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Ford Crown Victoria Taxi  (Source: Wikimedia Commons / Henning 48)

Ford Transit Connect Taxi Concept

Toyota Camry Hybrid Taxi  (Source: flickr / Wai_Wah)

Nissan Altima Hybrid Taxi  (Source: Wikimedia Commons / Adam E. Moreira)
Crown Victorias which are used as taxis and police vehicles along with its Town Car cousin will end production next year

Just over three years ago, DailyTech brought you a story concerning New York's efforts to "green" its taxi fleet. The plan, according to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, was to make the city's 13,000 taxis hybrids by the year 2012.

According to the New York Times, those plans are coming closer to reality due to Ford's decision to close the Canadian plant which produces both the Crown Victoria and its more upscale relative, the Lincoln Town Car. In 2007, there were roughly 11,700 Crown Vic taxis in service within NYC. Today, that number is down to around 8,200 vehicles.

Some taxis fleets have decided to make the switch early to hybrid vehicles which explains the dwindling number of Crown Vics on the road. Traveling the streets of NYC today, you'll see Camry Hybrids (33 mpg city), Highlander Hybrids (27 mpg), Altima Hybrids (35 mpg), and Escape Hybrids (34 mpg) ferrying people from place to place. For comparison, the spacious Crown Vic gets an estimated 15 mpg in the city.

There's no question that the latest round of hybrids absolutely crushe the Crown Vic in emissions and fuel economy, but some aren't exactly thrilled with the smaller hybrid alternatives. Many point to the vast amounts of legroom, headroom, and the huge trunk in the Crown Vics as something that the newer hybrids can't match. “Literally, I can’t get in. And I would need a doctor to get out," said taxi fleet owner Kevin Healy of the Volkswagen Jetta which is also used sparingly as a taxi.

In addition, the Crown Vic is built on a heavy duty steel frame and is easily repairable, while hybrids have expensive electric motors and battery packs to take into consideration.

Although Ford will be discontinuing its Crown Vic for taxi service, the company is more than willing to get feet buyers to adopt the Escape Hybrid or the Transit Connect Van. While the Transit Connect cannot match the fuel economy of the Escape Hybrid -- it only achieves 22 mpg in the city -- it offers much more passenger/cargo room and has a high roof.

Just as the famous Checker cab had its fun in the sun only to be put out to pasture, it's now the Crown Vic's turn to pass the torch onto more fuel efficient vehicles. “These cars are a facet of people’s everyday experience,” said NYC taxi commissioner David Yassky. “Whatever takes their place will have a real and tangible influence on the city’s aesthetic.”

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good riddance
By Stacey Melissa on 6/28/2010 9:39:41 AM , Rating: 1
The platform has been in production since 1990 (in Town Car form). Kind of scary how long it has lasted. My dad has owned a 1992 Crown Vic and a 1999 Gran Marquis, both of which I've hated driving on the occasions I've had to. They were both unmanageable boats with poor build quality. And considering their overall size, the interior space wasn't all that impressive. The only remarkably good thing was the cavernous trunk.

RE: good riddance
By Reclaimer77 on 6/28/10, Rating: -1
RE: good riddance
By Reclaimer77 on 6/28/10, Rating: -1
RE: good riddance
By Anoxanmore on 6/28/2010 10:58:47 AM , Rating: 2
You'll get a 5 for it eventually, never fear.

It wasn't funny though.

RE: good riddance
By SSDMaster on 6/29/2010 8:38:56 AM , Rating: 2
It was both insulting, and funny.

RE: good riddance
By Stacey Melissa on 6/28/10, Rating: 0
RE: good riddance
By Spuke on 6/28/2010 11:45:48 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, I'm a man. "Stacey Melissa" is merely a nickname. But thanks for playing the sexist game.
Ok, I'll bite. Why would a man have the nickname "Stacey Melissa"??

RE: good riddance
By Anoxanmore on 6/28/2010 12:15:07 PM , Rating: 2
I can think of a couple of reasons, but they aren't very nice. :-/

RE: good riddance
By marvdmartian on 6/28/2010 4:06:30 PM , Rating: 2
"It puts the lotion on it's skin...." ;)

Come on, honestly, many women drivers are out there, who could barely keep a small Honda or Toyota on the road, who are now driving so much more safely in an SUV??

THEY'RE safer, at least!!

RE: good riddance
By Stacey Melissa on 6/28/2010 5:13:45 PM , Rating: 1
Why would a man have the nickname "Stacey Melissa"??

It's something that stuck from college. When I got to the dorm freshman year, I took a series of nametags from girls' doors, and put them on my door. Everyone found that amusing, so they called me Stacey. On the internets, that wouldn't be unique enough by itself, so I add the second name in the series.

RE: good riddance
By Reclaimer77 on 6/28/10, Rating: 0
RE: good riddance
By Stacey Melissa on 6/28/10, Rating: 0
RE: good riddance
By afkrotch on 6/29/2010 2:53:59 AM , Rating: 2
Stacey Melissa. Not as cool as my nick.

RE: good riddance
By SSDMaster on 6/29/2010 8:41:49 AM , Rating: 2
No dude would nick name themselves a girls name to be funny. The very idea of making up that story and then passing it off as believable is evidence that she's a gurl.

On a side note, debating gender on DailyTech.. How bored do you have to be at work? lol.

RE: good riddance
By wolrah on 6/29/2010 9:45:35 AM , Rating: 2
I prefer certain cars for their sporty handling, which I make good use of just about every day on my way to being perpetually almost late for work. The Crown Vic doesn't cut it for those trips.

You're using it wrong. The Crown Vic is one of the best vehicles to be late for work in, as long as people think you're a cop. My '93 Police Interceptor was amazing for getting through traffic in even years after the '92-97 body style was retired from real police service. They don't handle like a Miata, but if you need to get somewhere in a hurry and the route is less twisty than an autocross track they're one of the best vehicles out there.

I drive a 3 series on sticky rubber now, unquestionably outhandles the Vic by miles, but I still can't beat some of my trip records.

RE: good riddance
By wolrah on 6/29/2010 9:56:31 AM , Rating: 2
I should specify that mine was just a plain black car, not a black & white or anything that would imply "cop". People see a 'Vic in their rear view and they get out of the way.

RE: good riddance
By yomamafor1 on 6/28/10, Rating: 0
RE: good riddance
By Reclaimer77 on 6/28/10, Rating: 0
RE: good riddance
By Anoxanmore on 6/28/2010 2:40:05 PM , Rating: 2
Some of us don't like you acting like a jackass all the time Relcaimer, which is why you are the right wing version of Pirks.

RE: good riddance
By Reclaimer77 on 6/28/10, Rating: 0
RE: good riddance
By Anoxanmore on 6/28/2010 5:12:41 PM , Rating: 3
No you aren't, but you sure do take the cake at being a jackass about it.

RE: good riddance
By SSDMaster on 6/29/2010 8:42:46 AM , Rating: 2
Stop taking the high road. This is the internet. THE INTERNET.

RE: good riddance
By Anoxanmore on 6/29/2010 9:03:59 AM , Rating: 2
Some of us don't subscribe to the internet rumors or stereotypes.

May I suggest you stop hiding behind your SN? ;)

RE: good riddance
By SSDMaster on 6/29/2010 9:49:19 AM , Rating: 2
Hiding? What am I hiding from?

RE: good riddance
By chick0n on 6/29/2010 8:14:55 AM , Rating: 1
name a Chick that can drive better than a man?

oh don't bring that ugly Nascar bitch out, she can't drive for shit.

RE: good riddance
By Anoxanmore on 6/29/2010 9:04:20 AM , Rating: 2
I can.

RE: good riddance
By YashBudini on 7/3/2010 1:12:42 AM , Rating: 1
The most obnoxious arrogant drivers are all men.

RE: good riddance
By AssBall on 6/28/2010 9:58:39 AM , Rating: 2
While what you say has some truth to it, the points brought up in the article for those in favor of keeping the Crown Vics around also apply to many police fleets around the country.

In contrast to your experiences with the platform, I really used to enjoy driving my '84 Crown Vic around, and it had lots of comfortable space. The automatic transmission was the only part I had issues with the quality of.

RE: good riddance
By Stacey Melissa on 6/28/2010 11:03:14 AM , Rating: 2
My understanding is that the police cruisers came with a different suspension that wasn't so floaty. Even between my dad's two models, the handling was vastly different. The '92 Vic was bad, the '99 Gran Marquis was beyond horrible.

The 1980s Crown Vics were OK for their time, I suppose. I do remember the whiny transmission, though.

RE: good riddance
By droplets on 6/29/2010 3:08:26 PM , Rating: 2
You are right, the police interceptors have a tighter suspension and a V8 standard. I've put maybe a million miles on in them.
Overall I think they are real pieces of shit, but there are a few things I like about them. They are pretty tough in the places that count. They have enough power to supply a large electrical load. They shovel pretty good. The trunk is enormous.
If Ford made better effort for relations with police departments they could have improved Crown Vics over time, but every revision they seem to remove what I like and add something I don't like.

RE: good riddance
By chrispyski on 6/28/2010 11:17:43 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. Say what you will, I've had 2 90's era Crown Vic's and they have both been stable workhorses. Hell, the 1st one I had still ran although it had a head gasket leak, clogged catalytic converters/sensors, and I'm sure I could have ran it another 10k miles (on top of the 250k it already had).

And as stated in the article, its probably one of the easiest/cheapest 90's era cars I have ever worked on.

Although its not perfect by any means (Plastic intake manifold on some model years & sloppy steering), its hard to find a better deal when you can get a used one from police fleet auctions for under a thousand dollars that will last you 100k miles with minimal main't costs.

RE: good riddance
By EJ257 on 6/28/2010 10:23:17 AM , Rating: 2
I'm surprise this didn't happen sooner. A car that drives mostly in the city getting the heck did the cabbies managed to stay afloat during the $4/gal gas days of 2008.

RE: good riddance
By gamerk2 on 6/28/2010 11:36:06 AM , Rating: 2
They didn't. A lot of cabbies went out of business for that very reason.

By boushidosan666 on 6/28/2010 9:26:09 AM , Rating: 3
That is one ugly fuel efficient vehicle.

Plus I wonder if it can take a NY beating like a vic can

RE: Ugly
By spread on 6/28/2010 9:28:21 AM , Rating: 3
Looks like its already taken a beating.

RE: Ugly
By boushidosan666 on 6/28/10, Rating: 0
RE: Ugly
By spread on 6/28/2010 10:25:46 AM , Rating: 2
Don't ever underestimate Guidos.

In my area, the car of choice is the Chevy Cobalt.

RE: Ugly
By Mutz1243 on 6/28/2010 10:34:54 AM , Rating: 2
They aren't guidos if they are not at least driving a BMW. God damn fake wanna be guidos.....get real

RE: Ugly
By spread on 6/28/2010 6:04:28 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't the whole point of a guido that fake look?

RE: Ugly
By Lonyo on 6/28/2010 9:37:39 AM , Rating: 2
Looks like it needs another one.

RE: Ugly
By ChuckDriver on 6/28/2010 9:40:17 AM , Rating: 2
Looks like its already taken a beating.

With the ugly stick.

RE: Ugly
By Spivonious on 6/28/2010 9:44:05 AM , Rating: 2
Are you referring to the Transit? It's not the hybrid referred to in the headline.

RE: Ugly
By bruce24 on 6/28/2010 9:44:27 AM , Rating: 2
Who cares what it looks like, it's a step up as long it has some rear leg room, which the NYC taxi crown vic's don't.

One thing they have right in the UK is their taxi. It's ugly, but is easy to get in and out out and has plenty of room for 3, but can seat 5 passengers.

RE: Ugly
By hughlle on 6/28/2010 11:34:53 AM , Rating: 2
only for them to charge you the moon and the earth to use it haha. we need hong kong's taxi fares with UK taxis :)i've taken a taxi in the UK 3 times in 21 years due to what a rip off it is (what a rip off everything is, paid £4 for 25 minutes of parking earlier today..)

NYC = Highest Taxes in the nation
By sleepeeg3 on 6/28/2010 3:33:05 PM , Rating: 1
This explains it. While getting better MPG makes sense, there are better, cheaper and more environmental friendly alternatives than these hybrids.

The Nissan Versa would have been a better choice - it costs only 1/3 to 1/2 as much and gets just 3 MPG less! Taxi drivers would have to drive the hybrid Camry almost 2 million miles to make up the difference in fuel costs! Why does it cost less? ...because it takes less work and less energy to produce!

On top of that, not only do they have all the internal combustion engine parts to replace, they also have the expensive electric parts to replace, like the battery.

These liberal politicians are burying our nation with debt by manipulating your emotions. They buy expensive hybrids, because they think it will buy your vote. Wake up and vote these con-artists out.

By DominionSeraph on 6/28/2010 7:54:30 PM , Rating: 2
The Versa? No luggage room and a squeeze just to fit 3 in the back seat?
The Camry has a big trunk and and can probably fit 4 in the back. (Crown Vics can)

RE: NYC = Highest Taxes in the nation
By chick0n on 6/29/10, Rating: 0
By YashBudini on 7/3/2010 1:14:26 AM , Rating: 1
And you of course are the voice of reason and sensibility.


By Lord 666 on 6/28/2010 10:02:08 AM , Rating: 2
Been seeing more of them lately. Surprisingly, the Prius isn't as common as one would think. The hybrid I see mostly are the Escapes.

Those Batteries Ain't Clean...
By rbuszka on 6/29/2010 7:05:13 PM , Rating: 2
Great, instead of filling the world with "Smoke-Belching Crown Vic cabs! Kill them all!", we'll be filling the world with the byproducts of nickel production. Be careful what you wish might get the wrong genie out of the bottle.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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