The i-MiEV may fulfill its mission to be an efficient and basic urban runabout, but I don't think it's a car in which anyone will be happy spending time.
The driving experience brings that home. The i-MiEV feels tiny, tinny, and slow, with clumsy handling and a bumpy ride. Plus, the short cruising range—barely 60 miles in our tests—keeps you on a tight leash.
The Spartan interior is cramped and unappealing, with seating limited to four people. Finally, the car's small size and slow responses make us feel vulnerable sharing the road with "real" cars. After one outing, none of us were fighting each other for another turn behind the wheel.
Priced at $33,630 before tax incentives, the i-MiEV is the least costly of the current crop of EVs. But for what you get—a glorified golf cart of limited use—the i-MiEV is pretty expensive.
We measured 3.28 miles per kWh, the equivalent of 111 mpg, which is slightly better than its main competitors, the Ford Focus Electric and Nissan Leaf. But charging times are long, spanning between 6 and 7 hours for a full charge using 240-voltage.
Green-conscious buyers would clearly be better off laying out some extra green for a more usable and pleasant car, such as the Focus Electric or Leaf. And for those not ready to make the leap into pure electrics, then the semi-electric Chevrolet Volt or a high-mileage hybrid, such as the Toyota Prius, would be a better fit.
Read our complete Mitsubishi i-MiEV road test.