I guess we shouldn't have expected much. After all, New York City hasn't has an attractive or comfortable taxi fleet since since the Checkers were phased out in the '60s. But a minivan? A big, bulbous, boxy minvan? That's what the winner of a taxi competition is, the Nissan NV200. Even Bloomberg conceded it looked like a family car. Its selection confirms what I've always thought about our Mayor—that's he's essentially a suburban, bourgeoise type with no taste, who doesn't understand, or care for, the urban aesthetic at all. He wants Manhattan to look like New Rochelle or White Plains. A grid filled with minivans will help achieve that end, just as much as the administration's awful bus shelters, newsstands and pedestrian malls.
There are other reasons to dislike the choice, too. Nissan beat out Karsan, a Turkish company that was going to make a vehicle capable of running on an electric-only engine, and pledged to build the cars in Brooklyn. Nissan will build theirs in Mexico. (Another suspicion confirmed: Bloomberg doesn't care about the welfare of the outer boroughs, and isn't interested in any industries in New York beyond finance, construction and tourism.)
Additionally, there are already calls for an investigation of a conflict of interest in the contract-letting. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, and Assembly member Micah Kellner. A consultant in the competition, Ricardo Inc., has had past dealings with Nissan, a former client.