Used 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Hatchback Consumer Reviews
Barry L, 08/12/2016
ES 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
iMiEV is a basic modest simple vehicle - which is what we're used to (we also own a Toyota Yaris). Good for local travel, not long distance, although it does also have the 30 min. fast-charge port, if one wants to try for longer distances using public charging stations. But be aware that frequent fast charges age the battery faster - this is true for all lithium-battery EV's. Range: During warmer weather, actual range on local roads is about 70 miles. Range gauge after a local road trip and then recharge will show as much as 85 miles. But I haven't gone this far - my longest trips are about 60 mi, and the gauge shows about 10 mi. left when I get home. Plus there's about another 5 miles of driving "on the turtle", maybe a bit more. The battery seems to holding up, no obvious loss of charge-holding capacity yet. The range-remaining gauge seems accurate, although its calculation is based on the last 15 min. of driving. In hot weather, using the A/C may lop about 10 miles off the range, but often it can be run intermitttently. In colder weather, the range drops; after a recharge range drops to as low as 60 miles (after off-highway driving). Using the heater would knock this down further. Instead of the heater, I use a 12V heated travel blanket on my lap for winter driving, plus a warm pair of heavy wool socks and looser shoes. This winter also got some 12V heated gloves, very helpful. But I'm can see why some folks install one of those little kerosene or alcohol burning heaters. In very cold weather, the window defroster seems a bit underpowered. Under some circumstances, defrost is inadequate unless one runs heat plus AC. More range loss. When the range remaining drops to about 10 miles, the gauge starts to blink as a warning that a battery recharge will be needed soon. Driving the car into a very low battery state triggers a turtle-shaped dash light, and results in somewhat reduced performance to save power. I drove about 5 miles "on the turtle" just one time and got home without a problem - able to drive up to 35 mph, didn't try for more in any case. As for drivability, highways feel fine at 65-70 mph, but it's a small car, and you'll feel it on a windy day or when a big rig zooms past. 60 mph feels more stable. On local roads, it handles a bit like a go-cart, and is fun to drive. It has good pickup: the motor is directly coupled to the wheels, and the car feels quite zippy. Another plus: the car is QUIET. Stability on snowy roads isn't bad, I think in part because the regenerative braking puts a drag on the rear wheels that helps keep the car straight. In this way, rather like driving a rear-wheel drive car with a clutch, in snow or ice. We charge it overnight at 120VAC household, 12A, and this suffices for about 2 hrs of driving per day, my usual use. The car can also be charged at 240VAC (twice as fast) but you need a 240V line and a special charger unit that runs about $500. (Price is steep, and there isn't that much inside these, they are just over-priced. In fact, the 120V chargers can be converted to 240V - people show how on youtube.) I have no 240V line to the outside of my house, and haven't needed faster charging anyway. I find the front seats comfortable. They are heated, although it's a mild warmth, not hot. Front side mirrors also have a heating option for winter. Seating and windshield are a bit higher than in the Yaris, and I like the better visibility. Biggest negative to my mind is the poor safety rating of the rear seats. Also, the defroster could be more powerful. Lastly, for cold-weather driving, a bigger battery would have been a plus to compensate for range loss by use of heat. As a city car, the imiev is perfect. I have some commutes totaling around 60 miles. In very cold weather, I've avoided them by carpooling or taking the Yaris. The rear seats can be lowered flat, and the car can then used to move fairly good sized objects. For us, that's included a dishwasher and a set of tall Ikea shelf kits. Very handy.