NEW YORK – A boxy vehicle that evokes images of suburbia will define the iconic yellow cabs of this metropolis over the next decade and beyond, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday as he announced that a Nissan minivan will become the city’s taxi of choice.

The NV200 model, selected from among three finalists in a city competition, is designed so that it could be updated with an electric engine. The city is exploring the possibility of ultimately replacing its entire fleet of more than 13,000 taxis with vehicles powered by electricity.

Bloomberg conceded at a City Hall news conference that the minivan — which offers extra passenger leg room and enough trunk space for the luggage of four people — is evocative of suburbia, but he said the distinctive yellow paint job on the vehicles will still make them icons.

With features such as a panoramic overhead window that will give tourists a view of the city’s skyscrapers, and onboard outlets and charging stations that will allow the city’s professionals to treat the cabs as mobile offices, city Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky said he believed the vehicles could become as beloved as the Checker cabs of yesteryear.

The anchor of the city’s current fleet of more than 13,200 taxis is Ford’s Crown Victoria, which was recently discontinued.

The Nissan, which beat out proposals from Ford and Turkey’s Karsan, will be phased in as older taxis age out of service. All current taxis, including hybrid cabs, will be off the street by 2018.

Nissan’s vehicles would roughly double fuel efficiency from the Crown Victoria’s 12 to 13 mpg.