2021 Toyota Mirai first drive review: Like a hydrogen-powered Lexus

Take off the Toyota badges and slap a large ol’ spindle grille on its nose,

Take off the Toyota badges and slap a large ol’ spindle grille on its nose, and this 2021 Mirai sedan could absolutely pass for a Lexus. Inside of and out, the new Mirai has a level of model and refinement you wouldn’t be expecting for a mass-industry Toyota. And the Japanese automaker is hoping this high quality concentration will be enough to influence individuals to give hydrogen gas-mobile ability a test.

“Mirai” implies “long run” in Japanese, which I guess is quite proper, given the auto business adage that not only is hydrogen the gas of the long run, it generally will be. In fact, with only about fifty filling stations in California (complete with to some degree spotty dependability), hydrogen as a gas supply helps make a ton of perception on paper, but is nonetheless out of reach for most people. Even so, Toyota remains steadfast that this futuristic long run will futurize into fruition and the large investment into glowing-up the Mirai is evidence of the automaker’s determination to hydrogen on a worldwide scale.

For starters, just seem at this thing. As far as the style is anxious, the Mirai went from worst to 1st like that (snaps fingers). Styling is subjective, natch, but I am heading to quantify this updo and say the 2021 Mirai is exactly 6,243% better on the lookout than its predecessor, which was the ugliest motor vehicle on the industry. 

Structure comparisons to the Kia Stinger are not unwarranted, which is a compliment in and of itself. Dimensionally, the Mirai is about the similar sizing as a Stinger — 195.eight inches prolonged, 57.9 inches tall and seventy four.2 inches large. But unlike the Kia, the Mirai is not a hatchback the battery and just one of the hydrogen gas tanks are positioned less than and driving the rear seat. That implies you will find only 9.6 cubic ft of cargo ability — about the similar as the rear compartment of a Porsche Cayman. In other words and phrases, pack gentle, or just toss your baggage on the roomy rear seats.

Talking of which, whilst all Mirais have a 3-throughout bench in the again, the major-conclusion Confined has a massive, fold-down centre console with a touchscreen that will allow passengers to management many weather management and audio functions. You know, just like what you’d come across in a Lexus.

The Mirai has just one of Toyota’s ideal interiors.


Toyota

All round, the Mirai’s interior is good. The SofTex seats are heated and cooled for the two entrance and rear passengers, whilst the dashboard, doorway playing cards and centre console are lined with extra of this convincing faux-leather content, generating them comfortable and plush to the touch. All of the Mirai’s buttons seem and experience like they belong in a Lexus, except for the silly minor gear shifter, which appears to be and feels like it belongs in a final-generation Prius. Oh, and you will find no volume knob, which I imagined we as an auto business determined was a lousy strategy.

Every single Mirai gets a whole lot of cabin-tech, with an eight-inch digital gauge cluster and a 12.3-inch touchscreen atop the centre stack. The onboard infotainment computer software is the similar as what you may come across in Toyotas like the new Highlander SUV, with a to some degree cluttered home screen and lots of menus and submenus. Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile are typical, so you’re better off sticking with just one of individuals. Every single Mirai also will come with embedded navigation, a JBL high quality audio method, Amazon Alexa compatibility, wireless product charging and Wi-Fi.

A entire bunch of driver-help tech will come typical, too, by way of Toyota’s Safety Perception 2.five As well as suite. All Mirai versions get pre-collision braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning with steering aid, automatic substantial-beam headlights, complete-velocity adaptive cruise management, website traffic indicator recognition and just one of the most aggressive lane-centering techniques I’ve professional in a prolonged time. (I couldn’t transform it off immediately enough.)


Toyota

The Mirai’s rear-wheel-push architecture is shared with the bigger Lexus LS (amusing how that works). Which is a alter from this model’s predecessor. Even though swapping driven axles from entrance to again could appear odd for a reasonably innocuous sedan like the Mirai, Toyota suggests it investigated entrance- and all-wheel-push layouts and observed rear-push to be the ideal for packaging and efficiency. But no, the Mirai will not likely do a burnout. (I tried out. 2 times.)

Science time: 3 carbon-fiber-strengthened hydrogen tanks mail gas into a gas-mobile stack less than the hood, which mixes with oxygen to make electric power that powers a one.24-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery and synchronous electric motor. All explained to, the motor provides a highest of 182 horsepower and 221 pound-ft of torque and the only byproduct of this gas-mobile ability is drinking water, which sprays out of a tailpipe whilst you’re driving. You can also manually empty the drinking water reserve by urgent the H2O button on the dashboard to the still left of the gauge cluster. I am not certain why you’d at any time do this you when the motor vehicle will do it immediately. Then once more, whilst screening a 2019 Mirai lately, I did say to a pal, “Hey, wanna see the motor vehicle pee?” So, yeah.

The Mirai Confined gets these snazzy twenty-inch wheels.


Toyota

Toyota suggests the foundation Mirai XLE has a range of 402 miles, which represents a 30% improvement in excess of the aged motor vehicle. The greater-conclusion Confined is rated at 357 miles because of to its increased bodyweight and bigger wheels, but that’s nonetheless a awesome action up from the aged, unpleasant Mirai’s 312-mile rating. If you’d instead speak about efficiency in phrases of miles per gallon equal, the Mirai XLE gets seventy four MPGe merged whilst the Confined returns sixty five MPGe. For the sake of comparison, a 2021 Volvo S60 plug-in hybrid is rated at 69 MPGe.

The Mirai XLE weighs in at four,255 pounds, with the Confined tipping the scales at four,335. With only 182 hp and 221 lb-ft of motivational power, the Mirai is not exactly quick. Toyota estimates a 9.2-2nd -to-sixty-mph time, which sounds about right to me. Absolutely sure, you get the immediate torque shipping of an electric motor, but that’s nonetheless a entire whole lot of Mirai to go close to.

At the time it truly is up and moving, even so, the Mirai is quite excellent to push. The steering is gentle and vague (it truly is a Toyota), but the impartial entrance and rear suspensions, as perfectly as the suitable fifty:fifty bodyweight distribution, mean the Mirai is incredibly proficient on winding streets. Individuals Lexus underpinnings shine when the Mirai is just cruising on the highway, resulting in a buttery clean ride, even on my Confined tester’s upsized twenty-inch wheels with 245/45-collection tires. The cabin is super silent at all instances and that JBL seem method can easily drown out any strange gas-mobile drivetrain sound that could make its way into the cabin. I will not likely go so far as to call the Mirai sporty, even with these RWD bones, but once more, if you explained to me this was a Lexus, I might absolutely believe that you.

If you can get driving hydrogen daily life, the Mirai is a compelling sedan.


Toyota

Most likely it need to just be a Lexus, given how the 2021 Mirai is priced. With a starting MSRP of $fifty,455 including $955 for destination, the new Mirai is extra than $9,000 less costly than the aged product. But that’s nonetheless about as considerably as a new GS 350. Step up to the Mirai Confined and you’re on the lookout at $66,955. Including in chrome wheels and a extravagant paint option provides that major-conclusion MSRP to $68,five hundred.

Of course, individuals quantities do not notify the complete story. When you invest in or lease a new Mirai, Toyota will toss in as considerably as $15,000 in totally free hydrogen gas. And do not fail to remember about the $eight,000 federal tax credit score, furthermore an supplemental $four,five hundred from the point out of California. Which is a good way to make a motor vehicle like the Mirai extra available to individuals who could be on the fence about having the plunge on hydrogen daily life. And hey, if this entire gas-mobile thing doesn’t pan out like Toyota hopes it will, just shove a V6 less than the hood and call this lousy boy a Lexus.