Lets say you’re in the bazaar for an electric car, but can’t absorb the abstraction of advantageous over $40,000 for article like the BMW i3. Well there is one electric car that has a amount tag abundant afterpiece to a accepted gas-powered vehicle: the 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV. This is the cheapest electric agent on the bazaar appropriate now, with a amount tag that starts at $22,995 afore any tax incentives are applied, but if you alive in a accompaniment like California, the i-MiEV’s final amount drops to a actual bargain $12,995. I was acquisitive to see how able the baby i-MiEV absolutely is, with its amount tag agnate to a gas-powered baby subcompact. Read on to acquisition out.
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Mitsubishi was affectionate abundant to accord me the keys to this ablaze Aqua Marine Blue 2014 i-MiEV for a few canicule so I could drive it about Los Angeles. As with all electric cars, you allegation to accomplish abiding that you locate all of the accessible charging stations in your breadth afore branch out. Luckily, Los Angeles is accepting bigger about putting 240-volt chargers in its new parking lots, so it wasn’t too adamantine to acquisition a bung whenever one was needed.
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Back to the car: the 2014 i-MiEV is baby on the outside—about the aforementioned breadth as a MINI Cooper—but it has four doors and allowance for up to four passengers. You sit aerial in the i-MiEV, which agency that there is absolutely able legroom in the advanced and back. I put two six-foot alpine accompany in the aback to accomplish abiding they could fit and they absolutely complained a lot beneath than I’d expected. There’s additionally a baby block that will authority a few grocery accoutrements or two attache admeasurement suitcases. The rear seats additionally bend bottomward if you allegation to transport larger items.
Unlike accepted electric cars like the Nissan Leaf, which accept their electric engines army over the advanced axles, the i-MiEV’s baby electric motor is army at the rear. It’s a small, 66 application electric motor that is powered by a 16-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion array backpack army beneath the rear seat. With an EPA appraisement of 112 MPGe combined, the i-MiEV is additionally one of the best able cars in the U.S. Unfortunately, this car’s driving ambit of 62-66 afar amid accuse is a bit lower than you get in a Leaf, but if you accept admission to charging stations you’ll be fine. During my time with the i-MiEV I rarely anytime saw the activity barometer dip beneath half.
The i-MiEV comes accepted with three charging capabilities: The accepted 120-volt charger takea about 22 hours to recharge, but if you bung it into a faster 240-volt aperture it will booty six hours to recharge, and if you acquisition a CHAdeMO charging anchorage you can allegation the array up to 80 percent in as little as 30 minutes. During our time, we mostly acquainted into 240-volt outlets at the assorted accessible garages about Santa Monica and Beverly Hills.
How does it drive? Given its diminutive size, alpine active position, and alone 66 application on tap, I didn’t apprehend this car to be actual fun to drive. Fortunately I was abundantly afraid back I apprenticed bottomward the baby accelerator pedal. The i-MiEV absolutely feels absolutely active about town, and absolutely afraid the accompany I brought forth and alike added drivers. It gets up to 45 mph aloof as bound as a gasoline car, which makes it absolute for burghal driving. Its council is fast, and back it’s beneath than about every added four-door car on the market, it was accessible to park. That said, its top acceleration is bound to 81 mph, and it’s not ideal at speeds anywhere abutting to that, as its baby motor struggles to accumulate it at artery speeds and blockage there eats abroad at the active ambit actual rapidly. This reinforces why the i-MiEV is best ill-fitted for an burghal setting.
At the end of my time with Mitsubishi’s baby electric car, I found mostly afflicted with it. The alone big gripes I had were with its interior. The i-MiEV’s autogenous is covered in cheap-looking plastic, and there aren’t actual abounding features. Yes it has ability windows and a 100-watt audio system, but Bluetooth isn’t an option. A bigger audio system, Bluetooth, and hardly college affection abstracts would go a continued way here, but afresh again the amount would go up. If you’re in the bazaar for an electric vehicle, but don’t appetite to pay the college amount tags that the Leaf and BMW i3 command, afresh the i-MiEV is account blockage out. It’s a baby electric car that is accessible to alive with, and it won’t breach the bank.
Photos by Marc Carter and Mitsubishi
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