2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Review

Pros & Cons

  • Affordable price
  • easy maneuverability in city traffic.
  • Shorter range than rival EVs
  • long charging time
  • sluggish acceleration
  • busy ride on the highway
  • tight quarters for passengers
  • low-quality interior materials.
Other years
Mitsubishi i-MiEV for Sale
List Price Estimate
$9,591 - $11,903

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Although it's priced temptingly low, the 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV is less practical than rival electric cars, given its long recharging times and barely adequate highway performance. Most shoppers will find that other EVs are better choices.

Vehicle overview

If most of your driving consists of short city commutes, you might be considering an all-electric vehicle. Charging stations are becoming more common and the prospect of an agile, peppy EV is certainly intriguing. The 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV offers the all-electric experience at a very appealing price, several thousand dollars below its closest competitors, in fact. But due to a few major drawbacks, it might not offer the ownership experience you're seeking.

The 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV resembles nothing else on the road.

While the 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV costs less than rivals, it's also significantly less practical. Limited driving range and long charging times are often concerns with EVs, and the i-MiEV is particularly challenged in both areas. The EPA's estimated range for this little EV is just 62 miles. Many competitors are well above that, with at least 80 or 90 miles before they run out of electrons. As for recharging times, the i-MiEV's outdated 3.3kW charger will need up to 22 hours to recharge a depleted battery pack when plugged into a standard 110-volt outlet. Mitsubishi claims that Level 2 and 3 chargers will recharge the i-MiEV battery much more quickly: about 7 hours with a 240-volt outlet and less than an hour with a Level 3 charger. Most rivals will recharge in less time, though, regardless of the power source.

On-road performance isn't a strength for this Mitsubishi, either. It's a small car with a short wheelbase and skinny tires, so you can fit it into some really tight parking spots. On the highway things aren't so peachy, as the i-MiEV has one of the slowest 0-60-mph times we've ever recorded in a modern automobile: 14.7 seconds. Once you're up to speed and no longer focused on the burdensome task of acceleration, comfort is at a premium. The ride is busy and rough, and quite a bit of road and wind noise makes its way inside the cabin. Adding insult to injury are the Mitsubishi's subpar interior materials, which surround you in the cockpit.

For all these reasons, you'll want to take a look at the 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV's competition. The Chevrolet Spark EV is marginally more expensive than the i-MiEV, but it offers an additional 20 miles of range and is about twice as quick accelerating to 60 mph. If you want something more upscale, the Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus Electric are notable for their smooth ride quality and high-quality interior materials, along with their quicker charging times and longer respective ranges. The Fiat 500e is another appealing choice thanks to its fun-to-drive nature.

None of the aforementioned electric vehicles will be quite as inexpensive as the 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV, but all are significantly more practical for day-to-day driving and offer more standard and optional equipment. For the majority of EV buyers, these attributes will be more valuable than pure cost savings.

2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV models

The 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV is an all-electric four-door hatchback with seating for four. It's available in a single ES trim level.

Standard equipment includes 15-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, heated side mirrors, full power accessories, air-conditioning, heated front seats, 50/50-split folding rear seats that also recline, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

Just the basics inside for the 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV. The big decision is whether to spring for the Navigation package, which includes Bluetooth.

Also included are a Level 3 quick-charging port and a remote system that activates the climate control and the charging timer.

The optional Navigation package adds a 7-inch touchscreen, navigation, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity (known as the Fuse hands-free link system), steering-wheel audio controls and a USB port. Stand-alone options include rear parking sensors, blue LED interior lighting and a cargo net.

2016 Highlights

After a one-year hiatus, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV is back, this time with an optional Navigation package that bundles Bluetooth, a USB port, a rearview camera and steering-wheel audio controls.

Performance & mpg

The rear-wheel-drive 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV is powered by a 49-kilowatt electric motor (66 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque) fed by a 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. There are three selectable driving modes: "D" for full power, "Eco" which limits power output to maximize economy and "B," which increases regenerative braking but allows for full use of power. In Edmunds testing, the i-MiEV went from zero to 60 mph in 14.7 seconds, which is a very long time for any modern vehicle, even an electric one.

Driving range is an EPA-estimated 62 miles per charge. Other small electric vehicles typically have a longer range of about 75-85 miles. The EPA has given the i-MiEV an energy consumption estimate of 30 kWh per 100 miles rating (the lower the kWh number, the better), which is on par with competitors like the Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen e-Golf.

With the i-MiEV's 3.3kW onboard charger, it can take a long time to charge fully. Plugged into a 120-volt household outlet, the Mitsubishi takes 14-22 hours to reach a full charge, and in our testing, it was usually closer to 22. With an SAE Level 2 (240-volt) charging station, the EPA estimates the i-MiEV can be recharged in seven hours, though we found that the i-MiEV typically needed eight hours at a Level 2 charger. Mitsubishi claims that a Level 3 charger will restore the i-MiEV to 80 percent of a full charge in just 30 minutes, but these chargers are typically few and far between so you'll want to check your area for availability.


Standard safety equipment on the 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV includes antilock brakes (front disc, rear drum), stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. It also features an "Approaching Vehicle Audible System" (AVAS), which alerts pedestrians that the i-MiEV is nearby by emitting a sound at low speeds. Rear parking sensors and a rearview camera are optional.

In Edmunds brake testing, an i-MiEV came to a stop from 60 mph in 120 feet, which is a good performance for an EV. In government crash testing, the i-MiEV received four out of five stars for overall protection, with four stars for total frontal-impact protection and three stars for total side-impact protection. The lower side-impact score is the result of excessive rear door panel intrusion during testing, suggesting an elevated risk of torso injuries for passengers riding in back.


Driven in city traffic, the i-MiEV has some pep off the line, and low speeds and frequent stops help maximize its range. Cruising at 65 mph on the highway quickly depletes the i-MiEV's batteries, though. We achieved a top speed of 81 mph in the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which is not particularly fast but adequate for most U.S. cities. The bigger issue is the car's struggle to get up to speed when merging into expressway traffic. This, along with the i-MiEV's limited range, underlines the reality that this electric hatchback is best suited for driving in the city, rather than commuting from the suburbs.

The 2016 i-MiEV is useful around town, but it's not much of a highway car.

Like all electric cars, the 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV has a relatively quiet cabin. There's a distinct sound from the electric motor that kicks in when you accelerate hard, but for the most part, the cabin remains quiet enough to allow for easy conversation around town. Once you're on the highway, though, there's a noticeable increase in wind and tire noise. Comfort is an issue too, as the i-MiEV has a busy, often bouncy ride unless you're traveling over perfectly smooth pavement.


Some electric cars try to hide their power source by making the cabin look as similar to gasoline-powered counterparts as possible. Others highlight the electric powertrain with funky dials, buttons and gauges, and with some success. The 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV doesn't pull off either of these tricks. Hard plastics abound, and the plain, no-nonsense presentation of its dash and controls is more in keeping with bargain-priced subcompacts than anything else.

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV's tall body offers ample headroom, but the driving position is awkward and legroom is tight for taller adults, who will likely run out of seat-track travel. Legroom is also a problem in the backseat, and the seats themselves are flat and not very supportive.

With just 13.2 cubic feet of space behind the backseat, the i-MiEV has less cargo capacity than most of its rivals, though there's enough room to squeeze in your golf clubs or a standard-sized suitcase. The picture improves with the rear seats folded; cargo capacity expands to a healthy 50.4 cubic feet. The VW e-Golf and Kia Soul EV offer similar capacity with their rear seats folded.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

2-1/2 years into owning a 2016 Mitusubishi iMiEV
Barry L,08/12/2016
ES 4dr Hatchback (electric DD)
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.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall3 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall3 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger2 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat2 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover14.7%

More about the 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Used 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Overview

The Used 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV is offered in the following submodels: i-MiEV Hatchback. Available styles include ES 4dr Hatchback (electric DD).

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Should I lease or buy a 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mitsubishi lease specials
Check out Mitsubishi i-MiEV lease specials