2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Review By TFL – Video

3 years ago by Jay Cole 12

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is the original plug-in vehicle of the “current generation” of mass produced vehicles.

On A Recent Trip To Mitsubishi's Thailand HQ In June (don't ask why we were there) We Shot A Picture Of The Just Launched i-MiEV In The Lobby

On A Recent Trip To Thailand In June (don’t ask why we were there) We Found This i-MiEV At Mitsu Thailand’s HQ

The little electric kei car was announced in October of 2006, and first delivered in Japan in July of 2009, and came to the United States (in a special North American kit edition) in December of 2011 – at time when the only other offerings available was the Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt.

In total, Mitsu has sold about 34,000 i-MiEVs, but it has never met with success in the US, as its $29,125 MSRP, diminutive dimensions and Spartan interior translated to less than 2,000 units sold (1,831) through its first 3 years of availability.  In fact sales were so low that Mitsubishi didn’t even ship a single 2013 model year i to America.

However, earlier this year the company made an honest effort to market the i-MiEV in the US by announcing a new 2014 model year would arrive in June, and along with it – an MSRP that had been slashed by over $6,000, down to $22,995, while adding some new standard creature-comforts inside:

  • Driver and front passenger heated seats, heated side view mirrors
  • Rear door speakers
  • CHAdeMO DC quick charge port, with charge port lamp
  • Battery warming system
  • Leather-covered steering wheel and shift knob
  • Passenger-side vanity mirror with lid
  • Aluminum wheels
  • Front fog lights

Did it work?  Who knows!

While the new & improved 2014 i-MiEV did indeed show up as promised in late Spring, Mitsubishi to date has only been able to get about 300 copies to US dealers (we are not sure if this is because of a battery supply issue in Japan, or a now gun-shy dealership base unwilling to take inventory).

So when we saw that The Fast Lane Car managed to track down one of these rare birds, we had to pass along the review.  And while much of review focuses on what the small, 62 mile EV can’t do…it is still nice to see the “original EV” survive at least one more year.

Fun moment:  If you enjoying having your head explode from a staggering amount of incorrect pricing and range figures for electric vehicles in America – just skip to the 8:15 mark to get your fill.

Hat tip to offib!

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12 responses to "2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Review By TFL – Video"

  1. Leptoquark says:

    One problem that electrics have on these kind of reviews is that someone is just handed a car for a day and told to review it. It’s unfamiliar, and they have to quickly draw a conclusion in an afternoon. I would put a lot more stock in a review for someone who drove the car for a couple of weeks, then reviewed it at the end of that period. If Ms. Hall had done that, her “range anxiety” would have vanished, and she would have quickly learned, as a real-world owner would have, about the occasional need for a public charge, and that 95% of charging is done at home.

    The videos made by people who have owned EV’s for months and months are much more informative.

    1. io says:

      ^ This, exactly.

      It’s indeed unfortunate that reviews from people who aren’t given the chance to get more familiar with those vehicles end up perpetuating myths and preconceptions, instead of proving them wrong.

  2. Assaf says:

    Um Jay…..

    …..

    …..Why were you in Thailand ?!?

    🙂

    1. Jay Cole says:

      …don’t you read the captions? I don’t think it is even legal to ask that question.

  3. David Murray says:

    I can’t say I’m terribly shocked. I dislike the i-Miev myself. I think it is ugly (yes I know that is subjective) and it is very low-tech inside. It is also slow and the range is just not sufficient for an all-electric car. I mean it is sad that there is now a PHEV available that has more range than the i-Miev. Sure, if it were the only plug-in car on the market, i’d probably be driving one. But the Leaf is just so much better in every way imaginable that there is just no comparison. Even the base model Leaf S is far more desirable than the I-Miev. And I’d honestly rather have one of the Ford Energi products than the i-Miev.

    1. I cross-shopped the Leaf and iMiev back in 2012. We figured that we would need to keep an ICE for long trips or big loads, so why spend more ($8k more at the time) for the Leaf when it had inferior regen, shorter seating, annoying electronics, less useful cargo space with seats down, and less lively drive. And, it will charge up faster (@ 3.3kw) than a Leaf. Mitsubishi could sell more of these, but they haven’t shipped many (only about 35 new 2014s for sale in the entire US!)

      It does what it does quite well and for all our daily driving, is more than enough range. And, it’s still way cheaper than a Leaf – not everyone has gobs of money they are willing to hand over to buy a car.

      1. David Murray says:

        Some of that may have been true when comparing the 2011/2012 Leaf. But the 2013 Leaf has improved so much, and dropped the price on the entry level model. But I have to disagree with your statement about it charging faster even at 3.3Kw. Sure, anything with a smaller battery will finish charging faster, but that doesn’t mean the rate of charging is faster.

        1. Danpatgal says:

          The 2014 iMiev is still way cheaper with QC standard.

          At a 3.3kw rate, since the iMiev has better efficiency, it will give you miles back more quickly than the Leaf. An hour gives you 3.3kwh of energy (ideally) and the iMiev will take you farther. Maybe it’s only a few miles, but if you do a lot of opportunity charging during the day, it can help (but no, it’s not a make or break factor – I think price is the big one – even if I also agree with you that the styling is not eye pleasing).

  4. ffbj says:

    Not a contender. For Thailand most reasons for visiting are either illegal or perverse. Of course they have great deals on precious stones, and/or it is cheap to vacation there.

  5. Ocean Railroader says:

    I’m currently looking ether getting a used Mitsubishi i-miev or a used leaf as my first electric car.

    As of now there are several used i-mievs for $10,999 but I really think these prices are going to keep doing down to $9000 or $8000. The faster I see the prices drop for this car the more I think I will wait in till the car is $8000 or maybe if I’m lucky $7000.

    In terms of the leaf the cheapest used one I have seen so far is $12,000 but I would like to see if the leafs will go down to $9000 first before I jump on it.

    In terms of the leaf vs Mitsubishi i-miev. I like the interior of the i-miev better then the leaf in that it has plenty of room compared to the leaf and my other gas powered car.

    The only thing to me that is slaughtering the i-miev is the crappy range on it.

    In fact I’m waiting for some battery company with a new a battery that can get me double or triple the range as the existing i-miev batteries. That way I can replace the i-miev’s crappy batteries with something cool and use the old batteries for solar panels.

    1. QCO says:

      Better to buy a new one given the new lowered price.

      Federal and state incentives should bring 23k price down to 12-13k, or better, depending on the state.

      If you can find one….

      1. Ocean Railroader says:

        The tax credits are kind of useless to me in that I don’t make anywhere near enough to $7500 dollars back. The used car prices falling like a cinder block are more of a help to me then the federal tax credit.

        I would however consider risking buying a new one if they came out with a car with a 120 mile EV range.