These Y31 Cedrics were first produced in 1987 and somehow Nissan recognized the potential in making the car as a taxi and these evolved into the YPY31 in 1991 to something of a full taxi spec vehicle with the advent of the Y32 Cedric replacement. The taxi spec YPY31 Cedrics had cheaper plastic fittings instead of wood trim and PVC seats instead of leather. The sound proofing was removed to save weight and cost, and early generation (i.e, smokey) diesel engines replaced the original large capacity petrol units. The resulting vehicles were simple to maintain and extremely reliable, but were lacking in comfort, with very high levels of NVH. Anyone who rode in one would know what I meant.
Since the end of 2006/early 2007, these older diesel YPY31 Cedrics were unable to meet the new Euro4 standards that came into effect, governing the sale of cars on the Lion City resulting in taxi operators trying out everything that they could get their hands on. We've seen Hyundai Sonata, Chrysler 300c, Fiats, Toyota Camrys, various MPVs and shoeboxes that now bear the 'taxi' sign.
Take a look at that chunky and square body.Actually, don't, as you could still see some of them everyday in downtown Singapore. Everything is still upright and square without an ounce of aerodynamic detail. This helps with the interior and boot space of course. Passengers and lots of luggage can be carried comfortably. The interior sports very traditional slider style air condition/ventilation controls. If you notice, cars nowadays use rotary knobs and fully automated buttons for the air-condition controls. These are really stuck in the 1980s. Of course, they are simple and robust, but boy, are they outdated. It has some 'wood' trim for some semblance of luxury though.
These cars are marketed by Nissan in Japan as commercial or for fleet (read, hire car/taxi) operators. And how it reaches Euro4 standards is that its 2.0liter engine is LPG powered and comes with Idling Stop & Start function, which is something very 2010 instead of 1987. The car makes 10km/ltr in the urban/extra urban mode and has a C02 emissions of around 168g/km. It achieves all of this even with an ancient 4 speed automatic transmission that must have been around since 1987 and has rear wheel drive. What is even shocking is that the engine only makes a measly 84bhp and 170Nm of torque. And this tiny amount has to lug 1470kg around (without a driver and passengers).
This lack of power to certainly due to the use of LPG as LPG is around 15% less potent than using petrol. This slight lack of power also effects fuel consumption. But since LPG is cheaper and cleaner, this somewhat offsets the power loss and fuel consumption too.
So what do you think? Would taxi operators around here be willing to take on another round of Nissan Cedric taxis in LPG form if Nissan brings this 2011 Cedric in from Japan? Or since they've gotten used to better ride, refinement and handling from newer and better equipped cars from Europe, Japan or Korea would they now shun it like the plague?
Well, the operators in Japan sure don't.