Cute pretty much sums up the 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV. It’s a super compact electric car capable of driving for quite some distance on battery power alone. However, the lack of a gasoline engine means that you might not want to use this vehicle for your summer family vacations.
Really, the most important features on the i-MiEV are the electric motor and the battery. The motor is a 49-kW setup and produces 66 hp (with 145 lb-ft of torque). The battery is a lithium-ion pack with a peak performance of 16 kWh. The range on the car is a little less than what you’ll find with some other competitors, but the equivalent fuel economy (MPGe) is 126/99.
Changes for This Model Year
This was a new model for 2012.
What We Like
We love the look of this car. It’s compact, cute, and very unforgettable. We also love the energy efficiency and the price – it’s actually one of the cheapest electric cars on the market, and is actually cheaper than some gas-only models in the class. Acceleration is another high point (for the class, of course). The quiet cabin is also a plus.
What Concerns Us
Really, the most pressing concern for us is the shorter range offered by the 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV than some of its competitors (just 62 miles, compared to up to 100 miles for some other options). The interior build quality isn’t as high as we’d like, and despite the interesting and relatively roomy cabin, the cargo space is very low.
You’ll find two trim levels on offer from Mitsubishi – the ES and LS. ES is the base trim and comes with 15-inch wheels, air conditioning and 50/50 folding rear seats. The LS is the upgraded trim, and comes with fog lights, unique interior trim, higher end interior fabrics and a couple of other niceties. Both have the same electric motor with the same range (62 miles only).
Several different recalls have been issued for the 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV (four in total). One concerns the increased resistance to an impact sensor for the front airbags that might make them slow to inflate. Two separate recalls have been issued for a failing brake vacuum pump, which might increase the risk of an accident because of the need for a greater stopping distance. The final recall involved an incompatibility between the SRS system sensors and the car’s software.
The most common complaint is the limited mileage on the battery, although the cargo capacity is not a positive.