The Cabbie is a Checker Marathon-based four-door taxicab that has appeared in the following games:
The Cabbie is based on a 1956-82 Checker Marathon taxi; it is presumably based on the '70s and '80s models, considering the games' timelines, however its single headlights are reminiscent of the 1956 Marathon.
The Cabbie is generally slower and heavier than its more modern counterpart, the Taxi. Its handling is also inferior; the vehicle is somewhat unstable under heavy cornering, and its wobbly suspension can make it prone to rolling over, especially when driving at high speeds. These factors make the Cabbie a poor choice for the taxi side-mission, where speed is critical.
Some players, however, favor its rear-wheel drive, which is more capable of powersliding in corners. Also if the player knows how to control the Cabbie, its large V8 engine can be potent in a fast getaway. The Cabbie is also more capable of off-roading than the modern Taxi. Lastly, the Cabbie is more durable and should last longer.
In Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, the Cabbie returns as the sole taxi. Its performance has been improved. Acceleration is acceptable and so is handling. These factors make the Cabbie a good car for evading police (i.e ramming police cars).
There are minor cosmetic differences between Cabbies in each game:
- In Grand Theft Auto III, the Cabbie sports a checker pattern running in a line from the front to the rear of the car.
- In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the front of the car is slightly more rounded; the wheels are closer together, and set noticeably deeper inside the wheel wells. Its stripe also consists of forward arrows, rather than the checker pattern seen in GTA III. The Cabbie also sports a different grille design, a mesh grille as opposed to a horizontal one. The Cabbie is used by Vice City Cabs, but it is not commonly seen driving around the city as the great majority of that company's vehicles are the modern versions instead, although a Cabbie may spawn in the parking lot of the Moist Palms Hotel. However the Kaufman Cab, used by a rival taxi firm, is very similar to the Cabbie albeit a different livery and some modifications, and is the most common taxi in Vice City.
- In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the Cabbie's body is smoother, and lacks checker patterns.
- In Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, the Cabbie retains the design featured in GTA III.
- In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, the Cabbie retains the design featured in GTA Vice City.
- In Grand Theft Auto IV, the Cabbie does not appear, but has been replaced by a similarly-named cab, the minivan-style Cabby.
- In Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, the Cabbie returns, and no other taxi types are present.
Players can enter Cabbies in GTA Chinatown Wars and take taxi rides to destinations.
Taxi side mission
TransFender modifications (GTA San Andreas)
- Wheels (ten types)
- Nitro (All)
- Bass Boost
- Completing the Kaufman Cabs asset in GTA Vice City unlocks the special Zebra Cab, a souped-up Cabbie.
- After completing GTA Vice City, GTA Vice City Stories and GTA San Andreas, hydraulics are unlocked for the Cabbie and the Taxi (and for GTA Vice City, the Zebra can as well); this disables the vehicles' horns.
- The Cabbie plays the following radio stations by default when entered:
- Under the "Chinatown Wars" section of the Rockstar Games Social Club website, members may download a printable papercraft model of the game's Cabbie. The vehicle's design differs in terms of detailing.
- In real life, Checker Marathons were pulled off the streets of NYC after a law established that taxis couldn't be more than five years old. The last one went out of service in New York in 1999. However, they appear in GTA III and Chinatown Wars, set in 2001 and 2009 respectively.
- In Chinatown Wars, there is a glitch that can occur in a Cabbie. If you call a Cabbie and enter it, set a route to Osama, and skip the journey, you, along with the vehicle and its driver, will spawn on Happiness Island. It is unknown why this happens. When you steal the taxi on Happiness Island you can do the Taxi Driver mission as there are fares on the island. However, there's no way out of the island in a car, so you can either quit the mission or destroy the vehicle by driving it into the water and getting out immediately after.
- In GTA LCS at Staunton Island, when you get wasted or busted, enter the cabbie and arrive at the place where the mission, you will bail out.
In many cases, Cabbies are only available as part of city traffic, and are not frequently parked is specific locations. However, at least two of the games do spawn Cabbies in set locations:
- Parked at the Mean Street Taxis depot in Trenton, Portland Island.
- Randomly parked at the Multi-storey car park in Newport, Staunton Island.
- Driven anywhere.
GTA Liberty City Stories
GTA Chinatown Wars
- One of the Triad's drug dealing areas in Cerveza Heights has a Cabbie parked there.