2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Review – Video

NOV 4 2015 BY JAY COLE 40

There is a saying that goes “once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all”, or something to that effect.

And for the most part that has been the story of the 62 mile, all-electric Mitsubishi i-MiEV we see on sale today.

2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV at The Chicago Auto Show Last Month (InsideEVs/Mike Anothony)

2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV at The Chicago Auto Show Last Month (InsideEVs/Mike Anothony)

Although what has changed is the pricing (which has dropped all the way to $22,995 – an industry best) and the altering of many once optional features to standard equipment (heated seats, CHAdeMO DC quick charge port), as well as the additional of some modern EV convenience options (like 7-in. touchscreen display navigation and a rear view camera).

Here is a nifty review to get you re-acquainted with the 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV filed by Steve Hammes at TestDriveNow in September.

To date in 2015 (through September) 196 i-MiEVs have been sold, with the best yearly result coming back in 2013 when 1,029 were sold.

We look forward to seeing the fruits of the new agreement between Mitsubishi and Nissan to jointly develop an all-new electric minicar to ultimately replace the first true mass produced electric car of this generation, the i-MiEV.

Hat tip to offib!




Categories: Mitsubishi


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40 Comments on "2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Review – Video"

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There’s just no reason to buy an i-Miev under just about any circumstance. You can get a used Leaf for much cheaper and is twice the car.

agree 100%

I could see a use case for stuff like restaurant delivery, where the tax perspective might make a new MiEV more profitable than a used Leaf – or local government, if they can get the equivalent of a tax break.

However, the main problem will be, like it’s been with the MiEV since mid-2013, just finding them on this side of the ocean. Mitsubishi seems to be playing the game of keeping a model year here “for show”, or maybe only in compliance states, hardly shipping any MiEVs to the US, while still selling thousands per year in Europe and Japan.

i-Miev is much smaller and easier to park into tight spots.

I really wish I had something like it for when I was going to school in downtown Richmond with all the tiny parking spaces. But if I get a job in the city I will buy a Mitsubishi i-miev.

I like the i-miev it’s a cute looking car but the only flaw to it is the horrible range and the 3.3 kilowatt charger on it.

It has greater regen (33kW) which when paired with an ICE pusher makes for a competent long-distance vehicle.

A 2012 i-MiEV was our first EV. Living near the center of an island, its range allowed us to go to any point on the island and back without charging, but we could not circumnavigate the island. This wasn’t a big problem because we could stop at a beautiful seaside hotel to charge for free for an hour which was sufficient.

But we moved to the edge of the island which meant that we could no longer go to any point on the island and return without charging. The numbers of EV’s had grown faster than the number of public charging stations, so we could not count on finding an available charging station when needed.

So we traded our i-MiEV for an i3 BEV which has the range that we need. The i-MiEV is the i3’s cheaper sibling. They are about the same size (the i3 is a foot longer), the same weight, both rear wheel drive, about the same cargo space, etc.

Another big difference would be that the i3 is a lot more fun to drive.

At nearly 3 times the price, it better be!

True, but the iMiev navigation system has settings for a male and female voice. I would love that in my Leaf 🙂

A used Leaf is close to a new i after the $7500 tax credit, and comes with a 5 year/60k mile warranty, which will be up in ~2-3 years, versus a 10 year/100k mile waranty for a new i. So… It depends on what you’re looking for.

New, yes but no way are you right when comparing used examples. The i-MiEV is fully half the used cost of a comparable (age/mileage) LEAF and it is no-way half the car, either. I would agree that the LEAF is a better finished, better equipped and better built car but if you want something extremely cheap to run around in with good safety and a reasonable amount of room for either people or stuff in a geographically ‘local’ context it is perfect. Contrary to popular myth, it can also be used long distance (assuming your route has enough rapid (DC) chargers. It might take you 505 longer to get anywhere but if you are not in a hurry, who cares? And if your DC charging is free (as it is in many places) so much the better. This does of course also apply to LEAFs.

After my sorry experience with a Leaf battery, I will never buy another Nissan. I find my imiev a delightful car which fills most of my needs for a car, my ONLY complaint being short range. Well, I don’t much like having two sizes of tires.

I am not sure there is anything Mitsu can do to make this vehicle selling well at a profitable price. A used Leaf is a better deal, even if you include a battery replacement.

Electric vehicles age differently than ICE, they can last a long time. If you replace the battery, it is like getting a new drivetrain, something that is never economical for an ICE.

I have thought about getting a cheap i-miev and putting a monster set of batteries in it. What is interesting is with all these new energy dense battery packs coming out the idea is getting more realistic. But what I’m waiting for first is I want to see what Mitsubishi does to make a aftermarket battery pack or see what the 2017 i-miev’s range is. In that I’m only going to put a new battery pack into a older EV if it raises the range of the i-miev by 150 miles.

The tech exists now to create a 200 mile range i-miev. The i-miev has the lowest energy density of all of the electric cars and the new leaf and new BMWi3 batteries have double to triple the power.

If they could upgrade the batteries on the thing they could easily create a 150 mile range ev in the existing body.


When the i-MiEV was released in 2010, the largest electric motorcycle battery was a 3.6 kWh unit from Zero.

The 2016 Zero S w/ power tank has 13.5 kWh onboard, almost as much as the i-MiEV. Less expensive too!

That thing is so ugly. It makes a Leaf look ALMOST not ugly.

I don’t get why people favor the Smart EV over the i. And I don’t get why Mitsu is upgrading the interior but not the battery range…

I personally like the i-miev for it’s simple interior and layout. In that I don’t want a lot of gizmos that will break in the future and cost a lot to fix. Or worst of all you leave something on and it drains the battery.

I personally can’t believe how Mitsubishi will let this car have such horrible range.

When I had my i-MiEV, I was getting around 80 miles of range in the city — sometimes more.

Got both an 2012 iMiev and a 2011 Leaf SL – iMiev has better range and for <$7k new (after tax credits ) you can't beat it

Where do you live with such big tax-credits?!?! Colorado?

Now, *this* is what I call a long-in-the-tooth Pokemon.

I don’t understand all the criticism of the i-Miev! I’d certainly like to give it a test drive, if that were possible in the ev-desert where I live. I don’t see it as less useful than a 2012 Leaf with a 50-mile range.

Many 2012 Leafs still have similar or greater range than the MiEV’s 62 miles, one extra seat, tons more space, drive much better – and cost half as much.

But I think your main problem will be finding a MiEV. Since mid-2013 Mitsubishi keeps announcing new model years, but hardly ships any to the US.

(not to mention the 2013 Leaf, which almost surely still has >62 mile range and still costs less than the MiEV)

This is the car Walter White would drive in 2016.

It’s ugly enough to be cool ….. with the right person driving.

They just really need to stuff a bigger battery in it. 16KWH is just too damn small . . . especially in places where it gets cold.

Bring it up to 24KWH and it would be acceptable. Bring it up to 30KWH and it would be nice.

Price is just about the only attractive feature of this car. I’m surprised they’re still offering it based on the low low sales numbers so far. If I really needed just a local EV and a rock bottom price, I might buy it. With the incentives where we are net cost would be about $10-12K. But the reality is we need an EV that will go farther, and in about 18 months we should be able to purchase a 200-mile EV at a little more than twice the net cost of the iMiev. That’s what I’m holding out for.

I basically like the I-miev….

What I don’t understand is why is the Chademo jack (something I’m not likely to ever use around here) standard, when it is part of a $1580 option on the Leaf? Why didn’t they make it optional and also offer a 6 kw charger (rather than the standard 3.3) and also offer a bigger battery option?

The CHAdeMO port was a standalone option on 2012 ES i-MiEVs and part of the premium package on 2012 SE i-MiEVs. It is standard on the 2014 and 2016 models in the US. As a proud owner of two i-MiEVs, I refused to buy one without CHAdeMO, even though there were no quick chargers at the time in my area. I’m glad I got the CHAdeMO port, as now there is one every 30 miles or less. Granted, the i-MiEV has a small battery, but I easily get 60-70 miles on a charge with main road driving, 55 miles on the highway, and 70+ miles in the city or on slow rural roads. It should be easy for Mitsubishi to repack the battery with 25 kWh or better, especially with the new cells announced for the Gen2 EVs. What would help range more than anything is a 6.6 kW or larger on-board charger. As it is, the i-MiEV is fun to drive, and even more fun when taking advantage of the small exterior footprint or super sharp turning radius. I do roughly 1,000 miles per month, and so far have racked up 26,000 miles on my first i-MiEV. I’ve done… Read more »
As an owner of a 2012 iMiev, I can say that its the perfect commuter car and suits us, and more than likely, most commuters of every walk of like. We put on 1,000+ miles per month with no oil changes, no gas, and no maintenance to speak of. Most commuters drive less than 50 miles per day and we are no different. Most of our driving is surface streets with speeds of 35 to 45 mph and rarely some freeway. The iMiev handles all of it well. When we need it, there are plenty of charging spots with Chademo if necessary. Thus, we have no range anxiety. As far as cost, it is the lowest cost EV on the market by a fair margin. We charge at night and have a full ‘tank’ in the morning. No sweat. As far as the looks, it is different, but we like it and receive positive comments from most everyone. At work and at home, its parked in the garage, which means that for 18 hours a day it sits and does nothing. That kind of commuter use does not justify a more expensive car. In sum, the car fits our commuting… Read more »

Good job EV Owner. With a smooth drive, you should feel comfortable besides saving gas for the nation and keeping the world clean.

At 22K, its a sell, but if the dealers don’t want to sell, then it will never sell.

GM & Toyota openly said that their dealers are not interested in selling EVs.

Now you know why Tesla avoids dealers. If they had gone thru dealers, company would have shut down the doors.

Battery degradation:

My perception on the Leaf is that it’s averaging about 5% per year. (i.e. a 6 year old Leaf will be down to about 70%)

What are i-Miev owners seeing?

…. add, Does Mitsubishi have a “charge to 80%” feature?

I’m at 47,000 miles on my second i-MiEV and there is no perceptible battery degradation yet. The 16 kWh capacity is measured with 16 bars, rather than 12 bars covering 24 kWh in a LEAF, and even with the 0.001 V granularity of the CanIon app, degradation is not yet noticeable. Mitsu only charges the cells to 4.010 V and a new car doesn’t discharge below 3.500 V, though the cells are rated to go down to 2.75 V at 100% DOD. It would take detailed testing to measure degradation at this point. I still usually see 60 RR on a chilly morning after another summer of 80 RR. There is not an 80% charge option, but Mitsu rated their pack much more conservatively than Nissan, charging to a low termination voltage and leaving a 20% buffer ‘below the turtle’ when new. Superior battery design is a leading reason I bought the car. Nissan owners got lucky with the lawsuit, warranty extension, and subsidized replacement batteries.

According to plugincars.com Mits is withdrawing the i-Miev from U.S. distribution. What a crying shame if true!