The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is one of several all-electric cars available in the market today. Yes, it’s expensive and and very odd looking, to say the least, but it does have its place in the automotive world. It may not replace a conventionally powered car any time soon, but for quick drive to the nearest supermarket, this could do the job. And while doing so, it would emit zero harmful pollutants into the atmosphere.
Like most electric cars, the i-MiEV is based on a gasoline-powered car — the Mitsubishi i Kei, in this instance — with a few modifications to allow Mitsubishi to squeeze-in an electric motor and a set of batteries. The i Kei was best suited for the conversion, thanks to its long wheelbase and short overhangs that provided decent room for 4 to 5 adults. Additionally, its five-door hatchback design meant there was ample cargo room, as well.
More than the technical drawbacks of an electric car over conventionally powered automobiles is the high cost of manufacturing, which hampers its market penetration. Mitsubishi is striving to get these costs down and appears to have driven them down slightly for 2014, as it has decided to slash the price of the i-MiEV electric car.
With revised pricing and a new list of standard features, how does the i-MiEV stack up against its competition? Read on to find.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV
The i-MiEV is designed with an aim at increase usable space. The short overhangs and wide wheelbase gives it a fairly large greenhouse, and the wide expanse of the raked windshield offers a great view out. This design feature of the i-MiEV makes it easy to maneuver in city traffic and parking this car in a tiny space isn’t much of a task.
The tall-boy design of the car might not be the best to cruise down Hollywood boulevard, but it will most definitely attract the attention of passersby — whether it’s good or bad depends on the person noticing it. This clucky design does have a purpose: maximize interior space with seating for four fully-grown adults and some luggage. It’s definitely not here to win any beauty contests.
New Standard Exterior Features For 2014:
- CHAdeMO DC quick charge port
- Heated side view mirrors
- 8A/12A switchable Level 1 charging cable*** (approximate charge time from near empty to fully charged - 22 hours for 8 amp/14 hours for 12 amp)
- Charge port lamp
- Aluminum wheels
- Front fog lights
- New daytime running lights (DRL)
- Black-out door sash trim
The i-MiEV is smaller than the Nissan Leaf, but the upright seating position and loads of headroom make it a good city runabout. The American version of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV is longer and wider than its Japanese cousin to better comply with stricter crash-safety regulations. The added eight inches of length improves legroom, while the extra width means three people can occupy the back seat — barely.
While the outside is quirky enough to grab attention — some of which is unwanted in the i-MiEV’s case — the interior, on the other hand, is fairly basic. There’s nothing much to say about the dashboard, except for the center console, which houses the blower controls and air-con switches, is pretty slick. Just above the center console resides a multi-information display with integrated satellite navigation.
The steering wheel is a three-spoke design with silver accents and a large tri-diamond logo in the center. The instrument cluster provides basic information, like speed, current gear, battery charge level and an analog dial, which notifies if the person is driving with a heavy right foot.
New Standard Interior Features For 2014:
- Driver and front passenger heated seats
- Battery warming system
- Rear door speakers
- Leather-covered steering wheel and shift knob
- Passenger-side vanity mirror with lid
- Numerous decorative color/trim upgrades
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV uses a small electric motor mounted under the rear seat. The motor saps power from a pack of considerably heavy, lithium-ion batteries that are in a low-slung position, which lowers the center gravity for better handling. The motor generates 66 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque, which is nothing too fantastic, but it’s acceptable for the type of car. Power is delivered to the rear wheels via a single-speed transmission.
This car is not meant to do pedal-to-the-metal sprints, hence 0-to-60 mph sprint time of 13 seconds — the i-MiEV is clearly not a car for a drag racing.
Battery and Range
Where this car excels, compared gasoline or diesel powered machines is emissions. The zero-emissions i-MiEV is rated at 126 MPGe city and 99 MPGe highway. Mitsubishi quotes a total EPA range of 62 miles between charges.
The i-MiEV’s battery pack can be fully recharged in 22 hours, or so, when connected to a 120-volt domestic supply. It also accepts a 240-volt supply, which reduces the charging time to seven hours. On a public quick-charge port, the i-MiEV can be charged to 80 percent of the battery capacity in 30 minutes.
For 2014, Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. have slashed the price of the i-MiEV by $6,130 over the 2012 model year car. The company also offers more standard features than before. The 2014 i-MiEV ES model includes CHAdeMO DC quick charge port, battery warming system and heated side view mirrors now starts at only $22,995. The government also offers up to a $7,500 credit, which can drop the net MSRP to only $15,495.
2014 Nissan Leaf
The Nissan Leaf has been around for some time now, and when compared to the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the Leaf seems like a more grown-up car.
The Mitsubishi’s tiny proportions are a compromise. The Leaf should be able to take up the role of a normal family car. That said, batteries in the Nissan Leaf will only last for 70, or so, miles, so on the range front, it isn’t any better. Having said that, it is as practical as any other hatchback.
Gallery Nissan Leaf
Unlike the Nissan Leaf or Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the Volt gets a range-extender. Which means, a gasoline engine is always on standby if you happen to run out of juice. The gasoline engine kicks in when the batteries are about to go flat, avoiding the chance of the batteries flat-lining on the road. However there is a price to pay for the convenience, as the base price of a Chevrolet Volt is on the higher side of $40,000.
Gallery Chevrolet Volt
The world of electric cars is constantly changing, and the i-MiEV has been one of the leaders in the realm, despite its awkward proportions. Sure, it’s ugly and a little goofy, but it remains one of the EV pioneers, and the 2014 model year makes gives it a little boost, thanks to the reduced price and extra features.
- Good MPGe for the price
- Excellent entry level pricing
- Tons of standard features
- Still looks silly
- Did we mention that molasses is quicker in the quarter-mile?
Gallery Mitsubishi i-MiEV
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) is proud to announce that the company’s new 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric-powered production vehicle not only receives an expanded standard equipment package but also sees a considerable price reduction of $6,130 over the previous 2012 model year vehicle.
The 2014 model year Mitsubishi i-MiEV ES model including CHAdeMO DC quick charge port, battery warming system and heated side view mirrors now starts at only $22,995 – an astonishing $6,130 price reduction from the previous generation. After factoring in the Federal tax credit of $7,500, the net MSRP of the 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV drops down to only $15,495*.
With a net MSRP of only $15,495 after factoring in the available EV federal tax credit of $7,500 and, for example, with the California state EV financial incentive of up to $2,500** (other generous financial incentives are available through numerous states and municipalities), residents in California can obtain the technologically-advanced 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV for as low as $12,995.
Furthermore, the new 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV boasts a much more comprehensive standard equipment package. Newly added items that are now standard equipment at no charge to the consumer include:
Driver and front passenger heated seats
CHAdeMO DC quick charge port
Battery warming system
Heated side view mirrors
Rear door speakers
8A/12A switchable Level 1 charging cable*** (approximate charge time from near empty to fully charged - 22 hours for 8 amp/14 hours for 12 amp)
Charge port lamp
Leather-covered steering wheel and shift knob
Passenger-side vanity mirror with lid
Numerous decorative color/trim upgrades
Front fog lights
New daytime running lights (DRL)
Black-out door sash trim
To date, more than 30,000 Mitsubishi i-MiEV and i-MiEV-based production vehicles have been sold around the globe. In such diverse markets as the U.S., Europe and Asia, the i-MiEV has proven to be a safe, convenient and utterly reliable eco-friendly form of personal transportation in any market in which it is sold.
For more information on the new 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV, please visit media.mitsubishicars.com.