Mitsubishi focuses on affordability with electric iMiEV Chicago Tribune

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Brilliance Electric Cars

Mitsubishi focuses on affordability electric i-MiEV

(Mitsubishi photo)

Oct. 2, 2013, p.m.

By Barry Spyker and The Herald

The Volkswagen Beetle was in the 1930s as the people’s car a car almost could afford. And advertisers in in a stroke of brilliance, called it It’s ugly but it gets you the clever ads read.

Well, in world of electric vehicles, i-MiEV, introduced in 2012, may be the people’s electric car. At $20,000 after a federal tax it is thousands less than the competition. And when it comes to the Beetle’s got nothing on this guy.

Oh, some will it cute, with its short chopped-off rear and tiny tires. But the i is getting nowhere on its

It does quite well, on its 49-kilowatt motor. Boosted by a battery pack, the little harnesses just 66 horses more important, it pushes out 145 of torque. Zero-to-60 takes 13.5 seconds but on the highway it did not about 75 mph.

Truth is, it’s not a bad ride.

It is a ride, as one might expect an internal combustion engine up front. It feels stable on the road, and even corners minimal roll despite its

Steering is rather lightweight, and combined with its diminutive makes it a breeze to maneuver and I mean, if you can’t park baby, get yourself a bike. By the know that this i is compared to its Japanese kin Mitsubishi it 8 inches and widened it by 4 inches for the market.

Tree huggers delight at the mileage figures, the EPA calls fuel economy or MPGe. How does 126 city, 99 sound?

Ah, but there’s always a trade-off. You to carefully weigh this one it can only go around 62 miles it poops out. And that’s on an ride, with no highway or steep hills.

So, unless you a short commute that you off the highway, this car may not be for you. My range plummeted from 60 to 14 on a 28-mile commute on the turnpike. So I 46 miles of range despite traveling 28 miles

Also, the needs to be surprise! plugged in for a With the cord and connector is included, I couldn’t reach the outdoor outlet to the house an extension cord and extension are prohibited while charging. So whole process really best only if you have a

Know that the charge on a 120-volt outlet takes at 22 hours, so it’s recommended you spring for a 240-volt Level 2 station. That way you get the job done in 7 or so.

Another consideration is that, claims of progress, the infrastructure is not there yet for charging away your home. When is the time you saw a quick-charge station?

shopping malls have quick chargers in garages can get an 80 percent charge in a half Most have not. So need to do your math and how far you need to go and how much range you left.

If you’re still step inside, where surprisingly roomy for driver and but not so much for cargo. Headroom and are ample up front; it’s in the back seat, however.

Cargo? Better pack You’ve got only 13.2 feet to work with, enough for a suitcase. Put the rear down and it gets roomier, 50 cubic feet.

It’s a machine from the inside, a cloth interior. The instrument is basic: tells you when the is charging, when you’re economically and when you’re

The i comes in two trim levels, the ES and SE. that for confusing? Standard on the ES are accessories, AC, onboard recharging including 120-volt charging and 4-speaker sound with CD.

The SE alloy wheels instead of upgraded upholstery, leather-wrapped and 8-speaker sound.

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Then you can either trim with like a Cold Zone that adds a battery And both offer the quick port as an option.

The SE offers a package, too, that navigation system and steering audio controls.

If you’re worried about the of a vehicle this small, try to confrontations with the Chevy or even the compact Cruze. But I can you that it is well-equipped with and side air curtain air bags, and traction and stability control.

much to consider when an electric. They have range and limited space, and require diligence with the plug-in. If you’re worried the battery life, know it comes with an 8-year warranty.

If you can afford more, the Leaf and Chevrolet Volt, to two, offer more range and options. But if you gotta electric, want to spit out emissions, want a quiet and were waiting for a more option, the MiEV is ready to up and go.


Base price: $29,125

as tested: $31,125

Prices destination charge and $7,500 tax credit.

(c)2013 The Miami

Visit The Miami Herald at

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Brilliance Electric Cars
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