Mitsubishi i Review
The 2012 Mitsubishi i ranks 27 out of 43 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 26 published reviews and test drives of the Mitsubishi i, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
The 2012 Mitsubishi i is the least expensive electric car available, but reviewers say this perk comes with its fair share of compromises.
There are few consumer-friendly electric cars on the market, but the 2012 Mitsubishi i is the least expensive one. However, it does force shoppers to make some sacrifices. To make the i lighter, Mitsubishi gave it a bare-bones interior. This small car comes with next to nothing in terms of standard features, though common tech items like a USB port and navigation are optional. The i also has less than 70 horsepower, which means it isn’t powerful at all, though some reviewers are surprised that the i is more engaging to drive than it looks. Also, the Mitsubishi i's safety scores are below-average for the class, which is important for shoppers to keep in mind.
Then there are the problems that no electric car owner can escape. Most problems have to do with charging. For most buyers, the only way to charge the i will be at home, via a charging station or a wall outlet. Those methods take hours. Shoppers who have access to public charging stations can charge there, but most won’t because the U.S. doesn’t have the infrastructure in place to support electric vehicle charging. Even if charging isn’t a problem, its 62-mile range will be. Reviewers say the i is great for the city, and that’s it.
Despite these drawbacks, reviewers are impressed with the i, simply because it’s widening the electric-car market a bit more. The 2012 Mitsubishi i is not for performance- or luxury-focused shoppers, but shoppers looking for a value-minded electric car can’t do much better than the Mitsubishi i.
Other Cars to Consider
The Mitsubishi i’s most obvious competitor is the Nissan Leaf. It’s significantly more expensive than the i, but it comes with a lot more standard features like navigation and has a much nicer interior. The Leaf is certainly more luxurious, and its 73-mile range is also better than the Mitsubishi i’s 62-mile range. If you do choose the Leaf, keep in mind that it has a tight second row and less cargo space than similar gasoline-powered cars.
If the Leaf or i have too many limitations or are just too pricey for your budget, consider the Toyota Prius. It’s a hybrid, but it’s also a staple in the green-car market. It has the highest fuel economy ratings of any hybrid, and paired with excellent efficiency is better performance, more cargo space and more passenger room than you’ll find in the Nissan Leaf or Mitsubishi i. The Prius also eliminates range anxiety because it has a gasoline engine; you don’t have to worry about charging it. There will soon be a plug-in Prius, whichhas a gas engine as a backup, but has a good electric range, similar to the Chevrolet Volt.
Details: Mitsubishi i
The all-new Mitsubishi i is available in two trims: ES and SE.
See the full list of 2012 Mitsubishi i specs.
- "With so many automakers hitching their green-car stars to the hybrid bandwagon, the 2012 Mitsubishi i should have strong appeal as one of the few all-electric vehicles on the U.S. market and perhaps the most affordable EV as well." -- Consumer Guide
- "There are two simple truths about the Mitsubishi i that should help this funky little electric car sell well in the U.S. once it goes on sale later this year. First, it looks like absolutely nothing else on the road today. Second, the car is much more fun than its jellybean shape implies." -- Autoblog
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