First Nissan NV200T Taxi On Duty In Manhattan

Nissan's first NV200T taxicab hits New York streets.

Nissan’s NV200T taxicab is now officially in service as a part of New York’s taxi fleet. The NV200T, which is custom-designed for New York taxi service, will be the first of many in a new generation of vehicles.

Ranjit Singh, a 12-year veteran taxicab driver, is the proud owner and operator of the first Nissan NV200T taxi serving customers in New York. Ferrying his first customer from JFK International Airport to 13th Street and 6th Avenue in Manhattan, Singh praised the vehicle’s comfort compared to previous taxicabs. At 6 feet 4 inches tall, he stressed the need to be comfortable when working ten-to-twelve hour shifts in the same vehicle.

Nissan has focused on customer comfort as well in its NV200T taxi. Offering plenty of space, sliding doors for easy exit and entry, transparent roof for city views, and USB-capable mobile charging unit, the NV200T is a modern vehicle with significant advantages over previous-gen taxis. Its 2.0-liter 135-hp four-cylinder engine and TK-speed transmission return 24 mpg, a big improvement over V-8-powered Ford Crown Victoria taxis. Although fuel-efficient hybrids like the Ford C-Max Hybrid and Toyota Prius occupy some share of modern cabs as well, these models lack the tailor-made design benefits of the Nissan NV200T.

Despite Nissan’s best efforts, however, the NV200T may not hold dominion as the sole Taxi of Tomorrow in New York. While the debut of Singh’s new yellow cab represents a definite victory for the Japanese automaker, the New York State Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this month to repudiate Nissan’s exclusive contract on future taxis means medallion owners maintain the right to select from a variety of vehicles. As hybrid technology continues to advance, offering taxi drivers even more enticing fuel-efficiency numbers, there is room for healthy competition in the Five Boroughs. Nissan has already addressed the need to develop a NV200T Taxi Hybrid, which will likely be available as a 2015 model.

Check out the photos below and watch the interview with Ranjit Singh below to get the full story from Nissan.