2016 Toyota Mirai Lengthy-Time period Verdict: Pulling Off the Hydrogen Freeway


Folks ask me on a regular basis why somebody may go for the 2016 Toyota Mirai, a hydrogen gasoline cell electrical car, over a standard battery EV. The traditional reply is that gasoline cells require little change in an proprietor’s routine if they’re accustomed to driving a gasoline automotive; refueling takes a couple of minutes at a station with a pump, and in principle it’s best to obtain an identical driving vary with the additional advantage of emitting nothing however water from the tailpipe. However my response would differ. Regardless of the elements that ought to normalize hydrogen FCEVs, I discovered that driving a Mirai feels way more international than every other kind of car.

Usually, we drive our long-term automobiles for a complete 12 months, however Toyota gave us simply six months with the Mirai. Our Mirai rolled into the MT Storage with 7,947 miles on the odometer, and we added one other 10,497 miles over the course of the mortgage. As we realized from Toyota, the common Mirai buyer drives about 10,000–12,000 miles a 12 months and has one different car at their disposal. Solely 15 p.c of consumers purchase somewhat than lease the Mirai.

In some methods, the traditional reply to the gasoline cell versus EV dilemma is true. Pumping hydrogen is very like pumping fuel, save for the extra-cold temperature of the hydrogen dispenser nozzle. We spent a median of Four minutes and 6 seconds refueling the Mirai on events when there was 1 / 4 of a tank remaining, or Four minutes 35 seconds once we had dropped down to simply one-eighth a tank.

However the Mirai’s driving vary proved considerably disappointing. Though the EPA estimates the Mirai can journey 312 miles on a tank, we averaged a complete driving distance of 279 miles, primarily based on the sum of the miles pushed earlier than a fill-up and the indicated vary remaining on the readout. We refueled the H2 tank greater than 50 instances, however the automotive cracked 300 miles of whole driving distance in simply six cases. After refueling, the common new vary estimate got here out to 272 miles on the show. In an identical vein, we achieved a gasoline financial system score of 61.Three miles per kilogram throughout our time with the Mirai, although the EPA estimates a 65.9-mpk score. One kilogram of hydrogen is equal to a gallon of fuel.

 

Not like fuel stations, which can be found at each nook, hydrogen stations are nonetheless few and much between. The closest one to my residence is 12 miles away, and there are simply 30 open retail stations throughout California as of this writing, although a few them opened after or barely earlier than the top of our time with the Mirai. Along with the restricted infrastructure, the expertise of filling up varies barely from station to station. They normally don’t show problematic, however one pump requires watching a prolonged tutorial, and on a few events, stations encountered hiccups dishing out hydrogen gasoline. In distinction, plugging in an EV is as straightforward as plugging in your cellular phone these days, particularly if you happen to cost at residence.

The Mirai is out there in a single totally loaded trim degree with lively cruise management, pre-collision braking, LED headlamps, a 7.Zero-inch touchscreen, and heated seats with SofTex artificial leather-based upholstery. Our mannequin goes for $58,335, however if you happen to lop off a $5,000 California rebate, the worth drops to $53,335. (As of June 30, funding for the California tax credit score has been exhausted, with precedence now going to lower- and moderate-income candidates; a federal revenue tax credit score with a most $eight,000 worth expired on the finish of 2016 and has not been retroactively prolonged.)

Toyota supplies free gasoline for 3 years, value as much as $15,000. That additional moola turns out to be useful as a result of hydrogen typically prices $15 or extra per kg, fairly costly when you think about the Mirai’s usable fill capability is Four.72 kg. Evaluate that to a single cost for an EV, which will certainly value you lower than a tank of fuel. However sweetening the pot somewhat extra, homeowners get free rental automotive service for 21 days, and Toyota additionally presents free upkeep for 3 years or 35,000 miles.

Accordingly, we spent $Zero sustaining our Mirai, with one small exception. After noticing our cabin air filter was soiled, we dropped $18.31 to repair the issue. (The filter just isn’t coated by the complimentary upkeep program). The Mirai is the primary hydrogen car we’ve had in our long-term fleet, so it’s unimaginable to match its upkeep value to its direct opponents. However we are able to examine it to our long-term 2015 Kia Soul EV+, which value $71.42 to keep up over 10,099 miles, and our long-term 2013 Tesla Mannequin S P85+, which value $Zero to keep up however required $1,760 for brand spanking new tires after 38,Zero54 miles.

Getting the Mirai serviced was a surprisingly easy affair. True, you’ll solely discover 4 Toyota dealerships in Southern California and 4 in Northern California that service the car, and there are particular Mirai technicians, however we by no means needed to wait lengthy to get our Mirai in for a checkup. We didn’t must make a proper appointment for both of our two visits whereas adhering to the 5,000-mile service intervals. As soon as the tires had been rotated and some inspections had been carried out, we had been out and in of the dealership in an hour or two.

What is going to I miss most in regards to the Mirai? I loved its instantaneous energy supply, which helps maneuver rapidly by way of visitors, and its comfy journey. Plus the automotive’s low beltline means expansive home windows present wonderful visibility. Prospects additionally get a uniquely designed, high-quality inside with a reliable and responsive infotainment system, distinctive touch-sensitive local weather controls, and cozy SofTex seats.

However for as many good issues as I can bear in mind, there are unhealthy ones too. First off: The Mirai has solely 4 seats. Obscure dealing with, a heavy really feel when cornering, and mushy brakes diminish the driving enjoyable. The Mirai’s worth proposition is put in query if you notice you’re getting a car with an uninspired driving expertise on the similar value you’d pay for a premium automotive even after all of the perks. The Mirai additionally feels older (as a result of it’s older) than the Honda Readability. Though the Mirai trumps the Readability in journey high quality, the Readability advantages from higher dealing with and a more recent cabin. The few hydrogen vehicles available on the market have noticeable drawbacks in the case of driving enjoyment, and electrical automobiles such because the Volkswagen e-Golf, Chevrolet Bolt, and Tesla Mannequin S extra intently match the invoice by way of efficiency.

So how would I reply if somebody requested what it could take for me to get right into a FCEV over a BEV? I’d must stay inside a number of miles of a hydrogen station, have one other car or not journey outdoors of California fairly often, and be keen to make sacrifices in drive or journey high quality.

Key stats about our time with a Toyota Mirai:

Whole distance: 10,497 miles
Whole days: 179
Whole H2: 171.249 kg
Whole H2 value: $2,703 (26 cents per mile)
Common gasoline financial system: 61.Three miles per kg (mpk)/62.5 mpg-e
EPA official mpk: 65.9
Common (imply) new vary estimate after refueling: 272 miles (low: 254; excessive: 295)
Common (imply) whole driving vary (precise miles pushed plus indicated vary remaining): 279 miles (low: 239; excessive: 314)
Common time to refuel at 1/2 tank: 2 minutes, 53 seconds
Common time to refuel at Three/eight tank: Three minutes, 13 seconds
Common time to refuel at 1/Four tank: Four minutes, 6 seconds
Common time to refuel at 1/eight tank: Four minutes, 35 seconds

Extra on our 2016 Toyota Mirai right here:

Our Automotive
SERVICE LIFE 6 mo / 10,497 mi
BASE PRICE $58,335
OPTIONS None
PRICE AS TESTED $58,335
AVG ECON/CO2 59.Zero mpg-e / Zero.00 lb/mi
PROBLEM AREAS None
MAINTENANCE COST $Zero
NORMAL-WEAR COST $Zero
Three-YEAR RESIDUAL VALUE* $37,000
RECALLS None
*IntelliChoice knowledge; assumes 42,000 miles on the finish of Three-years

2016 Toyota Mirai Gasoline Cell
POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS
DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Entrance-engine, FWD
MOTOR TYPE Everlasting-magnet AC synchronous electrical
BATTERY TYPE 1.5-kW-hr Nickel-metal hydride
POWER (SAE NET) 151 hp @ Three,230 rpm
TORQUE (SAE NET) 247 lb-ft @ Zero rpm
WEIGHT TO POWER 27.Zero lb/hp
TRANSMISSION 1-speed computerized
AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO eight.78:1/eight.78:1
SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; torsion beam, coil springs
STEERING RATIO 14.eight:1
TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.eight
BRAKES, F; R 11.6-in vented, disc; 11.Four-in disc, ABS
WHEELS, F;R 7.Zero x 17-in solid aluminum
TIRES, F;R 215/55R17 93V (M+S) Michelin Primacy MXV4
DIMENSIONS
WHEELBASE 109.Four in
TRACK, F/R 60.5/61.eight
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 192.5 x 71.5 x 60.5 in
TURNING CIRCLE 37.Four ft
CURB WEIGHT Four,Zero72 lb
WEIGHT DIST, F/R 58/42%
SEATING CAPACITY Four
HEADROOM, F/R 38.5/36.eight in
LEGROOM, F/R 42.5/30.1 in
SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 54.Three/53.5 in
CARGO VOLUME 12.eight cu ft
TEST DATA
ACCELERATION TO MPH
Zero-30 2.9 sec
Zero-40 Four.Three
Zero-50 6.2
Zero-60 eight.6
Zero-70 11.eight
Zero-80 16.1
PASSING, 45-65 MPH 5.Zero
QUARTER MILE 16.7 sec @ 81.2 mph
BRAKING, 60-Zero MPH 129 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION Zero.78 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 28.Three sec @ Zero.58 g (avg)
TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 6,975 rpm
CONSUMER INFO
BASE PRICE $58,335
PRICE AS TESTED $58,335
STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Sure/Sure
AIRBAGS Twin entrance, entrance sides, f/r curtain; driver knee; passenger thigh
BASIC WARRANTY Three yrs/36,000 miles
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 5 yrs/60,000 miles
FUEL CELL SYSTEM WARRANTY eight yrs/100,000 miles
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE Three yrs/Limitless miles
FUEL CAPACITY 5.Zero kg H2
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON 67/67/67 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 51/51 kW-hrs/100 miles (fuel equiv)
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB Zero.00 lb/mile (at car)
RECOMMENDED FUEL Compressed hydrogen

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