Nissan's Ugly New London Super-Taxi Can't Quite Beat the Old Black Cab

By Sam Gibbs on at

The future of the London "black cab" might be packed with technology, but it's not exactly a looker. Nissan's brand new, super efficient taxi, might look like a van, but it's got the backing of cabbies and the Mayor, plus it'll help cut the smog of the big smoke too.

It looks like a van because it is a van, or at least it's based on Nissan's NV200 multipurpose compact van. But that affords customers new levels of comfort and space; that's the general idea anyway. Apparently, the current crop of black cabs use Nissan engines, so at least it's got some heritage in the taxi-space, but it's new motor is a whopping 50 per cent more efficient.

An all-electric model will also undergo testing next year, bringing London almost full circle. I have to admit it's pretty polluted in London at times, especially close to main roads with boatloads of taxis and busses piling past. Anything to cut the amount of choking crap I have to breath in during my daily commute is a good thing. I can't help but wonder, though, why couldn't they make this thing a bit more attractive? Stack this thing up against the gorgeous, classic, black cab and it's just no contest. What would you rather get into -- a London cab or a glorified mini-van?