Whilst the 2017 Mitsubishi i-MiEV is okay around town and holds four adults, its low price tag doesn’t renew inadequate range, marginal acceleration, including a dated interior.
The 2017 Mitsubishi i-MiEV could be the current incarnation of what’s now earth’s oldest electric car still in production, going back 10 years to the first test fleets launched in Japan.
Sadly, the i-MiEV’s age shows in just about any area of its design, performance, and specifications. Even features added recently to its single trim level can’t disguise its inadequacy for uses beyond city and suburban errand and commuter duties. It is a pointer has simply passed.
It earns a lowly 3.8 on our overall scale.
The 2011 i-MiEV is different little through the versions offered in 2012, 2014, and 2016 (it skipped two model years). It got a price cut in 2014, to the current level close to $23,000, but even its status as the cheaper electric car doesn’t renew its limitations. Changes this past year included adding an optional navigation package, which has a 7.0-inch touchscreen, real-time traffic data, a USB port, Bluetooth hands-free pairing, including a rear-vision camera. There won’t be changes for 2017.
The small Mitsubishi competes together with the upcoming 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, that will offer numerous 200 miles if not more, at a price about $15,000 higher. That car won’t have the compromises in range as well as that plague the small i-MiEV. The Nissan Leaf, with range options of 84 and 107 miles, is earth’s best-selling electric car, as well as far larger plus more capacious. An all-new Smart ForTwo Electric Drive is expected this coming year as well.
Style and satisfaction
The egg-shaped i-MiEV is a smaller five-door hatchback by using a wide-eyed, friendly face. Its smaller even than its sibling, the highly fuel-efficient Mirage hatchback, and it’s really just about dwarfed by the most recent Mini Cooper, which looks virtually hulking near the little Mitsubishi. The interior, surprisingly, hold four adults and gives entirely adequate headroom due to the tall shape. It’s narrow, though, along with inboard shoulders may touch. Surprisingly, a back corner seat reclines, causing the space.
The i-MiEV’s 10-year-old roots really show in the running but extremely plain and dated interior. Hard plastics abound, as well as trim is sparse. Cargo space can be minimal, if you fold on the 50/50-split rear seat.
The electric Mitsubishi is powered by the 49-kilowatt (66-horsepower) electric motor driving a back corner wheels. It draws its power at a 16-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery power mounted in the earth and under a back corner seat, as well as EPA rates its electric range at 62 miles. This is the lowest range of your battery-electric car sold while in the U.S., and just 9 miles over the 53 miles made available from the actual Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid, a much more comfortable, capable, and long-range vehicle. Worse, high-speed travel or using either the air con or the heater will drive that number down substantially to as few as 35 or 40 miles while in the winter.
The i-MiEV is largely a city car, happiest at 40 mph or less. Its small turning circle and short length make it superbly easy to go through tight streets and park in tiny spaces, and it’s really torquey and almost as quick off the road as other cars. The car rides smoothly, helped its wheels-at-the-corners long wheelbase, as well as suspension is tuned for comfort. If you have access to a charging station, it becomes an ideal urban combat vehicle.
Go on the road, however, and things get grim quickly. There are virtually no reserve power, and higher speeds chew through range at the frightening pace. Drivers will discover it a struggle to get anywhere close to the listed top speed of 81 mph.
The i-MiEV’s standard charging port accommodates 120-volt charging while using included portable charging cable, or 240-volt Level 2 recharging at a charging station. The onboard charger is only 3.3 kilowatts, meaning Mitsubishi quotes a 14-hour charge time on household current and 7 hours at the 15-amp Level 2 charging station.
To its credit, Mitsubishi has made the CHAdeMO DC quick-charging port standard on every i-MiEV. That lets it recharge about 80 percent of battery in less than 30 minutes where such stations are available.
Safety, comfort, and has
Safety is an inadequate point for any i-MiEV, more so now than ever. The NHTSA rates it at four stars out of 5 for overall safety. It gets only three stars for side impact safety, and four stars for frontal crash and rollover safety. However the Federal agency notes concerns while using i-MiEV’s performance in NCAP safety tests which the ratings tend not to reflect. The IIHS hasn’t rated the car. There are not one of the active-safety features now entering widespread use, including adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warning, lane-departure warning, or automatic crash braking.
Standard features for 2017 include remote keyless entry; power windows, locks, and mirrors; aluminum alloy wheels; heated front seats and door mirrors; a leather-wrapped tire and shift knob; and a 100-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with six speakers.
Just about 2,000 i-MiEVs as a whole have already been bought in the U.S. because it made sale in late 2011, whilst the Nissan Leaf is approaching 100,000. The electric Mitsubishi is eligible to a $7,500 federal income-tax credit, together with a various local while stating incentives. In California, those include single-occupant accessibility carpool lane and a $2,500 purchase rebate.
The small i-MiEV minicar has a respectable history, but times have simply passed it by. Its simplicity and small size may get their charm, but much more practical and versatile all-electric cars cost just a few thousand dollars more. They’re worth the money.