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Nissan NV200: Nissan’s take on the London Taxi

Mon, 06 Aug 2012

Nissan is taking on the Black Cab market with the Nissan NV200 London Taxi, expected to go on sale in 2014 from around £30k.

It may not be the biggest market in the car world, but the profile of the London Taxi makes it a worthwhile target for car makers.

Mercedes recently took on the traditional Black Cab with their Vito-based taxi and did a very good job – but at a price; the Mercedes Vito Cab costs around £42k, almost £10k more than the traditional London Taxi.

But the Nissan NV200 is expected to cost less than the Black Cab when it arrives in 2014 and does, certainly on the face of it, offer London Cabbies a very viable alternative for the ageing – and very old-tech – London Taxi.

Based on the same NV200 Taxi heading in to the New York taxi world in its bright yellow livery, the London version will be specced with a traditional black paint job and fulfil all the slightly antiquated requirements of a London Taxi.

They include the ability to do a U-Turn in 25 feet – apparently to get round the wrong-way roundabout outside the Savoy Hotel in one go – and have enough headroom for a man to sit upright in his top hat.

But Nissan has gone well beyond the Victorian requirements with a cab that will cost almost half as much to run as a traditional Taxi (53.3mpg as opposed to 35.3mpg), cost less to buy and be massively cleaner.

Nissan has also added stuff like a big panoramic roof (all the better for sightseeing), more luggage space (600 litres vs 437 litres), seats that move to and fro, sliding doors for easier access and even an electric version in the planning.

Unless the Chinese owners of the London Taxi respond with a new model that matches the Nissan London Taxi, we could see the shape of London Taxis change for ever.

By Cars UK