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Taxi Wars #9: Nissan NV200 Taxi customized for Chicago cabbies

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Nissan NV200 Taxi Chicago Livery Press Photo

(Photo courtesy Nissan)

While I was busy admiring the Nissan NV200 taxi in my local Nissan dealer’s showroom, the automaker was preparing a version of the taxi van customized for Chicago cabbies.

The press release from Nissan said the Chicago-specific NV200 taxi shown at the Chicago Auto Show last week features more content tailored to the unique needs of metropolitan cab service than ever before. To distinguish the Chicago NV200 taxi from its yellow sisters found in other cities, Nissan used a green-and-white color scheme the automaker said is a variation on colors popularly used on taxis in the Windy City.

Nissan said it will solicit feedback from Chicagoans about what they would like to see in a cab.

Nissan Sales and Marketing, Parts and Service, U.S.A. Senior Vice President Fred Diaz said, “With great feedback from drivers, riders and media in New York, we’ve had a number of dealers across the country raise their hands to get a supply of NV200 taxis for cities such as Seattle, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and across Texas. We think Chicago is a natural fit for the premium taxi experience NV200 delivers at a competitive price.

“Nissan’s #HailYes campaign will engage Chicagoans in conversation about what’s needed for a better taxi experience in the city,” said Diaz. “The solution for an improved taxi isn’t a pipe dream; it’s already here. We’d love to see those visiting or watching coverage of the Chicago Auto Show voice their support with a #HailYes shout-out in social media for the NV200 taxi,” Diaz added.

Nissan’s release outlined many of the features I liked when I saw my first NV200 Taxi a few days ago, including easy-clean surfaces. One thing I didn’t realize about those surfaces: They’re designed to reduce odor — surely a good thing for a cab. Nissan said the leatherlike seat material also fights germs. Though I’m not sure how exactly that works, I would guess it has a lot to do with the seats being easily cleaned. Other 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, germ-fighting, durable and easy-to-clean seat fabric, simulating the look and feel of leather
  • Flat “no hump” passenger floor area for more comfortable ride
  • Roof-mounted curtain supplemental air bags for side-impact and rollover protection for all outboard occupants – the NV200 taxi is the first taxi to be crash-tested with taxi equipment installed, including the partition
  • A low-annoyance horn with exterior lights that indicate when the vehicle is honking, so the horn is used less frequently
  • Hearing Loop System for the hearing impaired
  • Driver and passenger intercom system
  • Proven 2.0L 4-cylinder powertrain, engineered to enhance the emission performance and fuel efficiency of the taxi fleet
  • 150,000-mile powertrain limited warranty
  • 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 Monitor”
  • Taxi wiring and installation provisions

The Nissan NV200 Taxi starts at a suggested mnaufacturer’s price of $29,700, according to Nissan.

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