We Need to Talk: 2015 Mitsubishi iMiEV

 

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After spending almost two weeks getting to know the 2015 Mitsubishi iMiEV inside and out, I feel like I’ve come to a place of understanding. Both of understanding the car’s limits, and of understanding what the car is all about. Here’s some “real talk”, then, about Mitsubishi’s battery-powered commuter car.

 

It’s Been Real


My first few encounters with the Mitsubishi iMiEV had me going back and forth between how much I wanted to like the little Mitsu and how much the car’s relatively short range stressed me out. To be fair, I never got stranded on the side of the road- but I had enough close calls that I built up a feeling of mild distrust of the range-o-meter. I say “distrust” because the range I was given was sometimes pessimistic, but other times slightly optimistic, too.

Be one, or be the other. Just don’t make things up as you go along, you know?

It’s that basic mistrust of the range-o-meter on the Mitsubishi iMiEV’s dash that ruined the car for me. Despite being relatively fun to drive and easy to spend time in, I found myself constantly looking at that one gauge, wondering when it was going to pull the plug on the good times. And, don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of good times to be had behind the new-for-2014 wheel of the Mitsubishi iMiEV- it’s just not the type of car that you can depend on, rain or shine, to get you where you need to go on a moment’s notice.

 

Final Thoughts


A few years ago, I found myself dating a woman who could ruin a day at a theme park. It’s not that she wasn’t a lovely person or that she wasn’t any fun- it’s that she was fun to a point. We’re all fun “to a point”, and we all reach that place where we’re too tired or too hungry to deal, but her point of “I’m done.” was always reached way before I reached mine. The same was true of me and the Mitsubishi iMiEV. More than once I wanted to head out to meet up with someone after work or on my lunch break, and more than once the Mitsubishi was simply done.

That said, there’s nothing for me to point as especially “bad” about the car. In fact, if someone was asking me about a budget EV for city driving in a generally temperate climate, I’d tell them to test drive an iMiEV for themselves. If they can get over the car’s limited range and glacial charging speeds, I honestly believe the 2015 Mitsubishi iMiEV could make them very happy. As for me, however, I just need a little more operating range.

 

Original content from Gas 2.





About the Author

I’ve been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.

  • AaronD12

    Mathematics is against you. The smaller the battery, the worse the accuracy of the “guess o’ meter”. I never bothered to look at the guess o’ meter on my i-MiEV. Instead, I switched that to display the outside temperature instead and used the 16-segment power gauge instead.

    • Matthew11

      Yeah, I don’t use the range meter on my i-MiEV either, in part because it is always based upon the last trip so if the last trip was on the highway and this one is in city traffic then it isn’t going to be accurate or the reverse of course. Even if all the trips are the same then it will even be affected by how I am driving that day, my mood, my aggressiveness, or even my cargo on extreme trips will put it off. The power gauge is more than enough to go by, perhaps that is because I’ve logged over 44,000km in the last 2 years in it but I just don’t use that feature.

      Never found the charge speeds slow, yeah a leaf charges twice as fast but then it has never been an issue since I’m at work for 10 hours on a shift and it finishes charging in less than 3 after my 47.3km trip to get there. Same when I get home, even in the dead of winter it has never taken me 4 hours on a regular commute and even with the batter drined to turtle mode I could fully charge in 5 hours, of course it could take 6-7 but that factors in the time at the end for battery balancing. If it helps, i recently found after I forgot to plug in after work one day for the first time, that the car can go a good 14km even after you lose the last bar, had never pushed it that far before, was my own absentmindedness combined with an aggressive drive home at 130kph on the highway that left me with only 6 bars to get to work. Generally it takes 5-6 bars during the summer one way and 6-7 in the coldest winter weather in Vancouver, though I can push that up by a few bars driving over 120kph.

      If I had any beef with how the MiEV handles it would be that at speeds over 130kph, it gets interesting with any crosswinds or proximity to large tractor trailers, about the same as you would experience in a minivan, the low center of mass means that it is pretty stable though, it seemly feels weird at that speed causing a tendency to oversteer if you are not used to it.

  • Rick Danger

    How many months does it take for a Leaf battery to degrade to the iMIEV’s range? And below?
    At least, by all accounts I’ve read, the iMIEV holds it’s capacity and range over the years.
    If Mitsubishi would just bump the iMIEV’s range up even 10-15 miles…