Tuesday, 4 December 2007

What's outside today 33 - Mercedes E-Class taxi

Outside the main railway station in Hamburg that is. The only car I've been in over the last 24 hours was a W210 E-class estate taxi that took me from here to my hotel last night.

The W210 (the version of the E-Class built between 1995 and 2002) has always been considered a bit of a poor relation in quality terms compared with its predecessors, the W123 and the W124, but I noticed that the one I was in last night was still running well with over 400,000 km on the clock. The only area in which these cars seem to show any significant deterioration is their damping, which tends to give the impression of being a bit worn and floaty. The diesel engines always sound super-fit, and the interiors stand up well, even on the W210, it seems.

Even so, as the photo shows, other cars are making inroads into German taxi ranks these days - look at that Touran, for example. That would have been unthinkable a decade ago. Mind you, in Schwerin in eastern Germany I did see a Dacia Logan being used as a taxi earlier this year. At least things haven't slipped that far in prosperous Hamburg - yet.

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