2017 Toyota Mirai

2017 Toyota Mirai Review

The 2017 Toyota Mirai is an electric car recharged not via a cord, but with hydrogen.
3.5 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Jason Kavanagh
Edmunds Editor
If all you knew about the 2017 Toyota Mirai is that it's propelled by an electric motor and stores its electrical energy in a battery, you'd be excused for thinking it is a conventional EV. Yet the Mirai has no electrical charging port with which to receive a charging cord. Instead, the electricity the Mirai needs is generated onboard in a fuel cell, a device that takes in hydrogen gas and outputs electricity. Water is the only byproduct. The Mirai's twist to the EV formula is that it delivers the benefits of conventional EVs without being limited by a charging cord. Refueling with hydrogen takes mere minutes, a fraction of the time required to recharge a conventional EV. On the road, the Mirai delivers 300 miles of range, putting most plug-in electric cars to shame. But don't go thinking there's a hydrogen station on every corner. Even in California, which is the only state where the Mirai is currently sold, hydrogen stations are few and far between.


what's new

For 2017, the Toyota Mirai is unchanged.

we recommend

Sales of the 2017 Toyota Mirai are restricted to California because the Golden State is the only state with a hydrogen refueling infrastructure sufficient to support a reasonable driving pattern. As a hydrogen fuel cell car, the Mirai is a laboratory on wheels. Toyota is limiting the production of Mirais to a relatively small number, so all Mirais will be equipped identically, with only one trim level and no options. It comes pretty well equipped, though. All Mirais have keyless ignition and entry, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, parking sensors, a navigation system, premium audio, eight-way power-adjustable and heated seats and a heated steering wheel. It's plenty comfortable.

The fuel cell electric powertrain develops 151 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque. In our testing, the 4,000-pound sedan accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 9.1 seconds. That's leisurely, but in real-world driving at sub-freeway speeds, the Mirai has agreeable thrust. The EPA gives the Mirai a 66 mpkg estimate. The Honda Clarity rates 67 mpkg. Read more about the Mirai's real-world fuel efficiency in our Mirai long-term test.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 Toyota Mirai four-door sedan (fuel cell hybrid; 1-speed direct drive), which is identical to the 2017 model.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall3.5 / 5.0

Driving

3.5 / 5.0

Acceleration3.5 / 5.0
Braking3.0 / 5.0
Steering3.0 / 5.0
Handling3.0 / 5.0

Comfort

4.5 / 5.0

Seat comfort4.0 / 5.0
Ride comfort4.0 / 5.0
Noise & vibration5.0 / 5.0

Interior

3.0 / 5.0

Ease of use3.0 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out4.0 / 5.0
Driving position3.0 / 5.0
Roominess4.0 / 5.0
Visibility2.5 / 5.0

Utility

2.5 / 5.0

Small-item storage2.5 / 5.0
Cargo space2.0 / 5.0

driving

edmunds rating
There's nothing wrong with the way the Mirai drives if you stay within the confines of its green-car mission. There's decent pickup off the line, and its electric propulsion system is as smooth as blended yogurt. Push it a little too hard, however, and the hard, skinny tires struggle to keep up.

acceleration

edmunds rating
There is nice pickup off the line due to the electric drivetrain's immediate torque delivery. But it never quite feels speedy, as demonstrated by its 9.1-second run from zero to 60 mph. Chalk it up to a hefty measured curb weight of 4,097 pounds.

braking

edmunds rating
We measured a typical-for-EV 130-foot 60-mph panic stop due to skinny, low-drag tires and the aforementioned weight. The brake pedal feel is quite intuitive in normal driving — until someone cuts you off and you must act fast, at which point the response gets jumpy.

steering

edmunds rating
Steering weight feels about right, neither too light nor too heavy. The Mirai generally goes where it's pointed without delay, but it lacks the feedback that lets a driver know exactly how much to turn the wheel to carve the intended path.

handling

edmunds rating
The Mirai feels coordinated and balanced in daily use, and it is easy to maneuver in tight places. But it begins to feel like a heavy and somewhat narrow car on not-very-grippy tires if you quicken the pace. Better to not be in a big hurry.

comfort

edmunds rating
Reminiscent of a last-generation Toyota Avalon, the Mirai has comfy seats and delivers a reasonably smooth ride. Most of the time it's a quiet place to pass the miles, with the exception being a few odd (and fairly unobtrusive) background noises from the fuel cell.

seat comfort

edmunds rating
Handsome front seats are nicely sculpted and offer eight-way power adjustments, but the backrest could stand to have more give. Comfy rear seats are individual buckets with a console armrest in between. All four seats have two-stage seat heaters.

ride comfort

edmunds rating
The Mirai provides a smooth but not plush ride. Drive over some rough pavement, and you'll notice busy body motion now and again. It's generally pleasing, but it could stand a little more polish.

noise & vibration

edmunds rating
The electric motor is very quiet, but the fuel cell and regenerative braking systems do generate occasional odd clicks and keening noises. Tire and wind noise is present in small amounts that will pass unnoticed by most.

interior

edmunds rating
At first, the Mirai seems as spacious as a Toyota Avalon, but it is narrower. The audio and navigation systems are fine, but the gauges and climate controls have been designed to reinforce the Mirai's futuristic image at the expense of ease of use. The fuel cell system limits trunk space, too.

ease of use

edmunds rating
The touchscreen navigation/audio system is easy to use because of volume and tune knobs and because it responds quickly to touch commands. But its touch-sensitive climate temperature sliders and Prius-like central gauges are questionable.

getting in/getting out

edmunds rating
The wide-opening doors are inviting, and it isn't necessary to duck low to climb in up front. The story is much the same for the backseat passengers, but the roof does slope down a little more back there.

driving position

edmunds rating
You'll find ample head- and legroom up front, but the cabin tends to feel a bit narrow at the hip and elbow. Rear legroom is reasonable, but headroom starts to feel tight for those taller than 6 feet, and there are only two rear seats.

roominess

edmunds rating
The slender roof pillars, low door glass and rear three-quarter windows make for good forward and side visibility. A high cowl makes it hard to see the front of the car, but at least front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera are standard.

visibility

edmunds rating
It's nicely put together, but the interior materials and general fit and finish look like the $32,000 car it would be if it had a gasoline engine, not the near $60,000 one it is because of the fuel cell hybrid-electric drivetrain.

utility

edmunds rating
Limited small item storage, an average-size trunk and no pass-through in the backseat make the Mirai better suited for moving people than stuff.

small-item storage

edmunds rating
There is no front center console storage, so you'll need to use the modestly sized glovebox and small front door pockets to store your stuff. There is a rear console box, though.

cargo space

edmunds rating
The trunk is moderately sized, but the rear seats do not fold down and there is no pass-through. What you see is all you've got.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.