What is it:
Toyota’s view of the driving future, the Toyota Mirai hydrogen car is one of a minority of cars powered by the zero-emission fuel cell which means the lowest band of company car tax, now.
- Despite weighing a portly 1,850kg, the Mirai’s electric motor churns out 152bhp and a massive 336NM of torque. This means acceleration to 62mph in 9.6 seconds and top speed of 111mph. That may not sound that impressive on paper, but the instant torque from the electric motor means that despite the weight, it feels very sprightly and more than fast enough.
- The Mirai’s electric motor means this Toyota is a zero emission car – the only byproduct being water, which is dropped at the end of the drive. On top of the zero emissions, the Mirai is capable of a realistic 300-mile range, hydrogen costs just £10-15 per kilogram and it takes just minutes to fill up.
- As a zero emissions car there is no road tax to pay and benefit in kind tax is just £76 a month, with fuel benefit £22 more keeping the total under £100 which is attractive.
- The exterior styling won’t please all, but it is futuristic with its curvy profile. At the front, there are ultra-slim LED headlights, massive front air dam and vertical turning indicators. At the side, there are curvy arches, with arch-filling 17-inch alloy wheels. You won’t miss those all-LED rear lights either.
- The inside of the Mirai is equally forward-looking, with the high-set and curvy dashboard one of the highlights. The digital instruments are actually easy to read and the majority of the switchgear is logically placed. It is a proper four-seater too, with adequate room front and rear. Actually the seats and driving position themselves are very comfortable. Considering all the clever tech happening underneath, we thought the 361-litre boot was reasonably practical, although it lags behind mainstream rivals.
- Considering it’s running on 17-inch wheels the ride is very refined and that curvy exterior styling means wind noise is kept to a minimum. In fact, all you can hear in everyday driving is the occasional whine from the electric motor.
- The Mirai isn’t cheap at £66,000 before the ULEV grant, but as you’d expect for such an expensive car, you’ll not want for anything. Standard equipment amongst other things includes rain-sensing wipers, smart entry and push-starter, a wireless phone charger, rear camera, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, a DAB radio and an 11-speaker JBL Audio system.
- CO2 emission Capital Allowance thresholds for company cars will reduce in April 2018 making this car more attractive. This means that if you buy a Toyota Mirai with its zero emissions, you’ll receive a more favourable treatment for corporation tax relief. Business car buyers who choose to lease this hydrogen-powered Toyota will also be able to take full advantage of the ability to put 100% of the lease rental against taxable profits.
- The five-year 100,000-mile warranty and five-year roadside assistance package give confidence.
- You can feel all that weight in the corners; the Mirai is no sports car and is best suited to motorways or town driving.
- Some of the switchgear could be better placed and easier to operate.
- We’re not convinced that some of the interior trim is worthy of the £66,000 price.
- The current hydrogen fuelling structure is a hurdle if you live and work some distance from the four stations across the UK able to offer the 700bar necessary, but for someone say in the London/Thames Valley area the 300-mile range makes it a practical proposition. And to remove any anxiety, Toyota is throwing in a 24/7 concierge service. This is basically the point of contact for all vehicle/fuelling stations and even service bookings. There’s also an app, giving fuel station information and journey planning.
Verdict on the Toyota Mirai hydrogen car
Easy and relaxing to drive, plus the hydrogen fuel cell power means the Mirai should cost pennies to run with that practical 300-mile range.
This Toyota is the future car although its benefits will be more widely appreciated as the fuelling infrastructure expands. The only downside is its 1,850kg kerb weight that is more noticeable in corners.
The cabin quality and boot space is perhaps rather average for the £66,000 price although of course what you’re paying for is the technology – and the payback is the zero emissions for the environment and your low tax bills.
We salute Toyota for building the Mirai and putting it on the market.
Toyota Mirai review
The Low Down…
|Doors and body style||Four-door saloon|
|Engine/gearbox:||AC synchronous electric motor/Direct Drive|
|0-62mph/top speed:||9.6secs/ 111mph|
…..and what it costs
|Monthly business rental (ex VAT)||From £750 (4yrs/60,000 miles)|
|Road tax (VED)||A|
|Company Car Tax Bands 2016/17 to 2017/18||7%, 9%, 13%|
|Benefit in kind 2015/16 to 2016/17||£4,616, £5,935, £8,573|
|Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (20%)||£311 /£22.91|
|Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (40%)||£622 /£51.83|
|Annual/monthly company car tax (20%)||£923 /£76.91|
|Annual/monthly company car tax (40%)||£1,846 /£153.83|
|Figures correct at time of posting||May 2016|
|For latest figures||Use our company car tax calculator|