The yellow Ford Crown Victoria taxi is so common in New York City that it’s almost an icon just like the Yankees or the Empire State Building.
As Crown Victoria production winds down, cab drivers are digging in their heels in the city’s bid to replace the big, rear drive V8 powered sedans with hybrids and other more eco-friendly cabs. So far the first generation Honda Odyssey seems to be the only other vehicle that has won praise from cab drivers, largely due to its flat floor and spacious passenger compartment.
Eco-friendly vehicles like the Toyota Prius, Nissan Altima Hybrid and Volkswagen Jetta TDI have been met with a cool reception for a variety of reasons, but interior space seems to be chief among them. One cabbie who drives a Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid told USA Today that “Some would get into the Crown Vic over this if they had a choice of the two.”
Cab drivers also don’t like the high cost of maintaining a hybrid, with one stating that “Mechanics charge an arm and a leg for them”. On the other hand, the Crown Victoria’s rugged construction and dirt cheap parts prices make it well suited for the brutality of New York Taxi duty.
Unfortunately for these stalwarts, the Crown Vic, along with the Lincoln Town Car (a vehicle so ubiquitous in the executive transport service that it has become a genericized trademark) are no longer being produced, meaning supply will likely dry up in the near future. And what is Ford planning on replacing these cars with? A smaller hybrid, of course.
[Source: USA Today]