The hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai may well be the future of motoring. It's easy to live with serves as a longer-ranged alternative to all-electric vehicles.
If you want to live on the cutting edge of green car technology, the Toyota Mirai is the car for you. Technically, the Mirai is an electric car, but instead of storing its electricity in a big battery, the Mirai uses a hydrogen fuel cell stack to generate electricity to power its electric motor. With a full tank of hydrogen, the Mirai can travel up to 300 miles, and the only thing to come out of the tailpipe is water.
Unfortunately, if you want to drive the future, you'll need to move to California. It's the only state (so far) with a reasonable number of hydrogen fueling stations, and most stations are clustered in major cities.
Current Toyota Mirai Toyota offers the Mirai in a single trim level, which comes nicely equipped with navigation, power seats, a premium audio system, adaptive cruise control and other luxury-oriented features. As this is a very limited-production vehicle, there are no options. At the moment, the Mirai is only sold in California.
Power for the Mirai comes from a hydrogen fuel stack, which puts hydrogen fuel through an electrochemical process to develop electricity. The only byproduct of this process is water, making the Mirai an exceptionally clean vehicle from a "tailpipe" standpoint.
A 151-horsepower electric motor drives the front wheels, and it's powerful enough to accelerate the Mirai from zero to 60 mph in 9.1 seconds. That's not a terribly quick time, but in real-world driving it's certainly sufficient. Unlike a gasoline engine, the electric motor can deliver all of its rated torque no matter how fast it's rotating, so there's a nice sense of urgency when you prod the accelerator around town. At highway speeds, however, the Mirai feels more sluggish.
The overall driving experience is much like you get with a typical EV. The steering is direct and accurate, and the Mirai's narrow width makes maneuvering easy. But if you drive it hard around turns, it begins to feel like what it is: a heavy car on low-grip, eco-friendly tires.
The Mirai's interior styling reflects the out-of-this-world nature of the exterior. The seats offer plenty of head- and legroom, but the Mirai's narrow width seems to squeeze its occupants at hip level. We like the center-mounted instrument screen, and the infotainment system is reasonably straightforward, but we don't care for the touch-sensitive climate controls. The Mirai has a decent-sized trunk, but what you see is what you get. Because of the location of the hydrogen fuel tank, the back seat cannot be folded down, and there's no center pass-through.
Used Toyota Mirai Models The Toyota Mirai was introduced as a new model for the 2016 model year, and it was unchanged for 2017.