Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Mistsubishi i-MiEV 2012

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.

Key Features

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.

Available Models

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).

Major Recalls

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.

Common Issues

The most common complaint is the limited mileage on the battery, although the cargo capacity is not a positive.

Mistsubishi i-MiEV 2012 interior

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
P0608 OBD-II Trouble Code: Control Module VSS Output "A" Malfunction
P0608 means there is an malfunction in the vehicle speed sensor A control module often due too faulty speed sensor or shorted electrical wiring.

Related questions

Q: Engine block cracked

Your engine has a cast iron block and aluminum heads. There are ways of repairing cast iron blocks: pinning, flame-spray welding and furnace welding. However, these processes have their limitations and are time consuming. Plus, most repair shops aren't willing...

Q: Where do I find my vehicle identification number (VIN)?

Your vehicle identification number (VIN) is unique to your vehicle, and is used as a legal identifier of your car. The VIN is located on the drive side of the windshield, where the windshield meets the dash. It is easily...

Q: What is the “All Seats” function about in the audio system?

It’s tough to give all passengers the right listening experience while you’re on the road. Different areas of the car experience different amounts of road and wind noise. What’s right for the driver might be very wrong for someone sitting...