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New Taxicab Comes to Arlington

By ARLnow.com

Thursday - 4/4/2013, 2:15pm  ET

Red Top's 2013 Ford Fusion taxicabMany police departments and taxi companies are still trying to find a suitable replacement for the venerable but discontinued Ford Crown Victoria , but Arlington’s Red Top Cab already chosen its Crown Vic successor chosen: the 2013 Ford Fusion.

Far from being a generic, workhorse fleet vehicle, the 2013 Fusion is actually a stylish car that’s setting sales records. Red Top, which has 58 older Fusion models in its fleet, says the newly-redesigned Fusion (starting MSRP: $21,900) is ideal for taxi use.

“Our 2013 Ford Fusions use aerodynamic styling and advanced engineering to provide exceptional gas mileage and a reduced carbon footprint without sacrificing comfort or safety,” the company said in its March newsletter. “Comfortable seating for five, a surprising commodious trunk, with rear seats that can fold down to accommodate items like skis, make for a very versatile taxicab.”

Red Top marketing director Von Pelot says the company has 20 new Fusions in its fleet of 350 cabs, and plans to add 30 more this year.

“We expect the Fusion to be our primary replacement vehicle for the Red Top fleet at this time,” Pelot said. He said that familiarity with Ford, an economical price, and safety were also factors when choosing a new fleet vehicle.

“The design of the 2013 also virtually eliminates ‘blind spots’ with windows strategically placed to provide almost 360 degrees of visibility,” he said. “Also, the 2013 Ford Fusion earned the highest five-star safety rating in federal crash tests, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.”

The car has been well-received by both taxi passengers and drivers.

“As a taxicab company, we have two sets of customers, our drivers — our ‘front seat customers’ — and our passengers,” he said. “We are receiving very positive reviews from the drivers who love the handling, lack of blind spots, fuel economy and really cool look of the 2013 Fusion. Our passengers like the comfort, and trunk size (those who use us for trips to the airport or shopping).”

Pelot said he’s not aware of any other local cab companies that are using the 2013 Fusion. Ford has not responded to a request for comment.