2019 Toyota Mirai vs. 2019 BMW i3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Mirai’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The i3 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front and rear (child comfort guides) seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Mirai are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW i3 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Mirai’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The i3 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

To help make backing safer, the Mirai’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The i3 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Mirai’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The i3 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Mirai and the i3 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 and rearview cameras.

The Toyota Mirai weighs 797 to 1114 pounds more than the BMW i3. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Mirai 6 years and 50,000 miles longer than BMW covers the i3. Any repair needed on the motor, fuel cell, transmission, axles or joints is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the i3 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 4 times as many Toyota dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Mirai’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 7th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. BMW is ranked 8th.

Engine

The Mirai’s electric motor produces 4 more horsepower (174 vs. 170) and 63 lbs.-ft. more torque (247 vs. 184) than the i3’s standard electric motor. The Mirai’s electric motor produces 48 lbs.-ft. more torque (247 vs. 199) than the i3s’ standard electric motor.

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Toyota Mirai as a “Zero Emissions Vehicle” (ZEV). The BMW i3 is only certified to “Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle” (PZEV) standards.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Mirai’s brake rotors are larger than those on the i3:

 

Mirai

i3

Front Rotors

11.6 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

11.41 inches

11 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Mirai has larger tires than the i3 (215/55R17 vs. 155/70R19). The Mirai’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the i3 (215/55R17 vs. 175/55R20).

The Mirai’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the i3’s standard 70 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Mirai has a standard front stabilizer bar, which help keep the Mirai flat and controlled during cornering. The i3’s suspension doesn’t offer a stabilizer bar

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Mirai’s wheelbase is 8.3 inches longer than on the i3 (109.5 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

Chassis

The design of the Toyota Mirai amounts to more than styling. The Mirai has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is lower than the i3 (.29 to .33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Mirai get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The Mirai has 2.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the i3 (85.7 vs. 83.6).

The Mirai has 2 inches more front legroom, .7 inches more front shoulder room and 4.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the i3.

Cargo Capacity

With its sedan body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the Mirai offers cargo security. The i3’s hatchback body style, non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Mirai. The i3 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics

The Mirai’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The i3 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Mirai’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children from operating them. BMW does not offer a locking feature on the i3’s standard power windows.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Mirai detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The i3 doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Mirai has standard extendable sun visors. The i3 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Both the Mirai and the i3 have standard heated front seats. The Mirai also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the i3.

On extremely cold winter days, the Mirai’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The i3 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Mirai has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The i3 doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Mirai’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The i3 doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Toyota Mirai has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The i3 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Toyota Mirai has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The i3 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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

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