Toyota Mirai review

Category: Electric car

Section: Performance & drive

Toyota Mirai 2021 rear right tracking
  • Toyota Mirai 2021 front left tracking
  • Toyota Mirai 2021 rear right tracking
  • Toyota Mirai 2021 interior dashboard
  • Toyota Mirai 2021 interior rear seats
  • Toyota Mirai 2021 interior infotainment
  • Toyota Mirai 2021 right tracking
  • Toyota Mirai 2021 headlight detail
  • Toyota Mirai 2021 filling pump detail
  • Toyota Mirai 2021 interior front seats
  • Toyota Mirai 2021 interior detail
  • Toyota Mirai 2021 interior driver display
  • Toyota Mirai 2021 front left tracking
  • Toyota Mirai 2021 rear right tracking
  • Toyota Mirai 2021 interior dashboard
  • Toyota Mirai 2021 interior rear seats
  • Toyota Mirai 2021 interior infotainment
  • Toyota Mirai 2021 right tracking
  • Toyota Mirai 2021 headlight detail
  • Toyota Mirai 2021 filling pump detail
  • Toyota Mirai 2021 interior front seats
  • Toyota Mirai 2021 interior detail
  • Toyota Mirai 2021 interior driver display
What Car?’s Mirai deals
New car deals
Target Price from £49,995
Swipe to see used and leasing deals

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

There’s no getting around the fact that, with a 0-62mph time of 9.0secs, the Toyota Mirai isn’t the quickest luxury car around. In fact, the 178bhp produced by its electric motor can’t even match the performance of a base 2.0-litre diesel version of the BMW 5 Series. For the price of the Mirai, there are an awful lot of faster alternatives, including the Tesla Model 3.

It's not a complete disaster, though, because the Mirai has a 1kWh battery pack to provide a boost of power to the electric motor. There’s no delay in acceleration when you want to zip into a gap on a roundabout, plus there’s enough power to overtake slower traffic on country roads.

Body lean is greater than you’d find with a 5 Series, but never to an alarming degree. Besides, grip levels are high enough that you’ll feel comfortable carrying speed through a bend (a fine thing considering the performance), although you can get the rear end to pivot around the front slightly in slower, tighter turns if you plant your foot on the accelerator after the front wheels have bitten into the apex. That brings a degree of playfulness to the Mirai that’s utterly absent from the other hydrogen car available, the Hyundai Nexo.

Refinement is sometimes harder for alternative fuel vehicles to perfect because there isn’t any engine noise to mask unwanted sounds, but the Mirai is one of the best, to the extent that you’ll hear the audible warning for pedestrians over the whirr of the air-con fan at low speeds.

You won’t find any jerky gear changes because the Mirai only has one forward gear, and there are no vibrations through the steering wheel or pedals because there’s no engine. What you will hear on the ‘engine’ side of things is a whooshing sound from the electric motor under hard acceleration. 

There's a little bit of wind noise from the door mirrors at motorway speeds, but the same can be said of the 5 Series. There’s also a bit of patter over pockmarked surfaces and a thunk from the rear suspension over nastier potholes, but that could have been exacerbated by the 20in wheels of our test car. We’ll let you know if the 19in wheels you get lower down the range are better when we've had chance to try them.

New car deals
Target Price from £49,995
Swipe to see used and leasing deals