I’ve heard other parents say, “we are always running around from school to soccer practice to music lessons. We are just glorified taxi drivers.” Well, even though our little one is too young for educational institutions and the only soccer practice he’s had thus far is kicking the ball around with me in the backyard, I did get my just do at being a daddy taxi when Automotive Rhythms was loaned the Nissan NV200. It was a fun and unusual week with big yellow. We packed up the snacks, downloaded toddler approved movies and music to the iPad, loaded up the family and headed out for the 9-hour trek from Maryland to our home state of Michigan for a long weekend trip.
The NV200 from Nissan is a real taxi with a state of the art partition and enhanced sliding doors and fold out steps. And I can’t forget to mention the sweet, traditional yellow and black paint scheme mimicking NYC taxis. Well, that’s because it’s now the city’s official taxi vehicle!
Driving on the highway was something this Nissan could handle appropriately as the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder powertrain, engineered to enhance emissions performance and fuel efficiency, fluently handled stop and go traffic from the Capital Beltway. Enabled traction control ensured safe handling while passing West Virginian and Pennsylvanian mountains as well as the flat Ohio state drive. Along the route onlookers were taking second glances at the NV200 while fellow travelers frequently asked to view inside the van commenting on how nice the taxi was. Also stated on more than a few times, “wow, this really is a taxi” with some thinking it was similar to the taxi shown on the Cash Cab show.
The NV200 has already proved true to its design of the “Taxi of Tomorrow.” The interior features were much more defined than any cab I have ever ridden in. For starters, the sliding doors with “step and grab” handles provided an easy entry and exit for passengers. The flat “no hump” passenger floor offered more comfort and the firmly designed partition with an intercom delivered desired privacy and silence from rear passenger conversations. The independently controlled rear air conditioning unit put the temperature of the cabin in the family’s hands and the transparent roof panel presented unique views of the countryside and stars from the highway at night.
When we arrived in Michigan, family and friends were surprised to see us in a taxi and wanted to hear all about the comfort and ride, to which we explained was not bad at all. But, it is a taxi and the partition has both benefits and limitations. We ended up taking a few folks for rides and showing them all the nuances. Though, in Michigan riding in a taxi is a very limited experience for most.
The mobile charging station for passengers, including a 12-volt electrical outlet and two USB ports allowed us to charge the iPad and our smartphones while Nathan played games on his Leapster. The driver controls are conveniently placed at your fingertips for a safe and reassuring driving experience. Rear storage was ample enough to store luggage for my family of three during a holiday weekend as well as that of two others who made the trip back. Safety is enhanced with roof-mounted curtain airbags and driver and front-passenger seat-mounted, side-impact supplemental airbags.
The NV200 is definitely unique. Nissan has clearly provided the “Taxi of Tomorrow” with more features and options to enhance both the driver’s and passenger’s experience separately in detail, all while presenting both with as much of the necessary safety needed for the daily chores of hauling passengers around town.