It may possess a highly advanced electric powertrain and an array of digital displays inside the cockpit but, in terms of handling, the Mirai unashamedly rolls back the years.
We don’t mean that as a criticism, either. It’s simply that the generous suspension travel and more relaxed approach to containing body roll and heave are reminiscent of the big European saloons of the immediate post-millennium era. The E39 5 Series comes to mind; not because the Mirai touts a subtly but sweetly tuned oversteer balance (it is much more understeer-prone than any BMW), or because the steering is especially transparent (though accurate, the EPAS rack has an oleaginous quality and is deathly uniform in its weighting), but because it can achieve that easy but accurate flow so many modern saloons have sacrificed in return for improved body control.
It has that detached elegance you’d expect from a boat-like Japanese executive saloon, with all the ease that goes with it, once you’ve acclimated to the dimensions. And we think this suits it well. Of course, the flip side is that the Mirai is not in any real way an enjoyable car to drive, beyond the very quietly satisfying act of keeping it adequately balanced on the throttle through corners and lazily flowing it down larger roads.
It never makes good on its rear-drive layout – it’s personality is too soft for that, and while pushing the car’s dynamics will reveal reasonable reserves of grip, the nose’s angle of attack remains steadfastly unresponsive to whatever the accelerator pedal is doing. Overall, this is a definite improvement over the Prius-based Mirai of 2014 but no dynamic alternative to the best-handling ICE saloons.