Saturday, October 29, 2011


Yep. You've seen it here first folks, unless you've already seen it at my flickr account. First time I've seen a Mercedes Benz S.U.V. taxi here in the city. It's not the first time actually that there's been a Benz among our yellow cabs, but the S.U.V. is a new one, and it's especially interesting since the Lexus taxi isn't approved anymore, so this might be the alternative for an owner/driver who's been driving long enough to be able to afford such a thing.
Mercedes-Benz ML-350 Bluetec NYC Taxi 2
Why? you ask: it's a clean diesel vehicle, so it doesn't burn as much gas, and it might also have cleaner emissions.

For those of you not familiar with the whole taxi model issue in New York City and North America, the Crown Victoria, our most used taxicab here will soon be unavailable. So as the months move forward from about 2 years ago up until within the end of next year, we're going to have to find the best alternative car to replace the big Ford Crown Victoria. We need a car that has a lot of trunk space, room for 5 large adults, good gas mileage, long lifespan and good reliability, cheap replacement parts and cheap repairability, and last but not least, the highest safety standards.

This is a subject that really gets me excited. You can probably figure that out if you click HERE for my photo page of almost every model of taxi on the New York Streets today!

I tried to go one further with a page of as many pictures I could find of taxicab models in New York City since the dawn of time, I start with a umm.. vehicle, that pre-dates the meter. see the history page HERE.
I set the pages up also in the tab section right at the top of the blog. The Mercedes Benz taxi from the late 90's is on that page, as are a bunch of other interesting ones.

The Year 2013:  I probably should tell you that the mayor and the Taxi and Limousine Commission has already approved one certain vehicle to be used once we hit that certain date. On that year the standard taxicab will be a Nissan NV200. I believe the only alternative vehicles allowed to be taxicabs will be vans retrofitted for wheelchair access. I find this extremely limiting. In my opinion we are going through the early stages of a mini taxi revolution right now. We're experimenting with small cars, large cars, minivans, hybrids, and diesels. We are looking into greener solutions, and wheelchair solutions. And I worry that between the year 2013 and the 5 to 8 years after, we will be stuck again with a taxicab that doesn't really address anybody's concerns. Hey at least we won't all be driving the Crown Victorias anymore, but there are major concerns that the new taxicab has no plan for wheelchair access, and it doesn't do enough to limit emissions. By the year 2020 we won't have one hybrid taxi on the streets, and perhaps every taxicab will have annoying sliding doors.

Never mind the fact that when Nissan holds a monopoly on the New York taxi industry, it means Nissan will hold all aces at the poker table when negotiating a sale of a car. What is an owner to do? they can't purchase a different car, so the taxi van could inflate its own price based on the regulated demand. Nissan estimates 1 billion dollars in profit from this deal, and maybe, you think, maybe, officials in the mayor's office and the taxi commission might have asked for a few kickbacks to put Nissan in such a good place? it'd be na├»ve not to think that. I think this van will be awesome for the most part, but I also think it'd be beneficial to keep other cars on the approved taxi list, like the Toyota Highlander, The Prius, and Camry.


Piloto Automatico said...

In Portugal, where I'm from, the majority of Taxis are diesel mercedes-benz since forever!
but I undestand your amazement at that SUV...

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading your post. I like your collection of photos of former and current NYC taxis.

Are you going to the Nissan NV200 taxi display this week?

NYC taxi photo said...

oh definitely, i'll check it out

Steve Miller said...


I'm Steve, how are you doing? Well, I know an Opel Omega and several Mercedes Benz (E Class, A Class, 190 ) by my personal Taxi experience. I can tell you they are all crap. The only cars that you can ride for the time it takes to make an income are being Fords.

I'm pretty amazed that Ford will stop the production of the Crown Victoria. Well, the only drawback that I can think of to this vehicle to be ridden life long as a Cab is being its low Sedan body style.

In Germany there was a Ford S-Max offered which I considered to be the ideal cab. Certainly, the vehicle would have to be americanized a bit, but it was the choice. I mean.

Ford as well offers a new dual clutch 6 speed automatic transmission called Ford PowerShift which does not wear. Literally it shifts when the torque is being on the respective other clutch. This is being enabled by design and can truly be working. I know the new transmission only from the Internet so far to be honest with you.

But, if I'm not mistaken the sound it makes is amazing.

Check out the S-Max.


NYC taxi photo said...

very cool, it looks much nicer too in design than the transit connect, or the nissan van from europe that we will be mandated to drive in the year 2013. only thing is, the s-max may be too small for rear legroom and entering and exiting passengers, the luggage space might be a bit small as well. but it would probably be more sensible than our ford escape taxis.

Steve Miller said...

Well, yes. Once I went to a local dealer, since I wanted to check the S-Max for its legroom.

However, the seller told me they had not one of the S-Maxes available and would not for the next couple of months. Anyone seems to buy one of them.

An other feature of the vehicle was being a slide out trunk bottom. I heard about such a gimmick for the first time when I was reading information about the S-Max. The idea was that the car would have sufficient luggage space therefore. There will be cars, like the London cabs, which I am considering to be to big actually to be cabs. It must take hours for the passengers to find the door knob and to get out of the car. I don't have my cab license at moment anyway. It expired. I will see.

What I do miss is a powered roof.

Suites at Silver Towers said...

In Europe, Mercedes is a popular brand to use for taxis. Its nice to see that the new yellow cabs will be more energy efficient. Congratulations to Nissan for getting the contract, we look forward to their presence in New York City in 2013!

properties in pune said...

I appreciate the concern which is been rose. The things need to be sorted out because it is about the individual but it can be with everyone.

Cloudia said...

we got new tall mercedes vans doing airport transfers to Waikiki lately

Aloha from Honolulu

Comfort Spiral

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Anonymous said...

You actually made NYC cabbies a tad fascinating. Hmm.

PaulTheCabDriver said...

Here in Phoenix AZ, where I own my own taxi company, one of my friends owns a company that uses exclusively Mercedes. I, myself, prefer the Crown Victorias and the Lincoln Town Cars, but those are no longer going to be made. Oh well. i shall stick with them for as long as I am able. The City of New York really needs to get rid of the whole taxi and limo commission. It just gets in the way, and hampers competition and innovation. Phoenix has no taxi and limo commission and we do just fine without one.

Cesc Sales said...

The times they are changing!!!

Dennis said...

in Germany many Taxi Driver use the Mercedes E Class with 136 or 170 HP. And very popular is the VW Touran (compact van).

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