It’s very much part of the city’s fabric, New York’s Ford Crown Victoria yellow cabs are, but the iconic vehicles are being phased out, and its next generation replacement will be … a Nissan NV200.

According to reports, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that Nissan has won the Taxi of Tomorrow competition, which sought to find the next-gen NYC cab – the result means that the Japanese automaker has exclusive rights to provide the replacement for the more than 13,000 yellow taxis that work the city.

Nissan submitted a version of its NV200 for the competition. The NV200, which isn’t currently sold in the US, edged out the Ford Transit Connect and another competing entry from Karsan, a Turkish automaker.

The first Nissan NV200 cabs are slated to enter service towards the end of 2013 and will be phased in over five years as the Crown Victorias, which make up 90% of the city’s cab fleet, are slowly replaced.

The choice is already generating some controversy – large taxi fleet owners are saying they don’t want to be stuck using only one model. Meanwhile, advocates for the disabled are opposing any vehicle that isn’t wheelchair accessible, which only the Karsan entry was at the point of competition.

But while the NV200’s looks isn’t its strongest point, the vehicle – to be built in Mexico – offers plenty of room and its 2.0 litre engine will offer it good fuel efficiency, something the Crown Vic isn’t exactly famous for.