The 2021 Toyota Mirai is a gas cell electrical car (FCEV) and Toyota’s
latest flagship sedan. It gained’t price something to refuel for about three years and the solely emissions are water molecules. On high of that, it’s based mostly on the similar refined platform as the Lexus LS massive luxurious sedan. These are the appreciable upsides.
Sadly, the new Mirai is simply obtainable in California and Hawaii proper now. That’s as a result of this automobile wants hydrogen to run and most of the few refueling stations are in the Golden State, with one on the island of Oahu.
“Mirai” means “future” in Japanese, a becoming title in mild of the proven fact that hydrogen-fueled automobiles are thought-about the subsequent step in private transportation past hybrids and battery-powered vehicles. But plans to increase the provide infrastructure didn’t progress a lot in 2020. We could possibly be 2030 earlier than there’s a good community.
Even so, there are nonetheless 43 stations on the mainland. Some stretch from San Diego to Santa Barbara by the use of Los Angeles, with a cluster in the Bay Area and some in Sacramento.
At least paying for the hydrogen is taken care of for some time, since FCEV producers throw in a beneficiant quantity of free gas as a part of the deal. And refueling solely takes about 5 minutes. Compare that with a typical electrical automobile powered by rechargeable batteries.
If that is anybody’s first foray into gas cell automobiles, right here’s a fast clarification. Hydrogen (saved in pressurized tanks) is fed right into a gas cell, the place a chemical response creates electrical energy. This power is saved in a battery, which powers an electrical motor. There’s nothing to plug in. Everything occurs below the hood.
At the different finish of the gas cell’s course of, hydrogen and oxygen atoms hook up to turn into H2O, aka water, which is vented away out of the tailpipe. Driving a Mirai via a metropolis heart would really go away cleaner air in its wake.
Hydrogen could be created domestically, utilizing biofuels and/or electrolysis, including to the Mirai’s total sustainability. This new second technology of Mirai, which is a serious enchancment over the first technology, can be a effective illustration of Toyota’s sturdy dedication to gas cell expertise.
What’s new for 2021?
This is a totally contemporary technology that debuts for 2021, so just about every thing has modified. Compared with the first technology, the new Mirai is greater than 3 inches longer with a wheelbase that’s 5.5 inches longer. That brings advantages in experience high quality. It’s additionally 2.7 inches wider and a pair of.5 inches decrease. Naturally, the styling can be totally different, this time with extra of a high-class Lexus look than its considerably wacky predecessor.
Maximum vary will increase from 312 miles to 402. And though the 2021 Mirai has gained 172 kilos, total weight distribution is a perfect 50:50. And the heart of gravity is decrease, making the automobile really feel particularly steady and balanced.
The new Mirai adopts a rear-wheel-drive configuration, as opposed to the earlier mannequin’s front-drive association. Yes, which means a sportier driving really feel, however a extra sensible upside is that Toyota might match three hydrogen tanks (together with one oriented lengthwise), contributing to the superior vary.
Accommodation grows from 4 to 5, though that additional seating spot is in the center of the again seat. Trim ranges develop from one to two. Perhaps the most vital change is that the 2021 Mirai begins out considerably inexpensive than earlier than, by $9,050.
What we like
- No dangerous emissions
- Best vary for a manufacturing gas cell car
- Now extra reasonably priced than ever
- Generous normal gear
- Smooth experience
- Arguably handsome
What we don’t
- Limited availability
- Refueling stations nonetheless sparse
- Rear passenger area impacted by styling
How a lot?
$50,495 — $66,995
Keep in thoughts that California presents a Clean Vehicle Rebate up to $7,000. There are additionally federal tax credit up to $8,000. And Toyota contains $15,000-worth of hydrogen.
Fuel economic system
An AC synchronous electrical motor develops 182 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque. This goes solely to the rear wheels. The motor runs off a lithium-ion battery, which additionally shops power harvested from braking.
Using strategies adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of understanding miles per gallon equal (MPGe), the 2021 Mirai is anticipated to obtain 76 MPGe in the metropolis, 71 MPGe on the freeway, and 74 MPGe in mixed driving (XLE) or 67 MPGe metropolis/64 MPGe freeway/65 MPGe mixed (Limited).
Maximum vary is 402 miles for the XLE mannequin or 357 miles for the better-equipped Limited trim.
Standard options and choices
The 2021 Toyota Mirai FCEV is available in XLE and Limited trim ranges.
XLE ($50,495) has 19-inch alloy wheels, black exterior paint, self-leveling LED headlights, LED daytime operating lights/taillights, heated facet mirrors, energy home windows/locks, keyless entry/begin, heated/power-adjustable entrance seats (8-way for the driver, 4-way for the passenger), leather-wrapped steering wheel, black simulated leather-based upholstery, dual-zone computerized local weather management, 8-inch driver information show, selectable driving modes, self-dimming rearview mirror, common storage door opener, 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, Apple
CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, Amazon
Alexa compatibility, Wi-Fi, 4 USB ports, Bluetooth telephone/audio streaming, Destination Assist (over-the-air instructions), satellite tv for pc radio, wi-fi charging, sound system with 14 JBL audio system, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, Active Cornering Assist, and all the driver help options that make up the Toyota Safety System 2.5+ bundle (see the Safety part under).
This trim is eligible for an Advanced Technology bundle ($1,410) that brings entrance/rear parking sensors with computerized emergency braking, top-view/curb-view/360-degree digicam system, and illumination for the entrance footwells.
Limited ($66,995) comes normal with the contents of the Advanced Technology bundle, including a hard and fast dual-panel moonroof with a powered shade, rain-sensing wipers, heated/ventilated entrance and rear seats, 8-way power-adjustability and reminiscence settings for each entrance seats, power-adjustable steering column with reminiscence settings, a head-up show, tri-zone computerized local weather management, clever parking help, digital rearview mirror, ambient cabin lighting, Active Sound Control, powered rear window shade, guide rear facet window shades, and a rear touchscreen for seat warmth/air flow/local weather/rear shade/audio controls.
Limited trim can also be ordered with chrome-finished 20-inch alloy wheels ($1,120). And the choice of Hydro Blue premium paint is unique to this mannequin.
Along with the regular 3-year/36,000-mile new-car guarantee, Toyota additionally covers gas cell elements with an 8-year/100,000-mile guarantee and the battery pack for 10 years/150,000 miles.
As effectively as all the necessary security options, together with eight air baggage, the new Mirai comes with Smart Stop Technology that permits the brakes to be the overriding issue if a driver inadvertently presses each pedals at the similar time.
The Mirai can be one among the few new Toyotas to obtain the newest set of normal driver help options, identified collectively as Safety Sense 2.5+. This features a pre-collision system with computerized emergency braking, lowlight pedestrian detection, daytime bike owner detection, and intersection help. Plus lane departure alert with energetic steering help, sway warning and street edge detection, adaptive cruise management, lane-tracing help (adjusts the steering to maintain the automobile in the heart of marked lanes), street signal recognition, and computerized excessive beams.
Active Cornering Assist applies refined braking to the inside rear wheel, serving to the Mirai deal with corners as successfully as attainable. Intelligent Parking Assist is a self-parking function. And the Digital Rearview Mirror can flip between a standard mirror or present a clearer, wide-angle LCD view behind from a rear-facing digicam. It may also brighten the picture at night time or decrease glare.
Safety Connect — that includes roadside help, computerized collision notification, and stolen car location — is one other normal function.
Behind the wheel
This would possibly effectively be the first gas cell electrical car for a lot of drivers. But worry not, the studying curve is light. Press the Start button, choose D, test environment, and transfer off. The nearly eerie noise-free operation might sound odd at first, having come out of a automobile with an inside combustion engine, however drivers will quickly respect such golden silence.
The gas gauge nonetheless has slightly pump image, which means hydrogen right here as a substitute of gasoline. One new vacation spot to study is the nearest filling station.
The experience is calibrated for smoothness and refinement, though the low heart of gravity enhances the Mirai’s stability via corners. But don’t confuse this with a sport sedan.
There isn’t sufficient velocity for that, dawdling from standstill to 60 mph in 9.2 seconds. But a selected pleasure of electrical motors is that there’s all the time some torque to name upon. So the Mirai can flex some muscle even on uphill stretches.
It’s at instances like these in the Limited mannequin the place the driver would possibly turn into conscious of the Active Sound Control function really pumping some synthetic powertrain noise into the cabin. But it sounds nearly pure and definitely not obtrusive.
On downhill stretches, clicking the gear selector into the Br place engages regenerative braking. It feels loads like engine braking in an everyday automobile when it’s put right into a decrease gear. In the Mirai although, it feeds extra power into the battery. In on a regular basis use, the brakes really feel regular and supply some suggestions. Driving modes of Eco, Normal, and Sport every make a noticeable distinction.
The cabin has a high-quality vibe, reflecting the Lexus-like exterior styling. The black simulated leather-based upholstery is delicate to the contact, and even covers the dashboard and door panels — enlivened barely by grey stitching. Limited trim presents ivory stitching with copper accents. The black theme continues with piano-finish trim items.
That longitudinal hydrogen tank does create a big central tunnel. So it’s greatest to simply use the rear armrest or maintain the center rear seat for youthful and smaller relations. Not that there’s a ton of headroom for adult-size rear passengers in the outboard positions, regardless of a sculpted ceiling. And anybody over 6 ft tall can also want the entrance seats had slightly extra journey.
There’s additionally a button situation in the 2021 Mirai. Finding the one to flip off the too-eager lane-keeping help function takes some looking out. Yet the multi-function steering wheel in the Limited mannequin has at least 20 buttons. There are not any standard knobs for the infotainment system’s quantity and radio station choice, simply up/down buttons.
Final gripe for what remains to be a superb and attention-grabbing automobile. Trunk area measures 9.6 cubic ft. That’s fairly small and the rear seats are fastened. There’s nonetheless area for a few golf baggage, but it surely might have been completed slightly higher, contemplating the Mirai’s value.
Other vehicles to think about
2021 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell— Available solely on lease to California residents. This Honda’s
vary is 360 miles. High-quality inside and $15,000-worth of hydrogen is a part of the deal.
2021 Hyundai Nexo— A hydrogen-fueled compact crossover provided in California. Range is 380 miles. The Hyundai
Nexo begins at round $60,000, with $13,000-worth of gas.
2021 Tesla Model 3 — An all-electric car with rechargeable batteries. So not a direct Mirai rival, however a zero-emissions car that’s additionally obtainable in so many extra locations. Maximum vary is 353 miles and the Tesla
Model 3 begins at round $40,000. Updated for 2021.
2021 Hyundai Kona Electric — Another all-electric car, this time in subcompact crossover type and with a beginning value in the area of $38,000. Range is 258 miles. This is a good little machine and is accessible on each coasts
Although that is the Mirai’s second technology, a gas cell electrical car remains to be for early adopters as a result of the patchy hydrogen provide infrastructure definitely doesn’t make life straightforward. Potential consumers ought to make it possible for their on a regular basis actions and maybe a street journey or two will take them inside attain of a hydrogen filling station.
This story initially ran on Autotrader.com.