 150,000 mile powertrain warranty.
Not since the Checker cabs of the 1950’s has a car been developed specifically to meet the needs of an American big city taxi. Well, the 2014 Nissan NV200 Taxi carries on that tradition. While not every cab operator in New York City likes the Nissan taxi, as both rider and driver we were very impressed. So, whether it’s in the “Big Apple” or elsewhere, it will surely have a lot of folks riding in New York style.
Engine: 2.0-liter I4
Torque: 139 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 12.6 seconds
1/4 mile: 19.3 seconds @ 73 mph