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The Top Gear car review: Toyota Mirai
What is it like on the road?
Relax. It might be driven by an electric motor, but it’s not about a 500-horse stampede. Instead, it’s gentle and smooth, and comfy like Sunday afternoon.
The 182bhp motor gives a sprightly step-off, and smooth seamless acceleration. But a 0-62 time of 9.2 seconds better suits gentle chauffeuring than chasing assertive German saloon drivers down the autobahn.
Even on a limited UK motorway, the Mirai’s urge will tail off above 60mph. That’s not to say it’s incapable of swimming in the outside lane, but you need to plan your moves. Steering is mute but accurate, and it tracks nicely about the straightahead.
Lob it at a bend, and there’s a moment of slack while it asks you if your back-seat paying passenger really wants this. But then, after due consideration… around it goes, flat and pretty sure of itself. Give it the beans (admittedly only one of those little squat 150g bean tins that are no use to anyone) and you feel the rear tyres shoulder the effort and shove you through.
It’s not too much of a barge, then. It’s less than two tonnes, not bad for any 5m-long car and a whole lot less than a battery-powered equivalent.
The cornering is certainly more level than you’d expect from its lovely and supple ride. It absorbs biggish undulations and sharp hits and smaller untidiness with equanimity. There’s not a lot of road noise either. Nor the cacophony of whirring fans and pumps that were always present in the old Mirai.
Our test trip didn’t include a lot of motorway, but the driver assist worked to normal posh-car standards.