One perk of driving a hydrogen car—a perk you don’t receive if you opt for an electric vehicle—is free fuel. Toyota offers complimentary hydrogen fuel on the Mirai for three years or $15,000, whichever comes first. Because we aren’t buying or leasing the Mirai and instead simply borrowing it on Toyota’s good graces for a few months, we don’t receive this freebie. After adding up the money we’ve spent on refueling, we’ve been wondering: Is $15,000 enough?
After more than five months, we have spent $2,602.53 on fill-ups. Based on this number and our current mileage, we projected our fuel costs for one year would total $5,555 and some change. Bottom line: By the end of three years, we’d run about $1,650 over the free fuel allowance if we kept gobbling up hydrogen at our current pace. Even if the Mirai is your only car and you’re driving it 60 miles or more every day during the week like we are, the $15,000 limit seems quite generous. Plus, buyers receive 21 days of free rental car service during the first three years.
My favorite part of driving the Mirai is feeling its response off the line. Hitting 60 mph in 8.6 seconds, it’s not the quickest vehicle out there, but you’ll have no problem maneuvering through traffic, thanks to the instant torque delivery. Another point of praise: the infotainment system. The menu options are clearly laid out on the home screen, and maps provide current info about traffic incidents. The system recognizes my voice commands every time.
Complementing the infotainment touchscreen is a wide instrument panel that sits on top of the dash. Just like in the standard Prius, you’ll find different graphs that measure your driving efficiency in real time, and an eco diary makes a log of your miles. If that’s not enough to stress you out just a little, the Mirai issues a driving score for every trip you take. Out of a possible 100, the score tells you how efficiently you accelerate, decelerate, and coast. The test isn’t easy, and unless I’m really watching the way I drive, I typically get around 50. If you achieve a score in the 40s or below, it’ll nudge you to improve your driving. Even if I achieve a high mpg-e rating for one reason or another, I will still get a poor score because of the driving choices I make.