Mitsubishi i-MiEV 

  • $32k
  • 16 kWh Plug-in EV
  • 112 city 99 hwy
9.7 Out of 10
The braking feels pretty good overall, but not as natural as the Leaf's, which itself doesn't quite match a regular car.
by (May, 2012)
Overall, the i's cabin space is well-divided, for surprising versatility.
by (May, 2012)

RideNerd Review Our evaluation of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV


Will it break the bank?

Annual cost

Fuel economy

Is it a gas sipper or guzzler?

EPA highway mileage

Air quality

Help the world breathe easier with higher scores.

EPA Smog Score

Climate friendly

Higher scores leave less of an impact on global warming.

EPA greenhouse gas score


RideNerd Score

Affordability, Fuel economy, Air quality and Climate friendly


Benchmarks Real world tests of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV

EPA Greenhouse Gas Score The EPA ranks cars based on their climate change impact; 10 is best.

EPA Smog Score The EPA ranks cars based on their air quality impact; 10 is best.

Annual Cost The yearly cost to drive 15,000 miles, including fuel and car payments.

Prius c One

Driving Range on a Charge How far can you go before you need to recharge?

68 miles
C-Max Energi SEL
21 miles
Spark EV 1LT
88 miles

Time to Charge Battery From zero to ready to go, charging time in hours.

7 hours
C-Max Energi SEL
2.5 hours

Range Gained Per Hour of Charging How quickly the car regains driving range.

9 miles
Spark EV 1LT
12 miles

Reviews Word on the street for the Mitsubishi i-MiEV

In Japan, a gas-powered version sold since 2006 is called the i. There, the electric version is called the i-MiEV, in which MiEV stands for Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle.

On sale in select states in 2012 and nationwide in 2013, the 2012 Mitsubishi i is the most fuel-efficient mass-production vehicle money can buy for under $30k.


8.6 Out of 10

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight


This feature is also a shortcoming for remote cabin conditioning.
by (May, 2012)
There's a basic hot/cold temperature dial rather than a degree selection, and though there are automatic settings on the fan speed and mode, I found I had to adjust them to warm or cool the cabin quickly enough.
by (May, 2012)
Unfortunately, dinkiness also appears in the i's interior.
by (May, 2012)


I wasn't impressed with the i's handling.
by (May, 2012)
The motor sits low and in the rear of the vehicle atop a three-link de Dion rear suspension.
by (Dec, 2012)
Our test car was an SE, the higher trim level, which adds upgraded cloth upholstery, leather for the steering wheel and shifter, a two-tone instrument panel, silver accents and a passenger vanity mirror.
by (May, 2012)


Disc brakes handle the heavy work up front while drums do the trick out back.
by (Dec, 2012)
As required, it has front airbags, antilock brakes and an electronic stability system with traction control.
by (May, 2012)
to the vehicle's single-speed fixed reduction gear transmission and electric motor delivering 145 lb-ft of torque between 0-300 rpm - it's actually fun to drive.
by KBB (Jun, 2012)


No automaker has managed to make regenerative braking feel as natural as the conventional kind, but I've found the pure EVs to be better than hybrids and the Chevrolet Volt.
by (May, 2012)
We found the "B" mode to be especially helpful when descending hills, where the extra energy we generated with the brakes gave us a little extra juice around town.
by KBB (Jun, 2012)
Technically, the Mitsubishi's rear drum brakes are inferior and might contribute to its substandard pedal feel.
by (May, 2012)


Unlike the other cars, which accomplish this from anywhere by means of smartphone applications and websites, the Mitsubishi has no built-in cellular capability, so a small wireless remote control is standard equipment.
by (May, 2012)
The standard 120-volt plug-in charge takes almost a full day, so we recommend getting the 240-volt "Level 2" charging station, which can be purchased through Best Buy's Geek Squad and installed in your home garage for faster charging (about 7.0 hours).
by KBB (Jun, 2012)
To help curb a lead foot and put some regenerative energy back into the car's battery, the transmission can be put into "Eco" and "B" modes, respectively.
by KBB (Jun, 2012)

Specifications Full list of technical specs


Brand Mitsubishi
Model year 2012
City range 68 miles
Highway range 54 miles
MSRP $32k
Annual cost $6,987

engine & drivetrain

Fuel Plug-in EV
Gearing type Continuously-variable
Transmission Automatic 2WD
240V charge time 7 hours
Motor output 49 kW
Battery capacity 16 kWh
Battery specific energy 67 Watt-hour/kg
Regenerative braking axles Rear

stereo & entertainment

Speakers 6 speakers
Wattage 360 watts
Auxiliary input Yes
AM/FM radio Standard
CD player Standard
CD changer N/A


Front A/C Standard
Keyless entry Standard
Navigation system Optional
Power locks Standard
Power mirrors Standard
Power steering Standard
Power windows Standard


EPA smog score 10
EPA GHG score 10
Vapor canisters 0
Bleed canisters 0
Catalytic converters 0
Recirculates exhaust gas No

power & handling

Max torque 133 ft-lb
Max HP 66 HP
Power-to-weight ratio 37.08 lb/hp
Curb-to-curb turning radius 29.5 feet

suspension, wheels & brakes

Front suspension MacPherson strut, coil springs with stabilizer bar, pillow ball
Rear suspension 3-link de Dion
Front brakes 10.1 in Ventilated Disc
Rear brakes 8 in Drum
Front wheel width 145 mm
Front wheel diameter 15 inch
Front wheel aspect ratio 65

safety features

  1. Driver
  2. Passenger
  3. Head curtain
Antilock brakes Standard
Electronic stability control Standard

physical dimensions

Width 58.1 in
Front track width 51.6 in
Height 63.4 in
Ground clearance 5.9 in
Length 136.8 in
Wheelbase 100.4 in
Curb weight 2,447 lb
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