Bush taxi

We tested the Mercedes T-model (W123) 'German taxi' by BUSCH (art.no. 46808)

das getestete Taxi auf einem Verkehrsschild, das einen Taxihaltebereich ausweist

You will find it in almost every model railway layout: a train station. And what must not be missing in an interesting station square? Correct - a taxi rank! Well, if you run the latest high speed trains on your layout, you can visit your local toy shop and pick a cab with your eyes closed - some of the currently produced model cars are also available in light ivory, the most common taxi colour on German roads. But if you want to revive the ‘good old times’ in your miniature world, you might have to take some older cabs from the model car collection you have been building up in the past decades. However, there is a severe drawback: The often less detailed vehicles look pretty antique and simple beside buildings, accessories and trains from the present high-tech production.

FrontansichtFortunately, most model car manufacturers have noticed this problem and have got some cars from past times in their product ranges which have been made according to the latest production standards. About 30 years ago, the Mercedes-Benz T-model, the estate car of the W123 range, was born, and since 2004 model makers BUSCH have been selling its miniature taxi version. Our present test report is going to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of this miniature cab the big counterpart of which had been very popular with German taxi companies all over the country.

Taking the car out of its (quite informative) package might slightly irritate impatient model car enthusiasts, as it is connected to the base plate with special fixings. On the other hand, this prevents the little taxi from rolling or even falling about in its box and thus from getting damaged.

It only takes a short glance to identify the car, and it is really a beautiful model that pleases the senses of its owner. Car experts will spot countless fine details immediately - the tiny Mercedes star on top of the grille strikes the eye and is definitely one of the highlights of the miniature cab - fantastic!

But what about its counterpart on the tail gate? It is missing, it hasn’t even been embossed in the plastic nor imitated in any other way. And then... the huge, massive taxi sign on the roof - a typical flaw the tested vehicle shares with many other model cabs. Even worse, the sign is slightly tilted and the front print is not sharp and precise at all. Apart from that, the silver roof rails are bent and the rear window shows two long, ugly scratches.

SeitenansichtAt least all the parts have been assembled properly, and plenty chrome-plated details in combination with the evenly coloured glossy body give the taxi model a premium look. We appreciate the pleasant harmony of colours; the bicoloured interior matches the light-ivory body colour perfectly well.

Of course, we have done some measurement testing, and that clearly proves that the manufacturer put a lot of effort in creating a true-to-scale model. Apart from the above-criticised taxi sign on the roof everything has been miniaturised according to 1/87 scale.

The chrome-plated exterior mirrors look marvellous, the interior mirror... well... where is it? It’s missing, just like the Mercedes star on the tail gate! We can understand that every manufacturer has to watch production costs, but it would be really interesting to find out the criteria for either reproducing tiniest details in a virtually pernickety way or completely omitting other parts which are, in our eyes, just as important.

Austerity measures must be the reason for the also missing rear fog lamp and the reversing light - both items would usually sit under the rear bumper as separate, multicoloured parts and would therefore require considerable production efforts (unlike the interior mirror). The rear lights are simply red, whereas the side indicators should be orange instead.

HeckansichtThe multicoloured lighting equipment in the front of the car, however, is another stunning accessory that gives the BUSCH taxi its impressive true-to-life look. The silver headlights, for example, sit behind clear glass, just like in reality.

Of course, you can have different opinions on how detailed a model car interior should be. Lighting conditions inside are usually so poor that you won’t see much anyway. Nevertheless, BUSCH did things in style and reproduced plenty tiny details especially on the dashboard and in the centre console. Door panels, however, will probably remain a feature found in convertible model cars only. The steering wheel, by the way, with its Mercedes-like big central impact absorber looks very realistic, and in the middle of it you can even spot the (elsewhere missing) brand’s famous star...

The car’s wheels with their multicoloured hub caps are finally the ultimate highlight of the tested model; they are a production-technical masterpiece indeed. Slim, like in reality, with high tyre walls, they let you recall an era when low profile tyres could only be found on the tuned vehicles of some wannabe racers. So it is already the wheels that make the T-model by BUSCH an eye catcher, not only in the queue at the taxi rank.

Draufsicht - auffallend der herrlich glänzende 'Lack'


Although we never found out which category of details was important to the manufacturer when designing the tested model car, the T-model ‘German taxi’ by BUSCH is a gem that will enhance any miniature station square of the 1980’s. Plenty fine details and the true-to-scale overall appearance are a mere pleasure, and some modellers will probably just produce a misty-eyed smile at the ‘drawbacks’ of the miniature cab - after all, at the time when the real car was born nobody dared to dream of the meanwhile achieved high-quality production standards...


Packaging (50) 35
Protection of the vehicle (25) 21
Unpacking the vehicle (10) 2
Information content (15) 12
Visual overall impression (350) 312
'First impression' (50) 45
Proportions / recognisability of the real vehicle (50) 48
Closeness to scale, subjective impression (40) 36
Condition / intactness of the model (30) 27
Fitting accuracy / flawless assembly (30) 26
'Look-and-feel' / subjective impression of the model quality (40) 36
Fitting accuracy / flawless assembly (30) 26
Fineness of detail (30) 27
Lights (20) 15
Wheels and tyres (20) 18
Farbharmonie (10) 8
Vehicle body (200) 173
Closeness to scale (40) 35
Wealth of detail / attention to detail (40) 35
Fineness of detail (30) 26
Colour quality of the plastic, if applicable: paintwork quality (35) 35
Quality of prints, colour and chrome applications (35) 30
Interior and exterior mirrors (20) 12
Lights (150) 122
Completeness / presence of all lights (50) 39
Attention to detail (50) 44
Closeness to reality in terms of colour (50) 39
Interior / Dashboard / Seats (100) 75
Wealth of detail / attention to detail (40) 35
Fineness of detail (40) 30
Steering wheel / handle bars (20) 16
Wheels (150) 144
Closeness to scale (50) 47
Wealth of detail / attention to detail (40) 38
Fineness of detail (40) 39
Colour quality of the rims (20) 20
Gesamtwertung: gut 861
(max. 1000)

*Find out more about the test criteria for model vehicles here.

Tested October 2006     German flag   © Volker Labitzke - www.tiny-world-BIG.com - please visit our  main page