2012 Mitsubishi i An electric car on a budget KING5 com Seattle

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2012 Mitsubishi i: An electric car on a

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Posted on February 24, at 11:47 AM

When it comes to cars, most people Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Wealthy folks might Tesla and Fisker. Now there’s a car for budget buyers- the Mitsubishi i. Not a lot of are plugged into the i just It’s been available in and Europe but the US version is only now in Hawaii, California, Oregon, and

The Northeast will see them in It goes nationwide next


The i is the most inexpensive electric car you can buy in starting at 29,125*. My friend the (which you’ll see a lot more of in the signals that the price is $21,625 because of a $7,500 tax credit.

Small Price is a Big

I’m driving a top-of-the-line SE with an MSRP of $31,125 (or after Uncle Sam’s Then add $2,790 for the Premium that includes satellite backup cam, USB port, and an additional quick-charge port.

The i is not a dedicated electric vehicle. It in Japan as a keijidōsha, or kei car, (so to speak) by a tiny 659cc engine that lives the back seat. Mitsubishi yanked out the engine and installed an motor instead.

The lithium-ion is in structural case that’s in the trunk, providing added rigidity as well as power.

The i we get in the is four and a half inches and eight inches longer we have bigger uh, roads The “egg on its tippy toes” remains. Outside dimensions are the same as a MINI Cooper but its more compact drivetrain, interior has 16 cubic feet interior room.

The Details

A 66 (49Kw) AC synchronous permanent motor drives the rear The all-important torque is rated at 145 @ 0-300, meaning it’s the moment your Nikes the throttle. There’s no real to speak of, reverse just the motor turns the opposite

The 330-volt lithium-ion battery 22 hours to charge on standard 120 current, dropping to 7 hours 240, the kind dryers

Opt for the CHAdeMO protocol quick-charge and an 80 percent fill takes 25 minutes. For those who worry long-term battery life, says the pack should 80 percent of the original charge after ten years, even if it is quick-charged. An 8-year/100,000 mile warranty is a mind easer

The Sound of Efficiency

The only really heard when the key is a beep signaling that the i is on. very closely and you might the hydraulic brake system Stomp on the throttle and there’s electric whine and road but that’s pretty much it.

the motor is so quiet you’ll the suspension working a bit more

0 to 30 MPH sprints feel zippy and that’s how i will be driven often, the dynamic is satisfactory. on the other hand is a leisurely 13 at best. The battery gets off a bit when coasting or braking, like hybrid systems.

are disks up front, drums in

The i’s ride quality and dynamics don’t feel as as Leaf or Volt. It feels a less expensive car because, it is a less expensive car. something buyers need to into consideration when between electric vehicles.

of range, I see i strictly as a city It has a very tight turning and the drivetrain is positioned downward and the center of the chassis, giving i a center of gravity for improved and stability.

The suspension is McPherson up front, 3-link deDion in Overall, i is pretty agile, the softer suspension means some body lean in cornering. The wider stance of the US goes a long way on making the car stable at higher speeds.

the rear tires are slightly than the fronts.

The Numbers of

The EPA rates city MPGe at highway is 99. This is more than both Leaf and Volt (95/93). Range is a story. Volt is much limited because of its onboard gas Leaf is EPA rated at 73 miles.

Mitsubishi Electric Cars

The EPA rates i’s range at 62 on a full charge. That’s ideal conditions.

In moderate world driving, I’m about 50 miles before nervous about recharging. I seen the turtle icon signals an extremely low battery, but in my with the i, I’ve come close. Twice.

Like all cars, jackrabbit starts, speeds, cold climate, terrain and any accessory that electricity (headlights, heater, and will shorten the territory i can In other words, blasting on a February night in Duluth, means you aren’t going to get far.

Keep it Simple

driving the top-line SE model so a two-tone brown and black panel plus extra pieces in the cabin. This is not an the plastics, seats and gauges are so Mitsubishi can keep cost and down. Cup holders that from the instrument panel are there’s automatic climate and the steering wheel gets a wrap.

Too bad it doesn’t adjust for or reach.

The transmission lever is like you’d find in any car. It provides modes for aggressive power regeneration, the drag means drivers can use the less (which is kind of The Premium Package’s nav system be a good idea since lost is always bad for battery

In back there are belts for two Evil Twin says room is a little clipped, room is OK and headroom is generous. one spot for backseat dwellers to a drink down near the No armrest or power port is a surprise.

Seems like a trim plate in the middle of the could have been into a useful cupholder or or something.

Hatchbacks Are Good

needs to do chores, even trying to save the Earth. are great for that. i’s hold is not very spacious; it holds three bundles of brand biodegradable bath Really though, most of the you’ll have at least one of the split seatbacks folded which creates loads of

How “green” is i? Well, it has taken the top on the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Greenest Vehicles list. The i a Green Score of 58, the highest recorded. So if you’re buying to planet Earth, this, or a are your best bets.

For most though, the best the i has going for it is the low price, six grand than Nissan’s Leaf. thing to remember is that cars should be much expensive to maintain and service. The i is a car for urban errand running, a compliment to the gas-drinking machine you own.

If you’re looking for eco-clean and cost-cutting, the all-electric i should give you a charge.

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