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Is Toyota A Taxi Company?

Toyota Prius Taxi

What is the first word that comes to your mind when I say Toyota? Reliability, right? What do taxi drivers look for when buying cars that will be (ab)used with a very high running everyday? Reliability, right? Bingo! This is why most people prefer using Toyotas as taxis throughout the world and that includes India too. Toyotas are an epitome when it comes to reliability and usually require far less visits to the service centres in the span of their life when compared to their European rivals. Can you even imagine a Skoda Laura or a Superb being used as a cab in Indian conditions, especially with that troublesome DSG?

In India, you can find thousands of Innovas running on yellow plates and these cars are usually hired by tourists from other cities or countries to carry them as well as their luggage easily. The Innova can easily carry 7-8 people with decent comfort and the vehicle is excellently reliable. There are many examples wherein you will see these cars having done a couple of lakh kms and still running almost flawlessly (if serviced regularly). Not only the Innova, even the Etios is used by fleet cab operators such as Tab Cabs because even with a CNG tank fitted, there’s still enough space left in the Etios’ humongous 595-litre boot to carry the passengers’ luggage. Its younger sibling, the Etios Liva can be found being used as a private taxi in many places.

There are many many 5-star hotels over here and they want to ferry around their customers in utmost comfort so its not uncommon to find a Corolla or a Camry running on black plates. Hotel cars have a very high running almost everyday since they perform airport duties, sight-seeing for tourists, pick-up and drop-off services, etc. Heck you can even get a Prius cab in Mumbai. Even the Prado is used as a car-on-rent!

Not only in India, even in other countries there are many Toyota cabs used. London, a very beautiful city, has the iconic London Cab and Toyota had recently showcased a new hi-tech version of the London Cab. In places like Hongkong, you will find the Toyota Comfort in abundance. Indonesia also has many Toyota cabs such as the Corona, Corolla, Vios, Soluna, Crown and the Alphard. The Etios will soon perform taxi duties in Indonesia, being exported out of India. Japan has many Toyota Crowns and Comforts too. Some other countries which use Toyota taxis are the Philippines, South Africa, Taiwan and Thailand.

Toyota Innova Taxi

Toyota Innova Cab

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  • GB December 29, 2013, 9:17 am

    Nice article, Gohil. what I would also love to see on the Innova is a wider front passenger seat accompanied by a dashboard mounted gear selector like on the older Qualis. Of-course the Qualis did not feature a dashboard mounted gear selector but what it did have was an amazing park-brake handle arrangement. This lever used to be placed in such a way that unless the driver disengages the park-brake, the handle would obstruct the clutch pedal travel path. This was such a simple and novel arrangement that it inspired me to design the APF turnoff lever and generator changover lever at my factory. We aligned the levers in such a way that the operator would have to turnoff the APF before switching on the generator!

    Sadly though this arrangement in the Qualis would not allow me to engage the park-brake while on the move to stimulate a drift :’( For that I had to rely on lowering the gear and releasing the clutch. With its go-kart like structural rigidity the Qualis use to be fun this way too ;)

    The 142HP, 6th generation Innova is round the corner. I sincerely hope that it features a 3 passenger front seating arrangement.

    • Faisal Khan December 29, 2013, 11:48 am

      I am sure you won’t try drifting in an MPV!

  • GB December 29, 2013, 12:28 pm

    Excuse faisal, But its so much fun!! The Innova that I present own drifts brilliantly and so does the Force traveller cargo van that we use at our factory ;)

    • Faisal Khan December 30, 2013, 2:44 am

      But won’t a rear drive hatch drift more easily, Nano ;-)

      • GB December 30, 2013, 11:16 am

        A nano would drift brilliantly but for its neutralised power delivery tuned engine. Even the power is quite adequate for the weight. Is its engine an ECU governed one?

  • Ninu December 31, 2013, 1:10 pm

    TOYOTA is a pure business oriented company and believes in profit making, for them it does’nt matter from where the money is coming ie from personal buyers or taxi operators.


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