BY GERRY MILES
One time, after walking through the NY Auto Show’s expansive Javits Center, I hailed a cab to the hotel uptown. A well-worn Ford Crown Victoria with the requisite thick plexiglass between the seats, the large electronic meter, vinyl bench seats and a stale smell of something spilled that was never wiped nor cleaned, the driver noted there could be 20,000 to 30,000 yellow cars canvassing the city that never sleeps.
While all are different – the first gen Honda Odysseys were popular for their room and small footprint – a new livery vehicle was pressed into service this week when Nissan’s NV200T rang up its fire fare at JFK airport.
Eight Nissan dealerships in the New York City region now have the NV200T available for purchase by New York City medallion owners. These major milestones mark the next phase in Nissan’s commitment to deliver the most innovative, custom-designed taxi experience ever to the more than 600,000 people who ride in New York City taxicabs every day.
“The Nissan NV200T demonstrates the company’s leadership in advancing global mobility through modern vehicle design and technology,” said Andy Palmer, executive vice president for Nissan Motor Company. “From its fuel-efficient powertrain, to its space-saving design and passenger-centric interior, the Nissan taxi is a prime example of innovative spirit that goes into all Nissan vehicles. We are excited to see the NV200T now carrying passengers around Manhattan, and look forward to bringing the same NV200T experience to drivers and passengers in new markets outside New York.”
Designed From the Inside Out
Designed with input from passengers and drivers alike, one of the Nissan’s most revealing elements is the transparent roof that gives riders stunning views of city sights and skyscrapers. Other new features include:
• Ample room for four passengers and their luggage, offering substantial improvements over current and recently-unveiled taxi models;
• Sliding doors with entry step and grab handles, providing easy entry and exit;
• Opening side windows;
• Independently controlled rear air conditioning;
• Active Carbon-lined headliner to help neutralize interior odors;
• Overhead reading lights for passengers and floor lighting to help locate belongings;
• Mobile charging ports for passengers, including a 12-volt electrical outlet and two USB ports;
• Breathable, antimicrobial, environment-friendly, durable and easy-to-clean seat fabric, simulating the look and feel of leather; and
• Flat “no hump” passenger floor area for more comfortable ride.
Other notable NV200T features focus on driver comfort, customer satisfaction and the environment:
- Proven 2.0L 4-cylinder powertrain, engineered to enhance the emission performance and fuel efficiency of the taxi fleet;
- 150,000 mile powertrain warranty;
- A low-annoyance horn with exterior lights that indicate when the vehicle is honking, so the horn is used less frequently;
- A 6-way adjustable driver’s seat featuring both recline and lumbar adjustments, even with a partition installed;
- Unique driver’s seat material and stitching to promote improved airflow;
- USB auxiliary audio input and charge port for driver;
- Standard navigation system with integrated rearview backup monitor;
- Hearing Loop System for the hearing impaired;
- Driver and passenger intercom system; and
- All necessary wiring and installation provisions.
In what may be an historical nod to another Nissan van that had read sliding doors, the Axxis years ago, the NV200T features dual sliders but with entry steps and grab handles to provide easy entry and exit. Sliding doors and door-opening warning lamps also lessen the risk of pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists getting struck when doors open unexpectedly. Thus, the bicycle messenger in NYC may have a chance of not getting side swiped by an opened door and exiting passenger.
The NV200T was the first New York taxi to be crash-tested with taxi equipment installed, including the partition. It features front and rear-seat occupant curtain airbags, and seat-mounted airbags for the front row along with standard traction control and Vehicle Dynamic Control.
Manufactured at the company’s assembly plant in Cuernavaca, Mexico and rigorously tested at its Arizona proving grounds, the Nissan NV200T has logged more than 155,000 miles for its Broadway debut.
The N200T carries an MSRP of $29,700.
Changing the Taxi Worldwide
Nissan’s new taxi design will make its way into international cities such as: London, Paris, Tokyo and Bangkok, to explore how the company can support delivery of custom taxi solutions – whether gasoline, hybrid, electric, handicap accessible or any other desired configuration.