Toyota is credited as the first automaker to start the EV craze but uncharacteristically, the automaker has not focused much of its energy developing this technology. Toyota sees hydrogen fuel (a less exploited energy) as a better alternative. The 2018 Toyota Mirai is a testament to this strategy. The likes of BMW who started EV programs much later have since overtaken Toyota in the number of plug-ins they have in their lineup including a fully EV vehicle (Toyota has a couple of hybrid EVs but does not have a pure electric-powered EV). For the 2018 model year, the Toyota Mirai carries over looking almost similar to the 2017 model which came in a single, well-loaded trim. Although the exterior styling has received heavy bashing on some quarters, the model will carry over without any major tweaks until it undergoes its mid-cycle refresh in 2019.
2018 Toyota Mirai Exterior and Interior
The exterior of the Mirai has not changed just like many of its other features. It still comes with those huge, gaping air intakes integrated on the bumper. The large DRLs also come unchanged; these units are almost the same size of the headlights. The model still features inflated fenders that mimic units of a sports car. The rear has been revised slightly. The taillights are alienated from the horizontal light bar that stretches across the rear fascia.
The cabin materials look rather cheap and they are also laid out poorly. The cabin accommodates two passengers at the rear rather than the regular 3 passengers.
The styling of the Mirai, both exterior and interior is not that much inspiring, particularly for the interior considering many models, some almost costing half its price have better-trimmed cabins. However, styling is not Mirai’s best dancing shoe. The model’s main focus is on clean energy from hydrogen cells. In addition, unlike its conventional peers, the Mirai’s cabin is very serene. The sedan also offers a smooth ride for most of the time; it is, however, a bit shaky when maneuvering corners.
Due to the heavy hydrogen cells, the Mirai is quite heavy compared to conventional models and hybrids; the Mirai weighs a whopping 4,000 lbs.
Drive-train and performance
The 2018 Toyota Mirai derives its power from a hydrogen fuel-cell stack that is backed by two hydrogen tanks. Energy is stored in nickel-metal batteries. The setup produces 151 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque. This power enables the Mirai to attain a speed of 60 mph in 9 seconds. The vehicle can reach a maximum speed of 110 mph. If you are environmentally conscious, this is the right model for you as it emits water which has no negative effects on the environment. With the tanks full, the Mirai can traverse 312 miles; it is EPA rated at 66 MPGe on combined drives.
Price and release date
Due to the exclusivity of hydrogen fuel-powered vehicles, the Mirai doesn’t come cheap. If you want one, you need around $58,000 in a one-off-payment; you can also opt for the monthly lease settlement at $499 per month and a down payment of $3,649. However, this is not your typical Toyota sedan that you can walk into any Toyota dealer and drive out with; the model is only sold in California where there is a reliable network of hydrogen filling stations. To entice buyers, Toyota offers buyers free hydrogen refilling for 36,000 miles or for three years. Toyota will unveil the model to the public at the upcoming LA Auto Show before its sales commence early in 2018.
Although it runs on hydrogen fuel, the 2018 Toyota Mirai competes with electric models such as the BMW 330e iPerformance, Honda Clarity and Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell.