The redesigned 2021 Toyota Mirai seems to be and feels wildly completely different on this iteration. 

The first iteration of Toyota’s fuel-cell vehicle had extra to show and its styling mirrored that. The Mirai’s look was loud and meant to attract consideration to itself. Its funkiness grew to become a calling card. 

However for its second go-round, the Mirai feels safer in itself, extra mature. The brand new Mirai has utterly flipped from the previous method and it turns heads for a distinct motive: It’s a rattling good trying automobile, extra sedately styled and extra engaging. The traditional lengthy hood/quick decklid proportions give it a wonderful profile and I choose the extra typical entrance grille to the house invader schnoz of the outgoing automobile.

2021 Toyota Mirai - Los Angeles, CA

2021 Toyota Mirai – Los Angeles, CA

Past the makeover, the 2021 Mirai additionally strikes to a rear-wheel drive platform borrowed from Lexus and comes with enhancements to the gas cell stack, the inside, and the expertise all through. The brand new automobile is best than the previous one in just about each means, however the issue it would run into is that nearly as good as it’s, it runs into the identical exterior limitations.

Powertrain up to date

Most of the parts of the Mirai’s gas cell system have been swapped out for newer, smaller components that assist to save lots of weight and permit the automobile to be packaged extra optimally. It begins with the gas cell stack, which has been downsized by 20% and is 50% lighter. 

To maintain prices down, the Mirai reuses components from different Toyota automobiles. Its lithium-ion battery is sourced from one in all Toyota’s different hybrid programs, as is the electrical motor. 

The system nonetheless works in the identical vogue; Preliminary acceleration is began by the battery, then there’s a transition to a mixture of energy from each the gas cell and the battery, till the Mirai lastly strikes absolutely to gas cell energy at velocity. This transition occurs seamlessly to the motive force, there aren’t any bizarre shudders or hesitations because the automobile strikes from one energy supply to the opposite.

2021 Toyota Mirai - Los Angeles, CA

2021 Toyota Mirai – Los Angeles, CA

Energy output has elevated to 182 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque, that torque quantity seems to be down from the earlier technology however in line with Toyota the gearing has modified so final-drive torque is definitely elevated within the new mannequin.

On the highway, the Mirai’s acceleration feels much like the earlier automobile, which is okay. 0-60 mph occurs in a leisurely 9.2 seconds, however the Mirai has sufficient juice off the road for merging and feels strongest accelerating from round 20-45 mph. Although the preliminary reviews of the Mirai’s RWD setup may need spawned some goals of a fuel cell powered sport sedan, it isn’t that. However it does do one factor very nicely: touring.

Lexus beneath, and it exhibits

The brand new Mirai shares its rear-wheel drive GA-L platform with the flagship Lexus LS sedan and the energy of these bones is instantly obvious whenever you hop behind the wheel of the Mirai. Inside 1 / 4 mile of taking off, I went over a bumpy part of highway and thought to myself, “I’m not driving a Toyota.” 

2021 Toyota Mirai - Los Angeles, CA

2021 Toyota Mirai – Los Angeles, CA

A take a look at the structure of the Mirai exhibits how that is attainable. The three hydrogen fuel tanks follow a new layout and are tucked beneath the ground between the wheels and the battery sits behind the rear seats. All of this low-slung weight drops the Mirai’s heart of gravity and on high of that, the brand new automobile has 50:50 weight distribution. This mixture provides the automobile unimaginable stability and permits it to have a pliant suspension that absorbs bumps and different highway imperfections, with out inflicting the sedan to really feel too free. I might drive an extended, great distance in a Mirai and be completely blissful to take action.

I used to be additionally very impressed with the Mirai’s steering really feel, some extent of weak spot for a few of Toyota’s different sedans. As a substitute of feeling obscure and floaty, the steering is correct and has simply sufficient resistance to supply ample suggestions. It doesn’t fairly have sufficient sharp turn-in to really feel sporty however that’s wonderful.

The cabin can get a bit noisy. The Mirai may trip like a Lexus but it surely has wind and tire noise like a Toyota. The larger auditory annoyance comes from the factitious engine noise that’s piped into the cabin. It kicks in when driving in Regular mode and also you speed up sufficient that the Mirai’s cluster signifies you’re within the ‘PWR’ vary of eco-driving. Transfer the Mirai to Sport mode and it will get worse. The engine noise is louder and better pitched, and comes on everytime you contact the throttle in any respect. Eco mode is blessedly silent and Toyota says that the engine noise might be shut off. We’d advocate doing so the second you get into the automobile.

Down vary

The EPA estimated vary for the 2021 Mirai has made a major soar, to 402 miles for the Mirai XLE. That’s a 30% improve over the earlier mannequin’s 312 miles and Toyota says that 20% of that improve comes from added hydrogen capability, with the opposite 10% coming from enhancements to the gas cell system. There’s a giant hole between the Mirai’s trim ranges, Restricted fashions solely provide 357 miles of vary—45 miles lower than the XLE. 

2021 Toyota Mirai - Los Angeles, CA

2021 Toyota Mirai – Los Angeles, CA

After I hopped into the Mirai to start out the day, it had a full tank of hydrogen however a visit laptop estimated vary of simply 234 miles, nicely off the Restricted’s estimated vary. Toyota says that it’s because the journey laptop takes time to be taught the motive force’s model of driving to supply an correct vary estimates and the check vehicles had been principally pushed by journalists who prefer to drive extra enthusiastically, let’s say.

Up till a fill-up that passed off about two-thirds of the best way via the drive route, I lined 63.5 miles and the vary remaining in line with the pc fell by 69 miles to 165 miles remaining. I used to be driving vigorously on a winding highway (fulfilling stereotypes) for an honest portion of these miles and the journey laptop additionally reported that I averaged 43 mpge over that point, far lower than the Restricted’s estimated 65 mpge mixed ranking.

2021 Toyota Mirai - Los Angeles, CA

2021 Toyota Mirai – Los Angeles, CA

That knocked the hydrogen tanks all the way down to round 60% full and to refill them took 1.823 kg of hydrogen and price $30.16, or $16.54 per kg of hydrogen. The Mirai holds 5.6 kg of hydrogen and at that worth, it means a full tank would price nearly $90. Fortunately, Toyota is continuous its program of masking three years or $15,000 price of hydrogen refueling for lease prospects. Those that purchase a Mirai get the identical amount of cash, however six years to make use of it as an alternative of three.

2021 Toyota Mirai - Los Angeles, CA

2021 Toyota Mirai – Los Angeles, CA

Refueling instances are nonetheless a bit longer than filling up on gasoline, it took about three minutes to fill the Mirai again up at that degree. The Mirai additionally requires H70 pressures to get the Mirai to full, an H35 pump will solely get it midway. Toyota says that the entire fueling websites ought to have H70 pumps in operation, with the H35 solely out there as a backup, however keep in mind that if the H70 isn’t working, you may be strolling away with half of a tank (and half the vary).

Hen or egg?

The Mirai will still be limited in the areas it can be sold by hydrogen infrastructure, or an absence thereof usually. Because of this at launch, the Mirai will as soon as once more be a California-only automobile. 

As of this writing, there are at the moment 42 hydrogen stations with greater than 20 slated to open in 2021. A Toyota partnership with Iwatani Corporation, lately introduced, helps increase that quantity in California. Toyota says that the purpose is for there to be 69 hydrogen stations by the top of subsequent yr, with that quantity leaping as much as 150 by the 2026. 5 of the open stations are present in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island however Toyota says that isn’t sufficient to begin to promote the Mirai within the northeast and extra growth will must be achieved.

California continues to be the massive chief in hydrogen station growth, the California Vitality Fee launched $100 million of state grant funding for station growth and Toyota says it’s hoping for 150 stations statewide by 2026. However stations are solely part of the issue, as current hydrogen shortages have proven. Toyota’s plan is to promote 3,250 items in 2021, simply in California. 

Is it a price?

In a method, the Mirai has at all times been an unimaginable worth as a result of Toyota is unquestionably shedding gobs of cash on every automobile it sells—each with the expertise and the backed gas. The redesigned Mirai finally ends up being each cheaper and costlier than the previous mannequin, since it’s now supplied in two trim ranges. The XLE ($50,455) is considerably cheaper than the outgoing Mirai, undercutting its worth by $9,050, whereas the Restricted ($66,955) is far more costly. 

2021 Toyota Mirai - Los Angeles, CA

2021 Toyota Mirai – Los Angeles, CA

2021 Toyota Mirai - Los Angeles, CA

2021 Toyota Mirai – Los Angeles, CA

2021 Toyota Mirai - Los Angeles, CA

2021 Toyota Mirai – Los Angeles, CA

Toyota has but to launch lease pricing particulars on the Mirai, most likely partially due to the uncertainty surrounding the tax credit score state of affairs with fuel-cell automobiles. Leasing the earlier Mirai was a strong take care of the hydrogen gas stipend that Toyota affords and that ought to be true for each leasees and consumers alike as that cash continues.

The 2021 Mirai is actually a lot improved on this iteration, it seems to be higher, goes farther, drives higher, and Restricted fashions have a virtually Lexus-grade inside as nicely. The questions on hydrogen’s viability within the present market nonetheless stay, however so far as the {hardware} is anxious the brand new Mirai hits all of the marks.


Toyota offered a resort room, a chunk of chocolate cheesecake, and a morning jaunt within the 2021 Toyota Mirai for Web Manufacturers Automotive to deliver you this firsthand report.