One-week vehicle loan was provided for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
|Type: Electric Hatchback
Fuel Efficiency: 126 city/99 hwy
|Best Suited For: Small families, short commute
Notable Features: Decent handling, super turning radius, nice mileage
Links: Official site
Electric vehicles have come a long way and more charging stations popping up all of the time. However, for many, the price of most models is still out of reach. The 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV is an exception to that though. Starting at just under $23,000, the i-MiEV (pronounced eye-meev) is much more affordable yet still offers features such as heated seats.
2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Review
The i-MiEV can go about 62-80 miles on one charge. On one side you’ll find the port for Level 1 120V and Level 2 240V charging and on the other is the Level 3 DC quick charge port. For reviews, we generally use the 120V charging at 12V and charge it overnight. The only problem is that the cord is shorter than others that we have used. We had to do some negotiating with a neighbor to get one space closer to the outlet. Now owe them a “thank you” note and some cookies.
Handling is surprisingly good, turning radius is obviously stellar, and there’s good visibility. You don’t get any roll on turns and can maneuver with ease. A windy day may worry you, though, since it feels like you can tip over with the next gust. Space is somewhat tight in the front. I constantly had to move Frans’ knee over while I was driving so this car is best driven alone or if the passenger doesn’t do “the spread.”
A trusty remote comes with the i-MiEV. This little gadget shows the battery level and lets you set a timer for the charging. While the concept seems forward-thinking, the design is very 90s with the retractable antenna and block display.
2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV – Inside
At 5’3” I have to put the seat almost all the way back (just one notch less) to drive comfortably. The steering wheel does not adjust at all and remains somewhat high. So what type of driver best fits in this car? People with short legs and a long torso. Neither Frans or I fit that description so both of us found it somewhat awkward to drive this. There is room to fit four but the space in the back is limited to, again, passengers with short legs…or dogs.
Placement of controls and storage areas is very unique. The regular charging port is where the lever for the hood/trunk would usually be. The quick charging port lever is under the driver seat where a gas tank release would be. The lever for the hood is way over on the far passenger side, just as it is in the Japanese version. The cup holders in the front are near the vents so when you put a cup or mug there, the air flow is blocked. The layout of the whole car is all very interesting, to say the least.
If you’re looking for an affordable electric vehicle, the 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV is just that. It’s great as a city car or on short commutes for solo drivers. It does offer heated seats and a remote start but other features are limited.