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Toyota Mirai review

31 Aug 2021

Some are calling the Toyota Mirai the “car of tomorrow” and it’s not hard to see why. This futuristic release from Toyota doesn’t just look like something you’d see in the sci-fi movies but it runs a little differently too. There are plenty of zero tailpipe emissions cars that use electric motors to take us from point A to point B, such as the Tesla Model 3, but the Mirai is a fuel cell vehicle.

 
The difference between this car and its EV cousins is how the car is powered. The energy to drive its motor comes from a chemical reaction between the supply of hydrogen fuel stored in its three tanks at the back and oxygen from the air. Refuelling the Mirai is quick and only takes a matter of minutes. Unlike electric cars, there's none of the waiting around for it to charge up. The Mirai's large fuel storage capacity means it can travel further between top-ups than almost every electric car on the market right now. The main downside to driving off in a new Mirai is that there are few filling stations in the UK, so you'll need to live near one to even consider a purchase or lease.
 
Even though the Toyota hasn’t yet been confirmed for any government grants, this is still arguably our best look yet at the future of personal transport. Many hybrid and EV drivers have noticed that the biggest change from driving a petrol-fueled car to a sustainable vehicle is how it feels when it drives. With the Mirai, you still feel like you’re driving a normal car. It's very fast, comfortable and almost silent. 
 
In between fill-ups (which are very fast once you find a station), the Mirai delivers a premium experience, plenty of style, and a comfortable ride. 
 

What is a Fuel Cell Vehicle? 

To put it simply, fuel cell cars use hydrogen to generate electricity. 
 
Hydrogen-powered fuel-cell cars are a small corner among the niche of electric vehicles and hybrids. The Mirai and its rivals such as the Honda Clarity and the Hyundai Nexo are all powered by a fuel cell. Meaning that they create electricity for their onboard electric motor by producing a chemical reaction that strips the hydrogen of its electrons. 
 
“What about the waste?” you ask? Well, there is none. Water vapour is all that comes out of the Mirai's tailpipe and unlike a plug-in electric vehicle, the Mirai can be juiced with a tank of hydrogen in just a few minutes. The hydrogen fueling infrastructure is steadily improving every year and as it develops it should even do little to upset your daily routine. The future of zero-emission driving is nearly here.
 
 

What does the Toyota Mirai have to offer?

Don’t worry, we won’t spend any more time rambling about the benefits of a Hydrogen-powered car. Let’s look at the smaller details. 
 
The 2021 Mirai has had a few minor tweaks but the most noticeable change is the complete revamp in exterior design. The 2020 Mirai looked like a close relative of the Toyota Prius, while some are saying that the 2021 Mirai looks more like a Lexus. There is only one option when it comes to power output and body style but Toyota has given the Mirai packed it full of equipment in a three-tier range. 
 
The entry-level Mirai spec gets 19in alloys, cloth seat trim and JBL premium audio. If you purchase the Mid-spec Design you’ll get added synthetic leather and an extra active safety kit. At the top of the Design specs, you’ll get premium 20in wheels, natural leather, a panoramic roof, a head-up display, wireless device charging and heated rear seats.
 
Once you spend some time in the Toyota Mirai you'll notice that this car is set up for comfort rather than driving enjoyment. Starting with the steering, it’s perfectly light at low speeds and makes shuffling it into a parking space easy and pain-free. Although this is clearly no sports saloon, it does tackle corners neatly. The sheer weight of the batteries and fuel tanks does mean that the Mirai feels out of its depth when driving a bit harder and faster. Even on a UK motorway, the Mirai's urge will tail off above 60mph. 
 
“Driving it is gentle and smooth, and comfy like Sunday afternoon” - Source: Top Gear Team Car Review
 

Is the Toyota Mirai a good car? 

The Mirai is a big, luxurious car. There is no denying that, although it could use some improvements when it comes to speed, the Mirai does seem to have found its own relaxed and effortless character. The suspension is ideally set up for the sort of use the car will get and you cannot fault it on its refinement and comfort.
 
If you would like to view the latest lease deals on the Toyota Mirai then take a look at deals here

*Press Image credit: Toyota Media Site