Cab, Forward: Ford Introduces Hybrid and Diesel Taxis

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

The next time you’re in a new town and decide to hail a cab instead of opening Uber or Lyft on your phone, there’s a chance you may find yourself in one of Ford’s new fleet offerings.

Two new options are now available through the Blue Oval: an EcoBlue-powered Transit Connect and a Fusion Hybrid Taxi. The latter is apparently purpose-built for livery service, and includes a few bits from the 2019 Police Responder Hybrid Sedan — news that’s sure to please Joliet Jake and Elwood Blues.

The Transit Connect Taxi, a machine that looks like a compact car which has been caught in a taffy puller, is now be available with Ford’s 1.5-liter diesel engine, marketed under the EcoBlue banner. It is targeted to return an EPA-estimated highway rating of at least 30 mpg, although official numbers are not yet available.

Beyond the usual Transit Connect features, the van comes equipped with a taxi upfit wiring harness in order to handle the extra electronics that cab companies shovel into their machines. Bill Ford himself will personally drill a roof access hole for future taxi signage for those who want it (not really, but the modification is available), and the whole works can be sprayed in School Bus Yellow paint right in the factory. Other players in this field include the Nissan NV200 Taxi.

Fleets not looking for a van can cast their eyes and purchase orders on the Fusion Hybrid Taxi. For improved durability in a livery duty cycle, the cars share parts with the Police Responder version, including heavier-duty chassis and suspension parts. Sure beats the days when taxi drivers would tool around Times Square with the hoods popped on their Crown Vics to forestall the 4.6-liter from turning into Mount Pinatubo.

The police-spec suspension actually affords the Fusion an increased ride height — perfect for clearing curbs when your fare commands a quick trip to Terminal 4 at JFK. Steel wheels with (sorta) dog dish hubcaps and an optional vinyl interior – seats and floors – will make this car a good option for beater status at the auctions in a few years. Ford predicts 38 mpg combined.

The 2019 Transit Connect Taxi and 2019 Fusion Hybrid Taxi can be ordered now. Both models will be on sale by year end.

[Images: Ford Motor Company]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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3 of 27 comments
  • Gasser Gasser on Jun 15, 2018

    I've driven the Fusion Hybrid and liked everything but the trunk. The battery steals a LOT of trunk room. This is a big problem for taxis on airport runs.

  • Brandloyalty Brandloyalty on Jun 16, 2018

    Seems to me this is a response to the Escape Hybrids aging out, since the last of them were 2012's. All the remaining Escape taxis seen on the streets of large US cities are hybrids.

    • SC5door SC5door on Jun 18, 2018

      There's quite a few standard Escapes running around Chicago that have been converted to run on CNG.

  • JOHN One is for sale on an ebay car donation site.
  • Scott So they are losing hundreds of millions of dollars and they are promising us a “Cheaper EV”? I wonder how that will look and feel? They killed the Fiesta because they claimed that they couldn’t make a profit on them and when I bought the first one in late 2010 they couldn’t deliver the accessories I wanted for it! Then I bought a 2016 Fiesta ST and again couldn’t get the accessories for it I wanted. They claimed that the components were going to be available, eventually. So they lost on that one as well! I don’t care about what they say anymore. I’ve moved on to another brand.
  • Michael S6 CX 70 or 90 will not be on my buying list. Drove a rental base CX 90 and it was noisy and the engine noise was not pleasant. Ride was rough for a family SUV. Mazda has to understand that what is good for Miata isn't what we expect in semi luxury SUV. My wife's 2012 Buick Enclave has much better Ride and noise level albeit at worse gas millage. Had difficulty pairing my phone with Apple CarPlay
  • Michael S6 What is the metric conversion between one million barrels and the number of votes he expects to buy.
  • NJRide This could give Infiniti dealers an extra product maybe make it a sub brand