Toyota Mirai

Toyota Mirai Review: “The sedan that achieves a high-level, magnificent performance” by Yoichi Moroboshi

It goes without saying that the Toyota Mirai generates fuel from hydrogen. It is a fuel cell vehicle that obtains electrical energy, which enables it to travel. It is the world’s first fuel cell vehicle released for general customers.

My impression as I rode it was quite normal. This is a compliment. In the first place, the performance that is sought by customers is said to be more ordinary than a sedan’s. However, its usual performance has reached an excellent level. The Mirai is a fuel cell vehicle run by hydrogen; it creates electricity out of hydrogen, and then activates the motor. The Mirai is in every way the same as an electric vehicle, except that it generates electricity by itself. There is no vibration and exhaust sound at all, similar to an engine vehicle. In terms of quietness, it has an excellent performance that simply overpowers its rival vehicle.

The maximum output of the equipped motor is 154 horsepower. The maximum torque is 335Nm. The full acceleration from a stop state uses the characteristics of the motor. Therefore, it is very strong, and it can lead the traffic flow. Compared to all other vehicles around it, Mirai possesses the image of a vehicle that accelerates without a sound; this is a fairly extraordinary thing.

It is massively calm and it shows a driving performance that is very stable when cruising on the highway. Despite the body roll feeling in a high-speed cornering, the level of stability is quite high. In difficult situations such as taking a roundabout path, it firmly holds on the road then runs through. Surprisingly, the chassis performance is high and it has an impression similar to a sports sedan. There are glimpses of its profound performance, which is different from my normal impression whenever I come across this vehicle.

The test drive includes a procedure of going to a hydrogen station and actually fuelling it with hydrogen. Regarding the hydrogen fuelling, it is similar to that of a gasoline station’s full service. The station staff does everything, from plugging the hose to the filling port until pulling it out. Self-service is rather unlikely due to license-related matters. What’s interesting is that the hose can’t immediately be pulled out even if the tank is already full. The hose cannot be pulled out unless the hydrogen pressure is not lowered.

Currently, the hydrogen costs 1000 up to 1100 yen per kg. It is 1000 yen per 1kg, thus a full tank costs 4300 yen. It is possible to have 650km cruising range. It can be re-fuelled with about 33 liters of fuel, which is worth 4300 yen, because the gasoline price costs about 130 yen according to e-Nenpi. When driving 650km with 33-liter fuel, its gas mileage is the same as a 20km/liter gasoline vehicle.

The vehicle base price of the Mirai is 7.236 million yen. However, the country’s subsidy is 2 million yen. About 1 million yen of capital subsidy is issued for Tokyo. In other words, it is available for purchase at about 4.2 million yen. With this, it would seem as if anything will work out as desired, for those who want to experience riding the latest vehicles. The Mirai’s charm will increase more as the number of hydrogen stations increases.

â– 5 Star Rating
Packaging: ★★★★
Interior/Comfort: ★★★
Power Source: ★★★★★
Footwork: ★★★★
Recommendation: ★★★★

Yoichi Moroboshi | Motor Journalist

He became a freelance journalist at 23 years old after working as an editor for an automotive magazine. He has competed in races like the Fuji Freshman series in his late 20s for seven years. He does motorsports photography and works as a photojournalist. His hobby is cooking.

(Translated by Natassia Jeronne D. Martinez)