(Last Updated On: January 21, 2019)
The Toyota Mirai is one of the most unique vehicles on the market. Toyota is well known for innovating the alternative fuel game, by creating the famous gas-electric hybrid, the Prius. The Prius completely changed the landscape of the automotive world, and paved the way for fully electric vehicles.
Rather than make the Prius fully electric, Toyota instead released a new model: the Mirai. The Mirai (Japanese for “future”) isn’t a standard electric vehicle. Instead, it’s a fuel cell vehicle, one of only two that is available in the United States. Fuel cell vehicles very well may be the future of the automotive industry, and Toyota is diving in headfirst to find out.
You won’t find another vehicle on the market like the Mirai. It really is one of its kind, and we’re completely fascinated by it.
Interesting and unique features for Toyota Mirai buyers and owners
Let’s start with the biggest part of the Mirai: it’s not a standard battery-operated electric vehicle. Instead, it’s a fuel cell vehicle. Fuel cell vehicles rely on hydrogen to power them. In the Mirai, hydrogen is stored in carbon fiber tanks. Then air from outside the vehicle is sent to the fuel cell stack. The hydrogen also goes to the fuel cell stack, where it meets the oxygen, and goes through a chemical reaction that creates electricity. That electricity then powers the vehicle, and all that is left behind is water. It’s pretty amazing!
With this technology, the Mirai is able to travel a highly impressive 321 miles per Hydrogen fill up, which is much more than the standard electrical vehicle can do. However, that comes at a cost: literally. The Mirai has a starting price of $57,500, which is a lot of money, even for an electric vehicle.
Will consumers be willing to spend $57,500 on a fuel cell vehicle? And if so, will they be willing to on one with a Toyota logo? Toyota is a well-respected brand, but one people associate with $20,000 or $30,000 cars, not $60,000 vehicles. Time will tell if the Mirai is able to sell.
The fuel cell isn’t the only innovative part of the Mirai. This vehicle is incredibly innovative throughout, from the interior, to the exterior, to the center console. Toyota is really rethinking what it means to make an automobile in the modern era, and Mirai owners will get a chance to experience the numerous unique features that go with that.
Maintenance tricks and important information
One of the most important things to know about the Mirai is that, unfortunately, it is currently only available in California, because there isn’t proper hydrogen fueling infrastructure anywhere else. Until that changes, you’ll have to be in California to get your hands on one of these vehicles.
If you do live in California, then the Mirai maintenance information may be important for you. Let’s start with the charge. From one of the hydrogen charging stations (there are currently more than 30, and Toyota is planning on adding at least a dozen more in the coming year), the Mirai can be fully charged in just five minutes. That means it only takes a handful of minutes to get your 321-mile range, which makes the Mirai basically even with a gasoline vehicle in terms of range and time.
Despite being an uncommon vehicle, maintenance for the Mirai is nearly nonexistent. The fuel cell system requires little to no maintenance, meaning the vehicle just needs standard procedures like tire rotations, tire replacements, and brake changes. Of the little maintenance that there is, much is covered by Toyota with their no cost service plan. And it’s worth noting that Toyota covers all the cost of hydrogen filling for the first 15,000 miles or three years, whichever comes first. That makes a big difference, especially given the steep price tag of the car.
The warranty also cover eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first, for the primary fuel cell components. So even though the fuel cell system itself is unlikely to need any maintenance or repairs, Toyota has you covered if it does.
Gasoline and gas-electric hybrids from Toyota are known for being highly practical and reliable, and that tradition is continued with the Mirai. From the fuel cell, to the interior, to the suspension, this vehicle is simply reliable. The interior, while not overly luxurious, is well made, and unlikely to wear out on you. All of the mechanical components are high quality, and put together well.
You have to pay a high price of admission to get into the Toyota Mirai show. But once you’re in, just about everything is free.
Top 5 accessories for the Toyota Mirai
Accessories are one of the best things for any car owner. With the right accessories you can highlight the strengths of your car, minimize the weaknesses, add personality or flair, and keep the car healthy and running well. Here are our five favorite accessories for the Toyota Mirai.
Emergency Assistance Kit
Emergency assistance kits are so important. They can help you out if you find yourself in a bad situation, such as a car that’s broken down, or even an accident. We have a habit of building emergency kits for our vehicles, so we’re fully prepared if something happens to us or to the vehicle.
As the saying goes, you can never me too careful. That’s the approach that we take with our cars, and that’s the approach that we advise you to take. And it’s really easy with the Mirai, as Toyota offers an emergency assistance kit, designed to help you out in any situation. With the emergency assistance kit, everything you need is assembled for you, so you don’t have to worry about creating your own kit.
This kit includes small tools that you might need to make a repair on your Mirai, such as wire cutters, pliers, a screw driver, tape, and a tire gauge. It includes practical elements, like gloves and a shop towel. And it has things to help keep you safe, such as reflective emergency indicators, a heat-reflective emergency blanket, and a manually-powered flashlight. Jumper cables are even included, which helps make this emergency assistance kit useful even if you switch cars.
Having an emergency kit is a safe and responsible part of being a car owner. This kit saves you the hassle of putting one together, and prepares you for whatever may happen on the road.
You can buy the emergency assistance kit here.
LFOTPP Navigation Screen Protector Glass
The 7-inch navigation screen in the Mirai is really terrific. It serves as a strong navigation system that help you locate hydrogen stations, an infotainment center, and technology center where you can learn about your fuel cell vehicle and your driving habits.
Naturally, you should want to protect that screen. One of the first things we do whenever we get a car with a navigation system, is we buy a screen protector. A screen protector is a cheap and easy way to give some security to one of the most expensive parts of your vehicle to replace.
This LFOTPP product is made of tempered glass that is entirely waterproof. Should you manage to spill a beverage in the direction of your screen, or simply have a humid or moist vehicle, this screen protector will keep the moisture from getting to your navigation screen. The glass is also fairly hard, which makes it nearly impossible to scratch, even if you’re really reckless or tend to only access the touch screen with the tips of your fingernails.
It’s really hard to damage this protector glass, as it is both anti-explosion and anti-grease. This product is, quite simply, very durable.
When it gets dirty, it’s easy to clean, and comes with all the products necessary for doing so, including stickers for dust removal, and alcohol and microfiber towels for cleaning off grease and grime.
Despite being so heavy duty, this protector glass doesn’t get in the way of the navigation screen. The touchscreen is just as sensitive with the protector glass on, so you don’t need to worry about the system not working right. Instead, this glass will protect your navigation screen, while still letting you use it just as easily.
You can buy the LFOTPP navigation screen protector glass here.
OxFord Executive Storm-Proof Car Cover
At nearly $60,000, the Mirai is definitely an investment. And as with all investments, you want to protect it. One of the best ways to protect the Mirai is with a strong car cover.
Car covers aren’t commonly used these days, but believe that they should be; sorry if that makes us old fashioned. Car covers perform numerous functions, but they all serve the same purpose: making sure that your car stays protected.
With a car cover, rain, snow, sleet, and ice won’t impact your exterior and leave spotting. Sunlight won’t cover the car’s exterior and interior until the paint and the leather start to fade in a horrible way. The wind, salty air, and dirty air won’t attack the exterior of the vehicle, and neither will bird droppings or tree sap. And sticks, branches, and other debris won’t scratch or dent the exterior of the car.
All of this serves to not only keep you cool Mirai looking fresh and new, but to maintain a high resale value in case you decide to sell your car.
This car cover is made for intense and extreme weather conditions. It features a whopping five layers of spunbond polypropylene, and one layer each of micro-porous film and soft cotton. The result is a car cover that is soft against the exterior of your Mirai, but strong and durable against harsh weather.
The reinforced seams add to the durability, and the drawstrings allow you to create the perfect fit. It’s easy to put on the Mirai, and easy to take off, and even comes with a bag for storage. This is simply a terrific car cover, and a must have for anyone who wants to keep their Mirai in top condition.
You can buy the OxFord executive storm-proof car cover here.
Carpet Floor Mats
While we’re on the topic of protecting your Mirai, let’s talk about floor mats. Floor mats are a greatly underrated part of car care. Floor mats are a great way of protecting the floor of your car. You can’t remove the floor of your car, which means that stains and odors are hard to get off. But with a floor mat, any grit and grime – be it mud and dirt that you tracked into the car, or coffee and sandwich fixings that you dropped while driving – can be easily removed. Simply take out the floor mat (which is easy), wash or vacuum it (which is easy), and put it back in (which is easy), and just like that, you’ve helped keep your car in good shape. This not only makes your car nicer, but really helps with the resale value.
In addition to being practical for the health of the car, these Mirai floor mats are wildly stylish. The design looks exceptional, and features a really slick Mirai logo, to really tie the whole car together. And you don’t have to worry about those good looks going anywhere. These floor mats are extremely durable, and they’re fade-resistant, so they’ll look brand new even after you’ve put tens of thousands of miles on your Mirai.
The floor mats are held in place by small fasteners, as well as harmless rubber spikes. These features help keep the mats from slipping when you’re driving, or when you’re getting into or out of the vehicle.
Floor mats aren’t the sexiest addition to a car, but they are an important one. And this pair is stylish, durable, and highly practical.
You can buy the carpet floor mats here.
First Aid Kit
Most people don’t carry a first aid kit in their vehicle, but we can’t begin to tell you just how important it is. A first aid kid will come in handy when you least expect it, and it’s never something that you want to be without when you most need it.
Cars are dangerous items. There’s simply no way around that. And whether you hurt yourself in an accident, or working on your car, the potential for harm is always there. With a first aid kit, you can minimize the harm that is done to you, and also keep yourself from making a bloody mess, or panicking.
We always pack first aid kits for our cars, but Toyota does the job for you with this kit for the Mirai. It has all the basics you would need, self-adhesive bandages, rolled stretch bandages, insect-sting and bite relief pads, and waterproof, heat-reflective emergency blankets.
The kit itself is fire-retardant and water resistant, so if you’re in an accident or a tricky situation, you can be sure that your first aid kit will survive. Just keep it in the trunk of your Mirai at all times, and you’ll have the reassurance of a high-quality first aid kit with you, wherever you go.
Like we said, we always keep first aid kits in our cars. We’ve barely ever had to use them, but when we did we were extremely happy that we had them with us. We hope you never have to use the first aid kit in your Mirai, and that it can stay zipped up in the trunk for as long as you own the car. But it is always better to be safe than it is to be sorry, so get this kit for your vehicle.
You can buy the first aid kit here.
The Toyota Mirai is changing the automotive landscape. The fuel cell vehicle requires only hydrogen in order to run, can charge in five minutes, and can drive over 300 miles on a single charge. It features all the practicality and reliability that we’ve come to expect from Toyota, and a very nice driving feel.
Fuel cells very well may be the future of the automotive world. If so, Toyota is one step ahead of the competition, as they so often are.
We’re enamored with the Mirai, and chances are, you will be too. And if you decide to purchase one, and of these five accessories will help make the car that much better. Happy driving!