2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Returns to US In “Late Spring”

NOV 22 2013 BY JAY COLE 12

Do you remember the 2013 Mitsubishi i-MiEV?

Gone For 2014 Is The "Raspberry" Purple i-MiEV.  New Hotness?  Black...As Always

Gone For 2014 Is The “Raspberry” Purple i-MiEV Last Seen In 2012, And The 2013 Blue i-MiEV That No In The US Has Seen.  New Hotness? Black…As Always

If you answered no, then you probably live in the United States – because their wasn’t one.

Frequent readers of InsideEVs will note that for the past 14 months or so, we have only been reporting sales on a dwindling inventory of 2012 model year Mitsubishi i-MiEVs across the country, as no 2013s ever arrived.

And while Mitsubishi assured us directly about 4 months ago that the model was not dead-to-Americans; that a new model year would eventually be coming – they could not confirm when that would be.

Until now.  Mitsubishi says the 2014 model year i-MiEVs will arrive in the US once again starting in late Spring.

The Discontinued "Never Was" Color For The US Of The 2013 Mitsubishi i-MiEV

The Discontinued “Never Was” Color For The US Of The 2013 Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Given recent news out of Japan that the new 16 kWh X-Spec i-MiEV (similar to the hardware found in the US model) had both been given a lot of standard upgrades (ie-passenger side heated seats, standard CHAdeMO DC fast charging, etc), and a price cut of up to ¥ 900,000 (about $9,000 USD), we expect to see some big changes for the little Japanese electric kei car in America in 2014.

So far all we can tell you is that the horrendous purple-raspberry i-MiEV has left the color wheel for the less flamboyant black, gray and white options.

The 2012 model year Mitsubishi i-MiEV started from $29,135.  We are thinking $24,995 or less sounds about right.

Categories: Mitsubishi


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12 Comments on "2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Returns to US In “Late Spring”"

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Come on, attractive colors are in the eye of the beholder: “the horrendous purple-raspberry i-MiEV has left the color wheel for the less flamboyant black, gray and white options.” So, black, gray and white are better!? Ever see any shade of red on one, maybe a bright yellow, gold or blue?

Welcome the new 2014 drab colored i-MiEV’s………. Glad to see it return, but the biggest problem with the i selling was the sales staff at the dealers, if the salesperson at the Huntsville, AL dealership I dealt with is any indication. Color wasn’t the issue.

So, with a price cut of $9,000… what will the MSRP be at that point? It’d better be considerably lower than the Leaf if they hope to sell them.

This is a funky car, so it it needs at least the option of getting it in some funky colors like bright yellow, jelly bean purple, etc. But for people like me you also need some more sedate colors, like medium/dark blue, silver, white, and black.

The comment above about dealers is spot on and it points to a lingering problem with EV sales at all traditional dealers. When I was Leaf shopping early this year, I found two local Nissan dealers were worse than useless. It was a textbook study in how not to sell a car. The other two were pretty good, but still had quite a bit of room for improvement. E.g. neither of them even mentioned things like the quiet ride, the brisk acceleration, being able to screw over the oil companies, or the solid handling due to a low center of gravity. All I heard from them was low cost of ownership, which is certainly a big selling point, but it’s also clearly not the only one.

Seems like they need to sent some West Coast dealer reps to conduct Leaf training sessions back East… over here they’ve got it down. In fact, quite a few of them have Leafs themselves.

I think that to be a Leaf-certified saleman, one must have a certain amount of time behind the wheel of the car. But even then, they are largely clueless. My salesman kept telling me about the “degenerative” braking, despite driving one as his commuter.

The videos from dealers I find the most offensive! If I look up Nissan Leaf on YouTube and look up the newest videos, every video that’s not a spam-full of amateur slideshows are spam-full videos from dealers trying to sell it. It’s just a slide show of the car along with some pictures of the Leaf when first revealed in 2009.
With the slide show was an autonomous woman or man listing out almost universal car features like, “cruise control, ABS, lights, seatbelts and more as standard.” Each feature being separately recorded and roughly edited in! That without one mention of it being electric or anything similar!

This lack of detail is painful, the lack of interest given by salesmen who would personally dislike or have no interest thus no knowledge of EVs.
It’s easy to understand why Musk detests dealerships and its salesmen. The dealerships are no environments for EVs to thrive in, it’s a place where many customers could unexpectedly find themselves running into an EV.

This has been in the air for a couple of weeks…. to judge from typical EV “academic tardiness” (as they say in my native language), “late spring” might also mean August or September.

Still, this indicate the strength of the US EV market’s demand. If a second-tier maker thinks they can return a 5-year-old car (albeit at a reduced price) and sell it well, they are seeing something that the Fiat Honda and Toyota leaderships are failing to see.

The first two could have killed any MiEV return plans, simply by selling their own far superior subcompact EVs nationwide rather than dripping them in California at compliance-only volumes.

Oh well. In 5-10 years they’ll have to do some ‘splaining, just like the Big Three leaders had to do in 2008-9.

I once did a study for a class project on types of EV’s and the Honda Fit won 60 votes out of a 100 people polled as their first choice with the leaf and Tesla taking second place in that a lot of people said they liked Honda in General. In a lot of cases the leaf and Tesla are really the only players in a lot of markets and have the value of wining by default. Noting is better then winning by default.

Increase the size of the battery!

I’d disagree. Mitsubishi should be more focused on the price/kW of the battery which over the years have been nice and steadily decreasing. I wouldn’t be so sure if more batteries can be fitted with the current batteries they use. What Mitsubishi should do is increase efficiency. The i-MiEV used to boast the best economy of any car of 112MPGe, already in the space of 2 years that’s now just average, just south of exceptional. Aerodynamic tweaks like smoothing off that jagged underbelly of the battery case and covering up underneath the electric motor, a small but effective spoiler, less bulbous and awkward front and rear bumpers. Along with the current weight decrease and slight torque decrease, its range would easily achieve similar to and may pass the Smart ForTwo ED’s 68 mile range which is like a 6 mile increase. Perhaps to as much as the 1st Gen LEAF’s 73 miles range, that would be great aided with the i-MiEV’s CHAdeMO compatibility. An even greater ally would be a 6.6kW charger, which could charge the i-MiEV in less than 3 hours. But that’s unlikely given the car’s limited space, or aim to be cost effective. I originally thought that… Read more »

The steady price falling might reflect that over all falling battery costs across the board which is a good sign. The major price cut will also get rid of this little car’s biggest thing for it. In that at it’s old price of $29000 it’s very small and has a range of only 62 miles on it. While the Nissan Leaf is less in terms of coast and is bigger and you could do more things in it while there are other players coming out like Kia and GM is sort of crashing around with a completer that is cheaper then this car at it’s current price. If they cut this car by say $8000 US it will be cheaper then it’s computers and at least the price will reflect it’s abilities.

Despite having talked a number of friends into buying the Leaf, for myself I consider the Leaf just a little too large and opulent and I don’t need five seats. In late 2011when I realized that the FitEV was only going to be leased and the Toyota/Scion iQEV was not going to be retailed (despite these manufacturers dangling a carrot in front of us for years), I took a test drive in the i-MiEV and was hooked – its capacious interior and flat floor with the back seats down despite its small exterior, its tight turning radius, and ease of getting in/out make this a great choice for an urban/suburban daily workhorse. Three regen levels to play with makes it even more fun, she really does handle well despite the funky tires, being an EV she’s peppy, and who needs to exceed 81mph anyway? After over 20,000 miles the i-MiEV has indisputably become the primary car in the family – and judging by its most popular users forum (myimiev.com) it has shown itself to be incredibly reliable. I’m hoping that Mitsubishi sharpens their pencil and does a serious price cut here in the US to take into account the weaker… Read more »