6 Cars That Are Cheaper Than The Hilariously Expensive New London Taxi

With news breaking that London's new 'Black Cab' will cost a drink-spitting £55,599, we've compiled a cheeky shortlist of genuine - and not so genuine - alternatives for cabbies to consider

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6 Cars That Are Cheaper Than The Hilariously Expensive New London Taxi - Features

We know it’s a commercial passenger workhorse and it’s got to withstand a decade or more of abuse, but we still did a double-take when we discovered that the next-generation, hybrid-powered London Black Cab, the LEVC TX, will start at £55,599.

There’s a finance deal that charges drivers a staggering £177 per week for five years. Apparently the shonky old TX4, which used technology developed from designs sketched on cave walls, cost a frankly offensive £167 per week on the same deal. On that basis the new car isn’t that expensive given the pretty revolutionary improvements from nose to tail. Still, for what’s essentially a neatly engineered people-carrier with a meter plugged in, we think £55,699 is a bit steep. Here’s our tongue-in-cheek list of cars that are much better value…

Nissan e-NV200

6 Cars That Are Cheaper Than The Hilariously Expensive New London Taxi - Features

Let’s start with some actual, serious taxi alternatives, shall we? Nissan’s e-NV200 is fully electric so its range is shorter than the TX’s, but for a day ferrying tourists around central London it has plenty of range.

You get seven seats, a tight turning circle and a platform that can give the modern cabbie everything he or she needs, including complete congestion charge exemption even if the rules suddenly change to penalise anything that isn’t zero-emission. The price? Less than £19,500 before the cost of taxi mods.

Ford Tourneo Custom

6 Cars That Are Cheaper Than The Hilariously Expensive New London Taxi - Features

Speaking of options with many, many seats, let’s check out the Ford Tourneo Custom, a tragically unattractive and ungainly elephant of a people-carrier that evens the odds with a ridiculous amount of interior space.

With eight seats and enough remaining luggage capacity to bring home the entire whisky stand at the airport duty free shop, the Tourneo Custom was built for taxi duties. It lacks the tight turning circle mandated by the London authorities, but in top-spec trim – including VAT – it’s still only just over £41,000.

Audi Q7

6 Cars That Are Cheaper Than The Hilariously Expensive New London Taxi - Features

Now let’s start to look outside the taxi box. The Audi Q7 can ship up to seven people in luxury and comfort, it’s a lovely place to sit and looks about a million times more inviting than the new Black Cab, despite being no oil painting itself. It’s also practical with a big boot and proves to be nothing short of lovely to drive every day. It’s a bargain next to the TX, starting at £50,060 for the 3.0 TDI with 215bhp, in SE spec. Within budget you can even get the 268bhp version, or the lower-powered one in S line spec.

Mercedes-Benz GLE

6 Cars That Are Cheaper Than The Hilariously Expensive New London Taxi - Features

Also in the SUV aisle you could pick up a nice Mercedes GLE. A bog-standard GLE 250d 4Matic gives you luxuries like a reversing camera, LED headlights, a powered tailgate and push-button start. Attract passengers kerbside at night by projecting a Mercedes-Benz logo down onto the pavement. Once they’re inside, you can even make sure they are nice and comfy with the Dynamic Select driving mode selector. Does the TX have any of that? No. And the GLE starts from a mere £51,290.

BMW M2

6 Cars That Are Cheaper Than The Hilariously Expensive New London Taxi - Features

Okay, okay, we’re well outside the realms of acceptable taxi machinery now, but look how much cheaper this is! The M2, one of the hot performance cars right now, has won all sorts of plaudits since being handed over to the media, and we’re big fans as well.

Your full-fat dose of six-cylinder M Division brilliance starts at almost £10,000 less than a LEVC TX, leaving you plenty of room to add comfort-boosting options for passengers who are going to get where they’re going very quickly, if the destination is down any twisty roads. The price: from £45,750.

Porsche 718 Cayman S

6 Cars That Are Cheaper Than The Hilariously Expensive New London Taxi - Features

And finally we come to the most absurd comparison on our list. An actual Porsche, brand new and factory-fresh, is a healthy four-figure sum cheaper than the new London taxi. Let that sink in, etc. It may only have one passenger seat and we may not be in love with the 718’s 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbo engine but we’re huge fans of its chassis.

If you just wear earplugs or play loud music this is a car in which you can have the drive of your life, rather than just offering a slow drudge across town with a slightly malodorous cabbie. For the privilege of owning the 345bhp Porsche you’ll be parted from £51,853. Versus the TX that’s £3746 left over for super unleaded and tyres. Sold!