2019 BMW i3 vs. 2019 Toyota Mirai

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the i3 and the Mirai have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes and front parking sensors.

Warranty

The i3 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Mirai’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The i3’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Mirai’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the i3’s reliability 19 points higher than the Mirai.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

Engine

The i3 REx’s standard electric motor produces 19 more horsepower (170 vs. 151) than the Mirai’s electric motor. The i3s REx’s standard electric motor produces 30 more horsepower (181 vs. 151) than the Mirai’s electric motor. The i3s’ standard electric motor produces 33 more horsepower (184 vs. 151) than the Mirai’s electric motor.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the i3 gets better fuel mileage than the Mirai (124 city/102 hwy vs. 67 city/67 hwy MPGe).

Brakes and Stopping

The i3’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Mirai are solid, not vented.

The i3 stops much shorter than the Mirai:

 

i3

Mirai

 

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

194 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The i3s’ 195/50R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Mirai’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the i3 has standard 19-inch wheels. Only 17-inch wheels are available on the Mirai. The i3 offers optional 20-inch wheels.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the BMW i3 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Toyota Mirai has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the i3 is 1.8 inches wider in the front and 1 inch wider in the rear than the track on the Mirai.

The i3 handles at .80 G’s, while the Mirai pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the i3’s turning circle is 5 feet tighter than the Mirai’s (32.4 feet vs. 37.4 feet). The i3s’ turning circle is 3.6 feet tighter than the Mirai’s (33.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis

The BMW i3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 800 to 1100 pounds less than the Toyota Mirai.

The i3s is 2 feet, 10.4 inches shorter than the Mirai, making the i3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The i3 has 1.1 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more rear headroom and 1.8 inches more rear legroom than the Mirai.

Cargo Capacity

The i3 has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Mirai (15.1 vs. 12.8 cubic feet).

The i3’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Mirai doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that BMW service is better than Toyota. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 30% lower rating, Toyota is ranked 17th.

Ergonomics

If the windows are left open on the i3 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Mirai can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the i3 has a standard rear wiper. The Mirai doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the i3 has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Mirai doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The i3’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Mirai doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW i3, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the i3 third among small premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Mirai isn’t in the top three.

The BMW i3 outsold the Toyota Mirai by almost four to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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