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Toyota Mirai Review

If you live in California or Oahu, Hawaii and want to skip $4 a gallon gas prices or long charge times for EVs, check out the 2019 Toyota Mirai. The Mirai is a fuel cell vehicle, which means it runs on hydrogen. Its only emission is water, and it has a longer driving range than many electric vehicles. Here’s the catch: Hydrogen fueling stations are sparse and only in California and Hawaii, which is a reason the Mirai is only sold there.

Toyota Mirai pricing and trims

Still in its first generation, the Mirai has had no major changes since its debut in 2014 and only one trim. The manufacturer’s recommended price is $58,500 plus a $930 destination fee, but you could lease the Mirai as well. Here are some more details about the Mirai:

Rebates. It is eligible for a $5,000 California rebate and an HOV sticker in that state. Owners in California and Hawaii get free fuel for three years, up to $15,000 worth.

Warranty. The basic, “bumper-to-bumper” warranty lasts three years, 36,000 miles. The powertrain warranty lasts for five years, 60,000 miles and the fuel cells and their components are covered for 8 years, 100,000 miles.

Seating. The Mirai seats four and comes with a small trunk. Critics say the Mirai is best left for hauling people rather than things. Its main competitor, the Honda Clarity, is available as a fuel cell, hybrid or EV vehicle and seats five.

Charging. It only takes a little bit longer to “fill up” a fuel cell vehicle than it does a traditional gasoline-powered one. Yet hydrogen stations are limited, so you’ll want to be sure you live or work near one.

What about sales pricing? Because the Mirai is a special vehicle and there is a large potential rebate on it, you probably won’t find it in the clearance blowout section at a dealership. At press time, Toyota advertised a low APR offer or a Trailblazer Purchase Support discount for qualified applicants.

But, like with any vehicle, you do not necessarily have to pay MSRP. Shop around and use industry guides, such as NADAguides or Kelley Blue Book, to see what the fair market price is in your area.

What’s next? Once you pick out the car you want, a car loan is next. Potential lenders include Toyota financing or a bank, credit union or online lender. You could also fill out an online form at LendingTree to receive up to five potential auto loan offers from lenders at once, depending on your creditworthiness.

Toyota Mirai safety

The 2019 Mirai is not crash-test rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

It does come with front and rear parking assist, blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert plus the following Toyota Safety Sense features:

  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection. The car could warn the driver audibly and visually, and apply the brakes if it senses a possible collision with a vehicle, pedestrian or bicyclist in front of the vehicle.
  • Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist and Road Edge Detection. The car could warn the driver if it senses it is drifting out of the lane and make minor adjustments to help keep the car in the lane.
  • Sway Warning System. The car can detect a pattern of vehicle movement that might indicate driver inattention or drowsiness.
  • Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). The car can adjust its pre-set cruise control speed to match the speed of a slower vehicle in front of it and then go back up to the pre-set speed when appropriate.
  • Automatic High Beams. The car is able to toggle between high and low beam headlights according to how it senses oncoming traffic.
  • Road Sign Assist. The car can detect speed limit signs, stop signs, yield signs and do-not-enter signs and display them to the driver.

Even though these features are great, be aware that you should still practice safe driving methods. If you face foul weather where you live, you could check out the best cars for snow, which includes an electric vehicle.

Toyota Mirai competitor comparison

The Mirai doesn’t have many hydrogen-powered competitors. The Honda Clarity is the only other mass-produced sedan that runs on hydrogen — Hyundai offers a fuel-cell SUV — but you can only lease the hydrogen model of Clarity, you can’t buy it. Lacking other hydrogen competitors, we also compared the Mirai with an EV, the Tesla Model Y, the newest in the Tesla lineup.

Toyota Mirai Competitor Comparison
Vehicle 2019 Toyota Mirai 2019 Honda Clarity 2020 Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD
MSRP $58,500 Lease only $52,000
36-Month Lease $389 /mo, $2,499 down payment $379 /mo, $2,848 down payment Vehicle available late 2020
Expert Score 3.7 4.2 NA
Features Smart Key System, Navigation, Toyota Safety Sense, Premium Audio, 8-Way Power Adjustable Driver’s Seat, Heated Seats Honda Sensing, Navigation, Premium Audio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Leather Seats, Heated Front Seats, LED Headlights Widespread Charging Network, Internet Browser, 15″ Touch Screen, Premium Audio, 12-Way Adjustable Heated Seats, All-Wheel Drive

*MSRP and leasing numbers are accurate as of the publishing date. You may need to meet strict credit and other requirements to qualify for leasing. Standard technology refers to features included in the trim level for each model at no extra cost (not an exhaustive list). Expert Score averages ratings from Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds experts. 

The bottom line on the Toyota Mirai

If you want an eco-friendly alternative to electric vehicles and you live in California or Oahu, Hawaii, the Mirai may be a good option. It has a large range, though it lags behind the Honda Clarity, which is only available by lease. For both cars, it’s important to remember that there are few available charging stations, so if you feel the need to get out of California, it’s a good idea to have another vehicle at the ready.

 

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