The Taxi is a four-door sedan-based taxi featured, in some form or other, in nearly all of the games in the Grand Theft Auto series (one exception being Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, where the Cabbie is the only taxi). Distinguishable by its yellow livery, it is often one of the most common vehicles on the road. Between GTA III and GTA Vice City Stories, the Taxi can be used to perform taxi side-missions.
GTA 1 — GTA 2
In Grand Theft Auto 1, there are three versions of the Taxi; the Liberty City version is based on the Portsmouth, the San Andreas version is based on the Vulture, and the Vice City version is based on the Flamer. The Taxi in Grand Theft Auto 2 is similar to an elongated Fiat 500 with the checkered stripe crossing the roof horizontally.
GTA III — GTA Vice City Stories
- In GTA III, the Taxi resembles a cross between a late model Chevrolet Caprice and Ford Crown Victoria. There are minor variants available, with darker bumpers, and different taxi lights.
- In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the Taxi is a Ford LTD look-alike.
- In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas the Taxi is based on the Premier, designed after the 1991-96 Chevrolet Caprice.
- The Taxi in GTA Advance has little indication of which car it is based on, but is generally more boxy in design when compared to the game's Police vehicle.
- The taxis in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories are largely identical to the GTA III and GTA Vice City renditions, respectively. The GTA Liberty City Stories rendition may appear with yellow, black or grey bumpers.
There are two different taxi sedans in Grand Theft Auto IV; one built by Declasse, based on the Merit, and the other built by Vapid, influenced strongly by the 1992–1997 Ford Crown Victoria P72, with frontal design cues more similar to a 1998–present model. It's virtually the same car as the Police Cruiser, driven by the LCPD. Vapid Taxis may have yellow, grey or black bumpers; some have rooftop advertisements for "WTF", "Conjoined Twins", "The Science Of Crime", Weazel News, and "Banging Trash Can Lids for an Hour". The Vapid taxi shares a chassis with the Police and NOOSE Cruisers; this chassis is not used in any non-fleet car. The taxi lights and rooftop advertisements can detach in collisions. Both models contain a medallion on the front hood, which is used to indicate that New York City taxis are licensed to pick up passengers; they also have a red marker on the back left.
GTA 1 — GTA 2
Early renditions of the Taxi are generally undesirable due to their mediocre performance. While differing between cities and partially based on muscle vehicles, GTA 1's taxis are generally slow, but compensate with good steering. In GTA 2 the opposite is the case, with moderate speed but sluggish controls, inferior to the Taxi Xpress. Both games' renditions have moderate crash endurance.
GTA III — GTA Vice City Stories
Although the appearance of the Taxi between GTA III and GTA Vice City Stories varies drastically, the Taxi's performance in all the games of this era may be described as all-round average. With moderate speed, moderate acceleration, light construction, moderate endurance, capable steering and stable cornering (all traits which are helpful during Taxi Driver missions), the Taxi is generally an acceptable vehicle to drive. The vehicle is also front wheel drive, reducing the chances of tailspins when cornering and allowing the vehicle to perform 180-degree turns backwards or forward with ease.
The Declasse Merit-based taxi in GTA IV is powered by a V6, coupled to a 5 speed gearbox in a RWD layout. Acceleration is very good, and the top speed is above average. The brakes have been upgraded over the regular Merit, requiring a shorter stopping distance. The suspension has also had an upgrade, making this vehicle corner more effectively at speed. Crash deformation is acceptable, and the cab can survive a few frontal hits before failing.
The Vapid Police Cruiser-based Taxi is powered by a 4.6L V8, coupled to a 5 speed gearbox in a RWD layout. Acceleration is good, and the top speed is above average. Its braking and suspension are very good, identical to that of the Police Cruiser; ABS is standard, and the suspension easily handles cornering and smooths out the bumpy roads of Liberty City. Crash deformation is good, and the vehicle can sustain multiple frontal impacts before failing.
Hailing a cab
In GTA Vice City, and every subsequent game in the GTA III Era, if the player gets Busted or Wasted during a mission, a cab outside the police station or hospital can return them to the mission's starting point.
A new feature introduced in GTA IV is the ability to hail cabs. The player can whistle for a cab, and, provided he is not wanted by the police, take a seat in the back and be driven anywhere in the city for a fee. Upon entering the Taxi, the player can use a terminal within the vehicle to direct the driver to various preset landmarks (safe-houses, mission starting locations, recreational facilities such as bowling alleys or the Helitours depot, etc); the player can also direct the driver to any way-point they set, and during some missions, the player can take a taxi to (stationary) mission markers. The taxi fare is determined by distance, and whether the player used the 'hurry' option (which allows the driver to drive aggressively and ignore road rules) or 'trip-skip' option (where the journey is omitted entirely, the game resuming as the cab pulls up at its location). If the player acts aggressively or receives a wanted level while riding in a taxi, the driver will stop the car and run away in fear.
Cabs that already have passengers won't normally stop when hailed, but if caught, they can still be used - the player will pull the passenger out of the back seat and hop in. Passengers do not retaliate, and there is no Wanted penalty or reaction from the driver.
In GTA IV, the player can get free cab rides from Roman Bellic after the player has earned his respect (Roman will call to inform the player once the service is available). Selecting "Car Services" from Roman's address-book entry in the Cell Phone will initiate a call to Roman, and he will dispatch one of his cabs to the player's location. In the beginning of the game, Roman's taxis are customized dark gray Esperantos (see Roman's Taxi), but as his fortunes rise, his company switches to using dark gray Cavalcades.
Taxi side missions
Modifications (GTA San Andreas)
The Taxi is one of only a handful of public vehicles that could be customized at a modification workshop, specially, at Transfender.
The modification options (see Transfender article for pricing) of the vehicle include:
- 1 color: For the body.
- 2 scoops: Champ and Fury.
- 2 exhausts: Medium and Twin.
- 3 types of nitrous boasts: 2x, 5x and 10x.
- 2 spoilers: Win and Alpha.
- 10 wheels: Import, Atomic, Ahab, Virtual, Access, Off Road Wheel, Mega, Grove, Twist and Wires.
- Bass boast on car stereo.
- In some of the games in the series, Taxis' radios default to certain stations. They are as follows:
- In GTA Vice City, Taxis have white spots on the windshield due to an error in applying the vehicle's reflection map.
- In GTA III and GTA Vice City, Taxis may spawn without their lights on top. In GTA IV, the taxi light can be broken off by impacts.
- Taxi drivers tend to be vengeful, exiting their vehicle and assaulting the player if he or she damages their vehicle; they may pull the player out of their own vehicles, or throw punches if they meet the player on foot. In GTA IV, they hold onto the player's car door while he or she attempts to escape, until the gaining speed forces them to let go.
- The GTA IV Taxi originally had a black variant, as seen in the Vladimir Glebov trailer.
- In GTA Vice City, a beta texture from taxi can be seen from afar.
- In GTA IV, most taxi drivers are men, however, you can usually find a woman taxi driver in Hove Beach, Broker.
- In Grand Theft Auto IV, the Vapid and Declasse Taxis have several different horns, differing in pitch with some with a high pitched, medium pitched, and lower pitched horns. The pitch determines how well and strong the horn sounds. The higher ranges usually are weak, mid-ranges usually have a somewhat over-blown or out of tune horn, while the lower pitches have healthy and loud horns. Most of the horns used can be traced back to civilian vehicles of different brands.
- A Vapid Taxi can be found parked in an alley near Manganese Street and Burlesque in Star Junction, Algonquin.
- Taxis are the the most commonly spawning vehicles in Liberty City, and are particularly common in Francis International Airport and throughout Algonquin, especially Star Junction where Taxis make up the majority of road traffic. Taxis are less common in peripheral, industrial and suburban areas of the city; notably, taxis will never spawn in Acter Industrial Park (Alderney), and during the night in South Bohan (Bohan). They are also constantly driving through the streets of Beachgate (Broker).
- London Cab, the British equivalent featured in Grand Theft Auto: London, 1969 and London, 1961.
- Taxi Xpress, another taxi featured in Grand Theft Auto 2.
- Cabbie, the older, Checker cab-style equivalent seen in the GTA III era.
- Cabby, a minivan taxi featured in Grand Theft Auto IV.