Exclusive: Look Who’s Back! 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Arrives For US In March

2 years ago by Jay Cole 27

The 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV (with standard L3/fast charging) Comes To America In March!

The 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV (with standard L3/fast charging) Comes To America In March!

Coming soon to a Mitsubishi dealer near you – the 2016 i-MiEV.

That is what we were told when InsideEVs got in contact with the company about the future of the original, mass produced electric car this weekendWait 2016?  Is that right?  How can it be?  It is only February for Pete’s sake!  

The North American i-MiEV Got A "Refreshed Interior" In 2014

The North American i-MiEV Got A “Refreshed Interior” In 2014

Well, if you have been following EV sales (check out our scorecard here for ALL the data), you know that Mitsubishi has been selling next to nothing when it comes to the i-MiEV in the United States.

In fact only 195 were sold all of 2014..and all of them were 2014 model year cars.  There was no 2015 model year inventory – Mitsu didn’t ship any, or for that matter, register the model with the Department of Energy even.

This means that through a quirk in the way manufacturers can bill a “new” offering into the market, Mitsu can use next year’s moniker today.  Much like in the same way the next generation Chevrolet Volt will be a 2016 (full details on that car here), even though first copies could (in theory) arrive as early as late July/early August.

We would like to take a moment to note that this move is not without precedent, as there was also no 2013 model year i-MiEV brought to the US, and ultimately no more than 400 2014 i-MiEVs were shipped to America by our estimates.

Ok, so back to the details.  From our conversation directly with Mitsubishi we have learned that “…the 2016 i-MiEV will go on sale within the next few weeks, probably March“. 

To which we asked, “on sale?” as in inventory on the lots to buy, or are you just taking orders?

Mitsu told us the cars are being built right now for the US consumer.

Concept CA-MiEV Debuted In Geneva In March OF 2013 And Hints At The Potential Future Of The Small All-Electric Vehicle At Mitsubishi

Concept CA-MiEV Debuted In Geneva In March OF 2013 And Hints At The Potential Future Of The Small All-Electric Vehicle At Mitsubishi

In January, Just 1 i-MiEV Was Sold...Hopefully The 2016's Arrival In March Does Better

In January, Just 1 i-MiEV Was Sold…Hopefully The 2016’s Arrival In March Is Received Better

Overall details are still pretty scarce on the upcoming 2016 edition, as Mitsubishi doesn’t/didn’t plan on making any formal announcements/information available until after the Chicago Auto Show next week, but we did manage to find out whether there would be any significant changes in the model when it arrives.

Unfortunately, there is not.  However, we did learn that Mitsubishi will be readjusting their “packing options” to help sales of the car.

Currently, the 2014 i-MiEV is priced at $22,995, which includes standard fast charging. Last year, that MSRP represented a price of $6,130 less than the outgoing 2012 model.  (More details on the 2014 i-MiEV and its changed features and pricing can be found here).

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27 responses to "Exclusive: Look Who’s Back! 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Arrives For US In March"

  1. offib says:

    I wish it were true, but I don’t want to let down my guard again. What happened to their recently expanded battery plant? They should’ve been able to make enough capacity for 50,000 Outlander PHEVs by now.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      It should be noted that the story here is that the 2016 will be back in March for the US.

      This does not necessarily mean the company will build and sell a significant amount of them…just that it will continued to be offered in some new package configurations going forward.

  2. alain says:

    wish they would get back in the game with a new better car ,let’s face it ,time to scrap
    for better.

  3. Thomas Brandenburger says:

    They ARE selling Outlanders at a 50,000 pace. Just not here. But that full pace didn’t take place until the second half of 2014 so total global sales were a bit under 50,000. Nevertheless the facts are probably still the same. They make more money on each Outlander so there’s no reason to give up any of the batteries to i-Miev. Now if they’d put a little 600cc generator in that car then i’d really get excited.

  4. Thomas Brandenburger says:

    I just checked FuelEconomy.gov. The 2016 i-Miev is listed there.

  5. JRMW says:

    The concept car is so cool. The production car? Not so much.

    It’s stunning that Mitsubishi sells a micro car to Americans who embrace SUVs.
    And sells SUVs to the rest of the world who embraces micro cars.

    What next? Perhaps sell fluorescent sparkly pink convertibles to Rural North Dakota oil guys in February?

    We hear that battery pack issues is why Mitsubishi is doing this.

    So it makes sense to waste battery packs on this endeavor

    Ah well. I’ll pick one up Jan 2016. After price chops and tax incentives I can maybe have one for $1

    1. Danpatgal says:

      LOL … There is a guy at my work who bought a sparkly pink car in our very conservative rural Central PA. Boy did he get a lot of crap for that (despite it being a Mustang and “for his wife”). He got rid of it after not too long.

      I do think it’s quixotic for Mitsubishi to be making this move. I feel like it must be some strategy to keep, however poor and meager it might be, an electric presence in the US for dealers and customers in anticipation of the PHEV Outlander.

      But, I’d love it if they made the iMiev cheaper, had a few more amenities and upped the range by even just 15%, I’d probably get one again. Our 2012 has been a great car for us.

  6. Cavaron says:

    Just offer a bigger battery option Mitsu, pwease… a CNG/Ethanol-heater wouldn’t hurt too.

    1. Ben Brown says:

      …I was shocked to find out the heater in the i-miev significantly improves with added insulation to its piping and core, which several owners have undertaken. It would be much smarter though for Mitsubishi to improve customer satisfaction by doing this on their own.

  7. Rick says:

    Love my 2012, which I bought in 2014. Great car! Just a question: Where are the door handles on the CA-MIEV?
    Also, Mitsubishi is not promoting the Imiev AT ALL. MANY MANY times people stop me and say what a cool car it is, and that they “didn’t know that Mitsubishi even made an electric car.”
    I hope the 2016 comes with some actual advertising and a lower price.

  8. Pedro says:

    One easy upgrade that would bring new life to this model was a 32 amps AC charger.

    Considering changing the batteries from GS Yuasa to more energy dense LG Chem would also be a good idea. First in the low volume MiEV then in the Outlander PHEV. Since Spark EV has a 19KWh LG Chem battery, that should be matched in the MiEV.

  9. Anthony castro says:

    Make the next Mitsubishi electric car look like that concept or something. Aggressive looking like their Lancer. Add a 30kWh battery pack at the smallest and make it not feel SO CHEAP! Take hints from the Nissan Leaf interior. And rename it to something else, the iMiev has the worst reviews of all electric cars out right now(consumer reports). Changing the name of the car could sever the ties to this failed attempt at an EV.

    EV drivers want(deliver some of them):
    Larger energy capacity (30kWh)
    Faster on board chargers
    Longer battery Life, (70% after 100,000 miles)
    DC fast charging
    Good looking car
    High Tech looking interior
    Informative energy(% or charge, remaining KWh,…
    measured energy consumption)
    Thermal managed batteries

  10. James says:

    I also don’t understand why we don’t have a high-performance Lancer. Charge a fortune for it, but make it deadly fast and long-range. Tesla has now proven that people will buy a high performance car, not just a goofy looking box. Car companies can’t get themselves out of the Prius mindset and into a Tesla one.

  11. Leptoquark says:

    I just wish Mitsubishi could bring the concept iMiev Sport to market. It was the concept cousin of what we know as the iMiev, but it was high in front and low in the back. I always thought it looked way cooler. Even with the iMiev’s tame powertrain, they would have been far more attractive and eye-catching.

    1. Nix says:

      I also seem to remember something about the iMiev Sport being all-wheel drive. Like a tiny P85D. That would be cool.

  12. Ocean Railroader says:

    I like the i-miev’s look and I love how the car has tons of room inside compared to the leaf. But the thing that sucks about the car is it only has a 62 mile range and a 40 mile expressway range. If they really want to make this car a competent car they are going to have to give it at least a 80 to 100 mile battery range. If they gave this car a 100 mile battery range they could really take Nissan for a ride in that the i-miev has better headroom inside of it.

    What is really starting to anger me about the electric cars is how all the morons keep saying we are going to have a 200 mile range EV come in 2016 and now all the clowns are saying 2017 or 2018.

  13. They need to improve the aero (smooth underside, and a Kamm back, and wheel strakes, etc.), and it needs a direct heating windshield defroster, and a heat pump for the space heater. And all the seats should have heaters.

    The dash needs a dedicated range remaining gauge, and the HVAC controls need to be easier to see and more intuitive to use.

    I wish the front tires matched the rears. Slimmer seats would give the rear seats a bit more room. The regen should be controlled by the driver, and coasting is default (in one mode at least).

    And yes, a larger capacity battery – a real world 100+ mile range would be a big deal! It is a great car for (very) tall people, and it is a nimble car, relatively narrow, and a very small turning circle. The rear seats fold flat, and the hatch is large; and in general is a great daily driver.

    1. Jay Donnaway says:

      Aw Neil- you should know better. The i-MiEV offers more user control of regen than anything not made by TESLA, (three driving modes, plus more regen in the brake pedal) and has more regen per pound than anything including TESLA. A larger battery as an option would be nice, though an economical 60 mile EV is plenty for most of the population, and a few of then even realize it and would buy this enjoyable, utilitarian EV if they had half a chance and some confidence of long-term support by Mitsubishi.
      I’ve got over 53,000 i-MiEV miles and counting.

    2. martinwinlow says:

      I agree entirely with most of your gripes with the i (I have the Peugeot-badged iOn version which has a fixed and fabulous – IMO – implementation of regen). At least you get the cabin pre-conditioning via the charging lead unlike the EU versions – surely Mitsu knows the temperature goes below 0C here in the UK/Northern Europe (*Norway*, FCOL?!).

      The single biggest improvement for me would be a propane (or other fuel) heater for when it gets below 5C or so. I think its range is fine for a local runabout and it even works on the motorway with good rapid charging infrastructure – although it will take you 50% longer to get anywhere!

      The other minor issue is the UK price – a mere £28k (US$42)!

      But, it’s still the best car I’ve owned in 40 years and I did buy it used and cheap…

  14. kubel says:

    The i-MiEV is rated as THE WORST highway capable plugin, and it’s coming from a company that everyone knows will go belly up in just a few years (in the US at least). What are they thinking?

  15. McKemie says:

    I just bought a new imiev in December to complement my Tesla. For short trips, I much prefer the imiev. Range, of course is sadly lacking. I’ve been looking at this:
    http://eauto.si/en/electric-range-extender/
    I was surprised at the sparse and inconvenient instrumentation but I can live with it.
    BTW, I used the Tesla to partially tow the imiev ~200 miles home from the dealer.

  16. Jeff Songster says:

    As I prepare to buy my next EV… the wife and I are ‘sharing’ the favored LEAF now… time to add another to our solar powered fleet. (probably add another dozen panels to the house roof too) I seriously considered the iMiev. Then recently I gave it up again… now I guess we are back in consideration.
    My wife likes the Kia Soul EV,,, little more range than our LEAF and nice car also. I was thinking the iMiev since it is very inexpensive and other than one recall has been a solid car for those that went for it.
    I too would like to see a somewhat higher range, starting at 16… if they could ship with 20 or 24kWh that should make it even better for local commutes and occasional 1 to 2 hop quick charger trips. It is a fine design that is very utilitarian. I have been spoiled by rear view cameras and sensors. (or better yet all around cameras like the LEAF, my favorite feature.) And the cold weather options like heated grid defroster on the windshield and rear window, heated seats and steering wheel all add to range by keeping the space heater off more often.
    I should think the packaging is probably just simplifying further the options to all standard so they can build one car and let the dealers add the only minor options for more markup.
    Having CHAdeMO standard is awesome. Used the one on my loaded LEAF again this weekend for a 104 mile trip and it works wonderfully. The iMiev can likewise use this feature to be way more useful than in its initial release.
    Good Luck Mitsubishi, hang in there, my wife and I have good memories of our Dodge Colt and Plymouth Arrow. (Both made by Mitsubishi back when they were supplying Chrysler with econocars.)

  17. Jeff Songster says:

    Oh… and the faster 6.6 or 7.2kW onboard AC charger would be a great option for those not in the CHAdeMO areas of the country.

    1. danpatgal says:

      If they make a more comprehensive announcement in Chicago next week, we will know the answer to some of these. I’ve heard they will improve the L2 charger from its paltry 3.3 kw version now – which would be something they could do easily/cheaply that would improve the utility of the car quite a bit. (Instead of the 3 hours I had to sit around and wait to charge this past summer, it could be just 90 minutes … that’d be cool!)

  18. Texasimev says:

    I just turned in my 2012 iMev at the lease end.
    Sadly the dealership had neither a 2014 iMev or the Outlander. So I walked away to get a Volt.

    Things to fix or update with current design:
    All the seats need heaters
    improve the heater and defroster
    make all 4 wheels and tires the same size
    increase battery range
    include a dual 120 / 240 charging cord like the Turbo Cord

    Something they not be able to fix, the car was not pleasant to drive at 70 mph on the highway esp in windy conditions. It would get pushed around an alarming amount.

    I liked the car even with is short comings. many of which Mits could remedy.
    If they did, after the incentives, it could be a decent selling car at around 12 to 14 K.
    At that price I know several of my friends who were exposed to my car who would consider buying or leasing one as a second car. A lease on a 12K car could be super cheap

  19. Spec9 says:

    It is only $15K after tax credit. That is impressive.

    Other than that…..

  20. Dave says:

    Why didn’t they build that CA-miEV concept. That I would buy not that nondescript cheapie thing.