Touching down in New York City, you’re bound to have some misconceptions regarding the transport systems. Yes, NYC boasts one of the finest metro systems in the world, but even the Big Smoke suffers capital-standard delays and the subway doesn’t serve every little nook and cranny. Buses might seem the obvious option, yet if you’re unused to the ‘wrong side of the road’ drivers or indeed the bustle of metropolis, finding your way around presents a challenge of “Rat Race” proportions. Served by over 10,000 licensed drivers in the center of New York alone, it’s pretty reassuring that all you need do is raise an arm to flag one down.
When it comes to hitching a lift in style, there’s little that can beat the iconic yellow NYC taxi cab. It’s become an experience in it’s own right thanks to globally televised sitcoms “Friends” and “Sex And The City”. We hate to burst your bubble, however there’s a little more education involved if you truly want to see the Big Apple in style. For starters, you want to be sure there’s plenty of room for the Louis Vuitton, right?
The Ford Crown Victoria: Got A Need For Speed?
Strong, robust and renowned for being quick off the mark, the V8-powered Ford Crown Victoria is a familiar site in the U.S, since it doesn’t just serve the whims of taxi addicts. Back in 1996, the Ford Crown Victoria replaced the Chevrolet Caprice as the police patrolling vehicle of choice and has remained so ever since. The interior little differs from it’s taxi counterparts, which are famed for being ample in leg-room for the taller gent, as well as wide at the front-seat bridge for ease of communication. According to commercial specifications, the Ford Crown Victoria houses just over 106 cubic feet of space – inclusive of the trunk, so you can be rest assured if you haven’t packed light, there’s definitely a taxi than cope!
The 5-door Victoria saloon became an overnight hit as a Police Interceptor, largely due to it’s V8 engine and supreme brake horse power, yet also due to it’s safety specs, which in light of previous issues, were further refined after 2004. Effectively this translates (speed limits permitting) to a super-fast ride across town, with the piece of mind you are riding in one of the most durable public service vehicles around!
The Toyota Prius: New York’s Yellow Submarine!
Miffed? Don’t be. The Toyota Prius has become such a benchmark for safety, that it is often referred to as the submarine of taxi cabs – it can withstand pretty much anything. It’s definitely the kind of piece of mind you want when riding through some of the busiest streets in America, with the additional bonus of it being one of the most eco-friendly vehicles on the road. The reason? It guzzles 3/5 the amount of gas that your average Ford Victoria swallows in a year, based upon both racking up the average of 70,000 miles in trips!
There’s just one drawback to New York’s newest taxi recruit, and sadly it comes down to looks. Sure, most of you probably wouldn’t care if the taxi resembled a bubble-car hybrid, providing it ticked boxes for safety, space and comfort, but if you’re planning on rocking up to anywhere fashionable the Prius might just dash your hopes of a dignified entrance! Additionally, the Prius features less than half the trunk-room of the crowning glory Ford Victoria, so unless you’re planning on sitting on your suitcase, you might need something a little bigger in the rear department!
Honda Odyssey: The Taxi With Bus Ambition!
When the Honda Odyssey first rolled out onto the streets of NYC in 1995, many veteran drivers did a double take. Boxy, big and over 180 inches in length, it was a monster of people-carrier proportions that could pose a threat to the livelihoods of Prius owners. For the Honda Odyssey is actually a mini-van, capable of carrying up to seven passengers comfortably, while boasting an equivalent space for seven lots of luggage in the trunk!
Looks might not be it’s strong point, yet when you have a family to get across town for the opening of the Lion King matinee, nothing beats it! In terms of safety, the Odyssey is on a par with the Ford Victoria as one of the most robust public service vehicles available, with the added bonus of above-road height. With an ambient dual zone heating and cooling system, coupled with comfort synonymous with the Honda Accord cousin, the Odyssey presents the perfect family taxi for long or short trips!