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Nissan's London taxi, the Combi or Evalia, cracks in Euro NCAP test

Nissan’s London taxi, the Combi or Evalia, cracks in Euro NCAP crash test Nissan Combi Taxi Nissan Combi frontal crash
Tristan Honeywill

A three-star safety rating for the Nissan Combi, (also sold as the Evalia), chosen to replace the iconic TX4 as London’s black cab, will make the van-based peoplecarrier an unpopular choice for Dad’s taxi. With the floor welding tearing open in the crash test, Euro NCAP judged the passenger compartment to be unstable in a collision.

In the Euro NCAP tests, the Nissan did quite well on pedestrian and child protection, although it’s probably more by luck than judgement. Based on the Nissan NV200, first launched in 2009, it seems unlikely that its design team back then were considering what would make for good pedestrian protection in 2013. Protection of legs and pelvis are good, but the hood is not a good place for anybody’s head to land.

Combi body cracked after crash testWith a score of 81%, the child protection in the car is pretty good too. Few parents would have a problem putting their children inside the Nissan Evalia. The fact that the car started coming apart at the seams in the crash test is far less impressive, however.

There seems to be a serious welding quality issue where the floor meets the A-pillar, an important part of the vehicle’s structure. The driver’s footwell also ruptured in the crash. None of this is good news, but I dread to think how well the old London cab would have done if Euro NCAP had crashed it at 64km/h. Probably much worse.

As a replacement for a London taxi (and the New York cab), the Nissan could be a huge improvement. However, families looking for a roomy people carrier would be better to avoid van conversions.

With the exception of the Ford Tourneo Custom, such vehicles offer notoriously poor protection. See our review of the Mercedes Citan, now the subject of a recall, to get a feel for the levels of safety in this neglected part of the new car market.

 

Buyer’s guide
  • Prices for the Nissan start at ¬£19,098
  • The Ford Custom starts at ¬£26,485. It is worth trying to find the extra budget if this type of vehicle is what your family needs

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