The Toyota Mirai is one of the few zero-emission vehicles on the market, and it's getting a tech boost for 2023. Here's what you need to know about this innovative and eco-friendly car. The Mirai, which means "future" in Japanese, is one of the few hydrogen-powered vehicles on the market, and it's getting a tech boost for 2023. The Japanese automaker announced that the fuel-cell sedan will now come with Toyota Audio Multimedia, a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system that supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
But what exactly is a fuel-cell vehicle, and why should you consider one? Here are some of the benefits and challenges of owning a Mirai.
How does it work?
The 2023 Toyota Mirai generates power by combining hydrogen with oxygen from the outside air. The hydrogen is stored in high-pressure tanks under the rear seats and trunk, and the oxygen is drawn from the front grille. The hydrogen and oxygen react in a fuel cell stack under the hood, creating electricity that powers an electric motor that drives the rear wheels. The only emission from the tailpipe is water vapor, making it a zero-emission vehicle.
Unlike conventional electric vehicles that use batteries to store electricity, the Mirai does not need to be plugged in to recharge. Instead, it can be refueled with hydrogen at a dedicated station in about five minutes, just like a gas-powered car. The Mirai has a driving range of up to 402 miles on a full tank of hydrogen, which is comparable to or better than most gas-powered cars.
What's new for 2023?
The Mirai was redesigned for 2021, gaining a sleeker and more upscale look, a larger hydrogen tank, and a longer driving range. It also got a new rear-wheel-drive platform shared with the Lexus LS and Lexus LC models, improving its handling and ride quality.
However, the Mirai's infotainment system was still stuck in the past, with an outdated 8.0-inch touchscreen that lacked wireless smartphone connectivity. That changes for 2023, as Toyota upgrades the Mirai to its latest multimedia system with a larger and more responsive screen, wireless charging, and Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities.
The new system also includes Amazon Alexa integration, allowing drivers to use voice commands to control various functions, such as playing music, checking the weather, or locking and unlocking the doors. Additionally, the Mirai will offer Toyota Safety Connect, a service that provides emergency assistance, roadside assistance, a stolen vehicle locator, and automatic collision notification.
The 2023 Toyota Mirai also comes with several advanced driver-assistance features as standard, such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, automatic high-beams, and road sign recognition.
What are the trim levels and prices?
Toyota offers two trim levels for the Mirai: XLE and Limited. The 2023 Toyota Mirai XLE starts at $50,455 and comes with 19-inch wheels, synthetic leather seats, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a head-up display, a surround-view camera system, and a six-speaker sound system.
The Limited adds 20-inch wheels, genuine leather seats, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a panoramic sunroof, and a 14-speaker JBL sound system for $66,955.
Both trim levels are eligible for federal tax credits of up to $8,000 and state incentives, depending on where you live. Toyota also provides some perks for Mirai buyers, such as up to $15,000 of complimentary hydrogen fuel for three years or 67,000 miles (whichever comes first), 21 days of complimentary rental car service for three years (in case there are no hydrogen stations nearby), and an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on the fuel-cell components.
What are the pros and cons?
The Mirai has many advantages over conventional gas-powered cars, such as:
- Zero emissions
- Smooth and quiet driving experience
- Impressive driving range
- Fast refueling time
- Stylish and comfortable interior
- Plenty of features and space
- Generous incentives and perks
However, the Mirai also faces some challenges, such as:
- Costly starting price
- Not as quick as other electric cars
- Limited hydrogen availability hinders its appeal
- High maintenance costs
- Low resale value
Where can I buy one?
The Mirai is currently available only in California and Hawaii, where there are some hydrogen refueling stations. According to Toyota, there are 48 stations in California and two in Hawaii as of February 2022. You can find your nearest station using this map.
However, hydrogen availability is not guaranteed, and some stations may experience temporary outages or closures. You can check the status of each station using this app or website.
Toyota plans to expand Mirai's availability to other states in the future, but only if there is sufficient hydrogen infrastructure and consumer demand. The company also aims to reduce the cost of hydrogen production and increase its use of renewable sources, such as solar, wind, and biogas.
Is it worth it?
The Mirai is one of the most innovative and eco-friendly vehicles today. It offers a smooth, quiet driving experience with zero emissions and an impressive range. It also has a stylish, comfortable interior with plenty of features and space. And now, with the addition of Toyota Audio Multimedia for 2023, it has a modern and user-friendly infotainment system that enhances its appeal even more.
However, the Mirai is not for everyone. It requires a significant upfront investment and a commitment to a lifestyle that may need to be more convenient and practical for some drivers. It also depends on the availability and affordability of hydrogen fuel, which is still limited and still needs to be determined in many areas.
If you're looking for a futuristic and practical car, you might want to check out the 2023 Toyota Mirai at your local dealer. But hurry up because supplies are limited and demand is high. The Mirai is not just a car; it's a statement of your commitment to a cleaner and greener future.