Ever since the Public Carriage Office approved the Mercedes Vito as a licenced Hackney cab for use in London, the German-made taxi – converted from the standard Vito van – has been increasingly seen on the streets of the capital. It’s a hit with drivers as well – London cabbies have praised the large passenger cabin, fuel economy and driver comfort. What makes it such a popular choice for taxi drivers and passengers alike?
One reason is that it’s just so comfortable to drive, with an ergonomically-shaped seat that gives comfortable access to all controls and a commanding view of the street ahead. You’ll also find air conditioning, a handy cup holder and a versatile radio and CD player with MP3 compatibility.
Then there’s the power – under the bonnet you’ll find a Euro 5 CDI diesel engine built with German technological know-how for supreme performance and efficiency. Cutting edge common rail fuel injection, combined with an exhaust turbocharger, gives you exceptional power for fast acceleration while keeping in mind the fuel economy. With full independent suspension, it ensures a smooth drive across even the most uneven of streets with a full load of passengers and luggage.
It’s not only a pleasure to drive, it’s economical as well. Mercedes estimate that the average cabbie will save around £1,000 per year with the new M8. It’s also more environmentally friendly, with reduced carbon emissions – saving you money on road tax too.
Though it’s larger than TX model cabs – seating a maximum of eight passengers rather than five – the Vito doesn’t compromise on mobility and manoeuvrability. One notable feature of the Vito is the rear-wheel steering system, fulfilling the famous 25 ft turning circle requirement for Hackney cabs. A button on the steering wheel activates the rear wheel turning system, steering the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the front and enabling a surprisingly tight turn that matches the performance of other Hackney cabs.
Climb into the back of the Vito and you’ll find handsome leatherette-upholstered seats with bags of leg room and space for plenty of luggage. The new M8 features even more space – great for picking up passengers at airports and train stations. And the sturdy DuoClick wheelchair ramp makes it easy for wheelchair users to access the passenger cabin straight from the pavement through the sliding side door.
If you’re a taxi driver or office and you’re interested in picking up the Mercedes Vito as a new vehicle for your fleet, visit Cab Direct for more information or a free test drive.