Sunday, September 24, 2017

Latin American taxi crash tests


First of all, can anyone identify the make and model of these Medellin taxis?

I first noticed these microtaxis in Nicaragua, which had tons of them. They might have been more noticeable due to the lack of private cars on the streets (as compared with other Latin American nations).

I'll be using these quite a bit in Colombia: Cali, Medellin, Turbo, and Bogota. It would be funny to see me fit in the back of one of these with my big backpack. It would not be funny, I imagine, to be rear-ended in one of these.

I present to you: Latin American crash tests of typical taxi models.

Do they still sell these old Nissan Sentras as new cars, Ramon?


Chinese Cherys.


Not requiring frontal airbags in new cars is as anachronistic as restaurant smoking sections.


These are not the Sparks sold in America. These are teeny.


I think these Indian-made Suzukis were what I saw a lot of down there.

1 comment:

Ripituc said...

The Tsuru (as the old Sentra was known in Mexico, where it was built) is being retired this year. I read it was last built in May, but it is still on Nissan.com.mx (https://www.nissan.com.mx/tsuru/). I imagine they built enough so they have still stock. It was last sold in Chile in 2010, as more strict safety requirements were imposed. It was the best selling taxi for years though, and it just lost its crown as the most popular taxi here this year, to Nissan's Tiida. So it is still hard to avoid and I do feel a little uneasy to ride in one.

I read that other cars affected by the new regulations were the Mexican-made Corsa, that had to include thicker sidebars, and Chinese-made Hafei and Changhan Benni cars, which couldn't be sold anymore (but were eventually replaced by their newer generations).

In the Colombian photo, from left to right: Hyundai Atos, Hyundai i10, and the same two in front. I was surprised to see these mini taxis in Colombia, and took a ride in a couple in Cartagena. Their back seats are roomy. They are even used as shared taxis.

There was even a discussion in Colombia about requiring taxis to have a boot, and online I see that since 2016 only booted models can be sold as taxis: http://www.elpalpitar.com/movilidad/2015/10/a-partir-de-2016-en-colombia-solo-se-venderan-taxis-con-maletero/

But the older trunk-less models, nicknamed "bolita" (little ball) won't have to be retired.

And yes, those in the last video are Indian-made Suzukis. By the way, Suzuki makes nicer models in India now too, and even a new model sold in Japan as the Baleno, is ONLY built in India.