10 Reasons to Love the New Nissan Taxi, Behind the Wheel and In the Back Seat

Nissan Taxi
The Nissan Taxi is designed for customer comfort but was great for ferrying kids around, too


Taxiing the Kids Around In A Yellow Cab

It’s been a joke in my household (and I’m not alone!) that I’m like a taxi driver to my kids: I drop ‘em off, I pick ‘em up, they don’t tip well and often leave gross things in the back seat. So it was fun to spend time behind the wheel of the new Nissan Taxi and for a few days, be the official family cabbie.

Test driving the Nissan Taxi was not high on my priority list. But when I had the chance to drive my slightly excited and slightly mortified kids around in the Taxi for a few days, I took it. It was an eye opener, for both taxi patrons in cities lucky enough to have these in the local fleet, and for consumers considering buying a van like this: the Nissan NV 200 van is built for commercial use, but the slightly larger NV Passenger van has many seating configurations, can seat up to 12 passengers and can have a wheel chair lift or ramp installed.

Nissan Taxi Plexiglass Partition

The plexiglass partition means you can tune out backseat passengers

What Makes the New Nissan Taxi Special

Here are the ten things that make this car special for both passengers and drivers (and food for thought for taxi moms like me):

  1. The Nissan Taxi is a prize winner: It won New York City’s “Taxi of Tomorrow” competition, a contest to develop a more comfortable and customer-friendly taxi, and it was designed with the customer in mind. No more cramming your knees against the back seat of a Crown Victoria because the driver is 6’10” and has reclined his seat into the trunk space.
  2. Nissan Taxi Back Seat Features

    The back seat features include a touch screen TV, charge ports and climate control

    It has lots of great features that back seat passengers will love, including a flat screen that streams local news and becomes the credit card screen when paying for the ride. There is also a credit card slot built in to the wall, two USB ports, a charge port, an intercom and a climate control panel.

  3. It allows passengers to really see the sights. It has a sun roof and wide side windows that also open if you want a bit of fresh air.
  4. It has sliding doors to make getting in and out easy, and a passenger step to assist passengers getting into the taxi.
  5. You can ignore the people in the front or back seat: A plexiglass partition between the driver and passengers creates a feeling of privacy, but don’t worry, it’s not completely sound proof. You can put your teens in the back and then listen to every thing they say. Or, you can shut off the intercom and block them out. Your choice. (Passengers can shut off the intercom, too).
  6. It has seating for four passengers: three in the back and one in the front seat (though three in the back is tight). The front of the taxi is nicely organized with lots of space for the driver’s things so that if a passenger has to sit up front, there is plenty of room (often a problem in some taxis).
  7. Because it’s a van, with a squarish shape, it has plenty of head room, leg room and luggage room. The back, which has double doors that swing open, can even accommodate a wheel chair ramp and a passenger (in a wheel chair!). Being a van, it’s also much more comfortable to drive for hours at a time, as I learned.

    Nissan Taxi Roomy Back Seat

    The roomy passenger compartment means no cramped leg room; everyone is comfortable, even the dog

  8. It’s a small van, so it’s easy to handle, park, maneuver, it has safety features like a rear view camera and it’s pretty good on gas (about 20 MPG in the city). And the gas mileage issue will only improve as Nissan introduces electric plug-ins and more fuel efficient engines into the fleet. Nissan recently announced plug-in electric engines for a fleet of NV200 vans used by Federal Express, so hopefully, taxi fleets aren’t too far behind.

    Nissan Env 200 Van For Fed Ex

    The NV 200 van has been adapted for all electric; Fed Ex will try out the vans in a joint venture

  9. It’s easy to keep clean and smell-free. The upholstery is made from an antimicrobial material designed to reduce odors and be easy to clean. I can’t say that much for ANY car I’ve ever had, or any taxi my toddlers have ever gotten into and proceeded to touch every surface before sucking on their fingers.
  10. You’ll never feel lost, or actually be lost. It’s a myth that taxi drivers know where they are going (and maybe a myth they always take the long way?). The Nissan Taxi comes with navigation standard, and with the big screen placed squarely in the center of the dashboard you, too, can follow along to see where you are and where you’re going.

I look forward to hailing the Nissan Taxi on the streets of New York and finally, letting someone else do the driving for once.


Disclosure: Nissan provided the Taxi for our test drive, but opinions here are all my own. 

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss