2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Long Term Road Test - Interior

2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Long Term Road Test

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2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV: Got a Secret

September 26, 2012

2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV

I like to use cupholders for storage for my phone, my access cards, some change, etc.

Our Mitsubishi i-MiEV has one cupholder at the back of the center console which I don't find very convenient. It also has some storage under the center stack which is out of reach while you are driving.

But then I noticed that on each side of the dash, there is a flip-down cupholder. It's squarish in shape and although I don't usually have a cup of anything, it held my garage door opener and assorted stuff.

It's not exactly a secret compartment but I admit I never noticed them before.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV: Shifter Could Be Better

June 26, 2012


Maneuvering our long-term Mitsubishi i MiEV in parking lots is easy-peasy, but I do wish the shifter moved more fluidly between its gates. Whenever I try to go from E or D to Reverse, it invariably hangs up in Neutral, and then it takes another firm push to get it into R.

Certainly not the first time I've encountered this scenario in a car, but in an urban runabout with a single-speed transmission, I'd expect the transitions between going forward and backing up to require a bit less thought and effort.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 1,243 miles

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2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV: Small Touch

June 15, 2012


It makes no functional difference, but it tugs at my heart in a Hello Kitty sort of way to see that some designer cared enough to make a pictogram shaped like the Mitsubishi i itself for the recirculate button.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 1,189 miles

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2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV: Seat Fabric Says No to Stains

May 30, 2012

mitsubishi i-miev seat.jpg
Last night I got takeout, which I picked up on the way home from work. The lid on one of the containers wasn't tightly secured. As a result, some of my lentil dahl communed with the fabric on our Mitsu's front-passenger seat.

By the time I got home, the small spill (covering half the area of a penny) had dried. I thought getting rid of the stain would involve several minutes spent scrubbing with a damp cloth.

Happily, though, that wasn't the case. I was able to remove all traces of the mishap by scraping off the dried chunks with a fingernail.

The Mitsu's flat, plain seats probably won't win any beauty contests. But that upholstery can handle a stain.

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor

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2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV: I am Honored to Accept Your Waste

May 25, 2012


I wasn't quite sure what to make of this thing in the middle of the MiEV's back seat. The first thing to pop into my mind was, "Oh god, please tell me that isn't some weird Japanese toilet-related device." I can just see it, there's a strange electronic chime followed by a pleasant voice that says, "Ready to polish bottom for happy joyous time." Then gentle fountains of warm water appear as Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata begins to softly play.

Besides that disturbing scenario that ran through my twisted little brain, I was also a bit confused by the object itself. From one angle, it looks like a handle with an "i" embossed in it. From another, it looks like some freaky square-headed six-eyed creature smiling at you with an exclamation point in its mouth.

Well, everybody can just relax. It's just a handle to access the tire inflator. Whew.
Seriously, though, what a weird place to put it and even stranger way to access it. I fear that more oddities like this have yet to be discovered.

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 1,085 miles

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2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV: Seat Is Too Damn High

May 15, 2012

2012_i-miev_int_misubishi_lt_9999_03291212.jpg I took the i MiEV down to our studio to take a few shots of the under bits. I sat in the garage trying to get the seat into a comfortable position. I could never get it to feel right. I realized, to my surprise, that the seat bottom was just too high.

I say surprise because I am not a tall guy. But in the i MiEV I felt like I was about to scrap the ceiling with my head. I hit the down lever and it didn't budge. I could go none more lower. To paraphrase the great Jimmy McMillan, the seat was just too damn high.

This in the same vein of Mark Takahashi's complaint. I think the i MiEV is another victim of a poorly translated JDM design. Much like the first generation Honda Fit, they need to redesign the seats before they try to get the US market to embrace this niche vehicle.

Scott Jacobs, Sr Mgr, Photography

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2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV: Singled Out

May 09, 2012

imiev seat htr2.jpg

The i-Miev comes with a heated seat. As in one, singular (the driver's) seat. As Caroline noted, it is best to use this rather than the climate control's heater as the latter, with its fan and heating element, seriously drops range. But the lone bun warmer isn't going to win over anyone riding shotgun on a cold day. Nor anybody cross-shopping the Mitsu with the Nissan Leaf.

You see, the Leaf comes standard with front and rear (4) heated seats. And although the base i-Miev is about 6 grand less than a base Leaf, one must opt for a loaded SE like ours to (almost) get all the features that come standard on a base Leaf. At that point both vehicles are priced similarly (about $35k).  

Furthermore, the nearly hidden location of the seat heater switch (in front of the driver's knee) is odd; why not put it within easier reach on the center stack? Perhaps Mitsubishi was too embarrassed as that would make it obvious that everyone but the driver got left out in the cold.   

John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 897 miles.

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2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV: Interior Tour Video

May 05, 2012

Here's an interior tour of the Mitsubishi i Miev.

I reduced the shakiness in this one. Let me know if it looks any better.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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

May 03, 2012


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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2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV: Well That's Not Very Practical

April 17, 2012

mitsubishiimiev 002.jpg

Considering that the range displayed in our 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV will show you how much power the A/C will knock down the numbers if you turn it on (from 44 to 37 miles), I thought it odd that the seat heater in the electric long-termer doesn't reset itself when you turn off the car and turn it on again. It's just an on/off button, like a light switch.

True, using it doesn't seem to use that much power (the range doesn't change when you switch the seat heater on) and you'll be able to tell when it's on just by sitting there but you'd think Mitsubishi would want to help you save as much power as possible and make this something you always have to turn on and never have to turn off.

In other news, I found out that if I wanted to save some power on a cold day to just use the seat heater instead of the draining heater itself. It's not much warmer with only my backside heated up but it's better than nothing.

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 693 miles

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2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV: Switching Gears

April 12, 2012


What you see here is our i MiEV'sgear selector. Nothing too far out of place here, but its operation could be better. Then there's that Eco mode.

I'll start with the actual selecting of gears. The shifter clunks from position to position with a decent, positive engagement, and that's a good thing in my book. My problem arises when I'm trying to transition from drive to reverse. Without looking at the gates as you're moving between gears, it feels as though you're just blindly bumping into obstructions. And you're never quite sure you've found the right gate.

There is a gear indicator in the instrument panel, but it's rather small. So unless I become very familiar with this car (let's say if I keep it for a week) it'll take longer for me to execute multiple-point turns.

Then there's Eco Mode. Drop the i MiEV into drive and it's not like it's a fun little rocketship; the way our Mini E was. No, it drives more like a personal transportation pod. Select Eco mode and it feels as though you're driving through a foot-and-a-half of semi-solidified Jell-O. Sure, I've driven other cars with Eco modes and they generally relax throttle response the way you'd expect. In the I MiEV, it truly feels as though something is pushing against you from outside.

In heavy traffic, it's certainly not that big of a deal. You get used to other drivers swerving into the gap in front of you. After a while, you come to expect it. Off topic: I will never get used to typing "i MiEV." In Microsoft Word, the "i" automatically gets switched to uppercase and the mix of upper and lowercase in "MiEV" makes me feel like I'm trying to spell Sarah Jessica Parker's name in L.A. Story (SanDeE).

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 644 miles

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