If you’re traveling to New York City with your friends or a lover or just gallivanting, at some point, you won’t want to take the subway or bus. They smell, they’re crowded and they’re always delayed. This leaves you with two options. One, using your own power (hope you’re wearing comfortable shoes) or two, taking a cabbie. But don’t call it a cabbie, no one calls it a cabbie.
There are about 45 vehicles approved by the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission for use as taxis. Even though the Nissan Altima, Lexus RX450H or VW Jetta Hybrid have all been approved, don’t expect to see them when you’re hailing a cab. Only a handful vehicles have been purchased in big numbers for use as taxis. We’re talking about the Camrys and Crown Vics. Here’s a review of the NYC taxis you’re most likely to see on the roads. If you couldn’t care less about taxi cab reviews, maybe you’ll be interested in our used car reviews.
The Prius has a tight back seat, but at least you’re being nice to the environment. Only 22 cubic feet of cargo space means this is not the vehicle you want if you’re hauling a family of four to the airport.
Toyota Prius v
Like the Prius C, the V has a tight back seat. Yet, the Prius V has a big trunk with more room for luggage thanks to its extended hatchback. The Prius V is no speed demon and it’s terribly underpowered so don’t expect to get anywhere fast.
This compact SUV is one of the most popular NYC cabs. After a couple of rides squeezing into the backseat of the Escape, you’ll understand why we put a strong emphasis on compact. This cab offers about 30 inches of rear legroom thanks to the partition separating driver and occupants. Trust us, that’s a lot less than it sounds.
While the backseat is tight, for sure, the Escape sits high and is less likely to give passengers motion sickness. Plus, most of the Escape taxis are equipped with hybrid engines so you don’t have to worry too much about running out of gas while you waste away in Manhattan gridlock.
Ford Crown Victoria
Ford Motor’s Crown Vic has basically taken over for the legendary Checker Taxi as the quintessential NYC taxi. The old girl has been shuttling folks around NYC for over two decades and is known for quite a spacious interior. It has room for all of your friends, and friends of friends if the driver lets you squeeze a fourth or fifth person into the backseat.
The smooth and floaty ride can sometimes cause those in the backseat to feel intense motion sickness. And since older models have been in service for a while now, the weird smells that exist create a downward spiral for someone already suffering from motion sickness. The rear wheel drive Crown Vic is also horrible in the snow, so choose something else if the Polar Vortex is in effect.
The Camry taxi is not as spacious as you might imagine due to the partition between the driver and backseat. The fleet tends to be newer and smell better than the average Crown Vic, but ultimately this Camry taxi is not taking you anywhere in style since it doesn’t have the vintage vibe of the Crown Vic or hipster vibe of the Ford Transit (sliding doors are back, baby!).
While it looks a lot like a Prius V, the Ford C-Max has more horsepower, gets better gas mileage and has more rear legroom than both the Prius and Prius V. It does have significantly less cargo space than the Prius V, however. The C-Max totes 24.5 cu-ft of cargo capacity, the Prius V has 34.3 cu-ft.
Conclusions? If you are over 6 feet tall, environmentally conscious and you pack light, the C-Max is the taxi for you.
Sliding glass doors mean
more room for entry it’s easier for people to get inside after a long night out in the city that never sleeps. Hopefully you don’t have a long ride as the seats are not very comfortable. This isn’t ideal if you suffer from Diminished Gluteal Syndrome like Hank from King of the Hill.
Written by Sam Jackson