After a grueling process of elimination that has taken several years, New York has chosen Nissan's littlest and newest commercial van, the 2014 NV200, as the Taxi of Tomorrow.
The Nissan van won the honors in a process that started in 2007, when city officials set the criteria to figure out which vehicles would best serve New York's 600,000 daily taxi users. The contract, according to some reports, is probably worth about 4,000 units per year, and the van will be a welcome upgrade for those visiting the Big Apple.
For those nostalgia buffs, the ubiquitous Ford Crown Victoria will be around for quite a while, but if you find your way into one of the new Nissans, you might be surprised how much nicer and roomier the new taxis are.
“The Nissan NV200 unveiled today will be the safest, most comfortable and most convenient taxi the city has ever had,” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “New York City cabs have always been iconic, and now they will set a new standard. The 600,000 passengers who use taxis to get around every day deserve the cutting-edge technology and top-of-the-line safety features that this model delivers.”
Features of the NV200 taxi include:
2.0-liter inline-four powertrain with low emissions and strong fuel efficiency
Dual sliding doors with retractable enter/exit footstep
Large glass moonroof for greater visibility
Low-annoyance horn with synced exterior lights
Rear air-conditioning controls
Carbon-lined headliner to help neutralize bad odors
Rear mobile charging station, including a 12-volt outlet and two USB ports
Flat “no hump” passenger floor area for a more comfortable ride
Driver and passenger intercom system
Front- and rear-seat curtain airbags, and seat-mounted airbags for the front row
Lights that alert other vehicles that the taxi doors are opening
Six-way adjustable driver’s seat with recline and lumbar adjustments
Nissan has partnered with Braun Corp. to develop, engineer and produce a creative solution for a wheelchair-accessible taxi in New York. Nissan will offer a mobility solution to New York taxi companies and have that taxi go on sale in 2013.
As part of the Taxi of Tomorrow program, Nissan is working with the city and taxi owners on a pilot program to study the use of zero-emission electric taxis as well. Nissan will provide six Nissan Leafs and three Level 2 charging stations at no extra charge to taxi owners and the city to test the possible electrification of New York's taxi fleet.
The NV200 taxi will be produced in North America at Nissan’s manufacturing facility in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The MSRP of the vehicle, with all planned standard features, is expected to be about $29,700.