Taking an existing small-car platform and adding an electric powertrain to it is a smart move that Mitsubishi did to create the i-MiEV. This minicar looks like the perfect in-town ride: easy to park, requires only electric charge, and low-priced. But critics say other electric cars in the market are more competent in terms of performance and interior quality.
NEW FOR THE 2014 i-MiEV
- lower price
- new standard features like fog lights, quick-charge port and heated front seats
UNDER THE HOOD
The 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV is a rear-wheel-drive that uses a 49-kilowatt electric motor with 66 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque, a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and a fixed reduction gear transmission. Drivers can choose among the three available driving modes namely, D (full power), Eco (limits power output for optimum economy), and B (increases regenerative braking and allows full power).
The EPA-estimated driving range of the 2014 i-MiEV is 62 miles per charge. This is shorter than many competing electric cars. The estimated energy consumption is 30 kWh per 100 miles. Charging time is 7 to 8 hours with a level 2 charging station. But with a 120-volt household outlet, it’ll take up to 22 hours.
ON THE ROAD
As expected of electric cars, the i-MiEV offers a serene cabin. That’s one advantage you can get from doing away with a gasoline or diesel engine. But this electric car normally has a bumpy ride unless you drive on a perfect pavement.
Test drivers reached a top speed of below 90 mph in the i-MiEV. That’s lower than what many electric vehicles can achieve. But that speed is enough for a highway cruise, they say. Getting to that speed, though, takes time, making the i-MiEV an ideal car for only city driving. Consistently driving at 65 mph also drains the battery faster.
INSIDE THE 2014 i-MiEV
The 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV may be one of the most affordable electric cars today, but it isn’t really one of the most stylish ones. The cabin is plain and generally looks like a budget car (hard plastics abound). The electric car’s tall body allows for generous headroom but legroom is tight in both front and rear seats. The seats are not that comfortable as well because they feel flat and lack support.
Opening the hatchback reveals a 13.2 cubic feet of space. This is smaller than most of i-MiEV’s rivals. Folding the rear seatbacks down, though, expands the space to 50.4 cubic feet.
The 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV comes in only one style, the ES. Some of the standard features include remote system, shift selector, regenerative braking system, automatic headlights, fog lights with daytime running lights function, LED taillights, 15-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, 50/50 split fold-down and recline rear seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, silver interior accents, 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system, remote keyless entry, and security system.
Photo credit: mitsubishicars.com