Last week, New Yorkers got a chance to hop in the new New York City yellow cab designed by Nissan that will be replacing the current fleet at the end of 2013. The new cab is packed with an updated look, a more comfortable interior, and a whole slew of exciting new features.
The new cab looks sleek and feels more comfortable
The first thing you notice about the Nissan NV200 Taxi, the official name for the new taxi, is the new look. The cabs continue to sport the iconic yellow and black checkers with a slightly larger van-like form factor.
What you’ll notice from the outside:
- The slightly larger size allows for roomier passenger and cargo areas.
- The back passenger doors slide open rather than opening wide, making it safer for bicycles to pass as passengers exit. In addition, an exterior light alerts people outside as the doors open.
- A transparent roof panel gives passengers better views of New York’s magnificent cityscape.
A great new feature that is often overlooked in other sources is the softer horn, which Nissan hopes will reduce noise pollution. To compensate for the lower volume, exterior lights will flash as the driver honks. Thank god!
New features include a cell phone charging station and more
Once inside, passengers are treated to a whole slew of fantastic new features:
- Passenger controlled rear-seat air conditioning, which automatically resets to a default temperature of 72 degrees when the passenger exits.
- Filters to control air quality, improved seating fabric, also to reduce smells and additionally make it easier to clean spills.
- Flat floor, no hump in the middle.
- Reading lights and floor lights for the passenger.
- Larger, improved touchscreen panel in the back seat.
- Braille on interior handles and more vehicles with the capacity to carry wheelchair users.
Of course, the feature that’s getting the most attention is the USB plugs and 12V electrical plugs to be used for charging mobile devices. Expect more lost items in cabs and less smooth transitions from passenger to passenger.
Despite the upgrades, the car has lower emissions
The NV200 has a fuel efficiency of 25 mpg, which is a significant improvement over the 12 mpg the Crown Vic taxis achieve. However, this is a downgrade compared to the hybrid Ford Escapes the city also already uses which achieves 34 mpg. Fortunately, Nissan does have in its plans an upgrade for the taxi to make them fully electric. A pilot program will be tested in 2012 for these fully electric cars, which also includes installing charging stations around the city.
Finally, in addition to the cab maintaining high fuel efficiency, the cab also boasts a low price tag despite the advances: $29,000.
Check out the official Nissan website “Taxi of Tomorrow” for more information.