Toyota Mirai Hydrogen fuel cell 4dr CVT
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 180bhp motor gives a sprightly step-off, and smooth seamless acceleration. But a 0-62mph 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 there’s a base dynamic talent that betrays this car’s 50/50 front/rear weight distribution. That’s the figure sports car makers go chasing.
While this is clearly no sports saloon, it tackles corners neatly. 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. 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. There’s tangible love and care gone into the tuning.
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 barely any road noise either. Nor the cacophony of whirring fans and pumps that were always present in the old Mirai. This is as silent as automotive travel gets outside of the Phantom and S-Class realm of luxury.
Oh, and if you go for a top-spec Mirai you get a wholly self-parking system. Press the button when you’ve found a space you wish to enter and the car does everything – wheels, pedals and even forward or reverse gear selection. It’s accurate too (as you’d blimmin’ hope) if a bit more ponderous than if you had the confidence to park the car yourself. But it’s a useful gimmick in a car this large.
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