I love looking at car listings. A friend of mine and I have a habit of texting each other the worst deals with the joke “this your next ride??” Usually, it’s a comically overpriced or misspelled listing for, like, an old Mercedes E320. This time, though, he sent me something truly insane: A Toyota Mirai.
Here’s a friendly reminder – I’m not like the rest of the Car Bibles team; I ain’t based in southern California. I’m in central Ohio. What’s the significance of that? Well, it would make owning a Toyota Mirai a lot more challenging that’s for sure. The nearest hydrogen station to me is across an international border, some 700 miles away in Quebec. The next nearest hydrogen stations are apparently in Sunnyvale, California.
How on Earth, why on Earth was somebody selling a hydrogen-powered car in Ohio? (Update: Looks like the listing got deleted after all, you’ll have to take our screenshots at face value.)
My friend theorized that some buyers for the dealership thought the Mirai was a Prius, and purchased it at an online wholesale auction. Yes, the Mirai is just as ugly as the Prius, but no, the Mirai is not a Prius.
Curiosity got the best of me, so I drove across town to check out the half-water-molecule-powered sedan. The dealer was likely using whatever images that came with the auction listing as the Mirai looked dirty inside, and seemingly situated in a parking lot surrounded by cars of similar status.
I should have called ahead, as I couldn’t find the Mirai on the lot. I circled the lot, walked around, and there was no sign of the blue sedan. I didn’t feel like chatting with the salesman, so I drove away and pulled over and called the dealership.
I told the woman on the other end that I was interested in the Toyota Mirai. It seemed like a normal sales call, she wanted me to come in ASAP to check out the car. I explained to her that I had driven by and didn’t see it on the lot. After a brief hold, she explained that the car was currently in Arizona, and hadn’t yet been prepared for transit to the dealership.
Oh lord. I could tell she didn’t have any clue about the Mirai at all. I calmly asked “Hey, how did this car get here in Ohio? You do know this car is hydrogen-powered, right? The nearest filling station is in Quebec. The next nearest one is in Southern California.” I said.
The line went quiet.
After a while, she said “Uh, I’ll have to look into it. Did you want me to give you a call when the Toyota Mirai comes in? Are you interested in other cars on our lot, or just the Mirai?”
The lesson here is pretty simple, friends: Don’t trust a casual glance, or even the “listed specs,” when you’re shopping for a car online. That way you can avoid bidding on a niche alternative-fuel car that looks a little like a popular gasoline hybrid. A Toyota Mirai is not a Prius.
I have a feeling that dealership’s gonna try to cancel the shipment of their new used Mirai.