2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Long Term Road Test

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2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV: I'm Trying To Like You But You're Not Helping

May 03, 2012

mitsubishi_i-miev_driving.jpg

Let me preface this post by saying that I like driving electric cars. I like the instant torque, the regenerative braking, "refueling" at home. I enjoyed our Mini E test car and the Nissan Leaf.

But this Mitsubishi is not doing it for me. I don't like that it looks like a pod. Our previous electric cars looked like normal cars and had decent interiors. The i Miev -- take the electric part out of the equation -- is not a good car. It's strange looking, it's too light, and is full of hard plastic bits in the interior and doesn't have enough cupholders.

The last time I drove it, I was on city streets and when I did venture onto the freeway, I was stuck in traffic and didn't get to go very fast. Last night I got to drive the car at normal highway speeds. The car feels so light that it takes work to keep it in between the lines. It bounces around at every tiny bump and struggles against the lightest of breezes. It's like punting a soccer ball down the freeway. And it let me get passed by a Smart car on the 405.

The cabin fills with wind noise even just driving it down my home block. The shifter does not light up at night. With three driving options (D, Eco and B), it helps to be able to see what you are selecting. I had to put on the overhead lamp to make my choice.

I was ready to like this car. I'm open-minded about EVs. But this car isn't helping its own cause.

To be fair, there are some things that it does well. It has nice take off when you put your foot down. I appreciate the simplicity of its gauges. It doesn't feel the need to clutter up the dash with graphics that scream "I'm Electric." It has a nice optional back-up camera. And the view out the front is wide and clear.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 845 miles

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