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.
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.
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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.
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