As the least expensive electric car sold in the U.S., the 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV offers four seats, five doors, and an all-electric powertrain.
The Nissan Leaf is almsot $6,000 more, though it's a more capable commuting car at highway speeds and offers 75 miles of range against the i-MiEV's 62 miles.
There are also three small "compliance cars," limited-volume battery-electric cars sold only a few locations, that may be worth evaluating for buyers in California.
The Fiat 500e only has three doors, but its cheeky looks and fun-to-drive character--plus cheap monthly leases--recommend it.
The Honda Fit EV is a surprisingly good conversion of the well-respected subcompact hatchback, though it's only offered for lease, not purchase.
And finally, the Chevrolet Spark EV is closest in its small size to the i-MiEV, but far more powerful and with a more stylish interior and modern infotainment features.
Again, though, those last three cars are available only in California and a handful of other locations--so they're not viable choices for all buyers.
Finally, we doubt that anyone will seriously compare the i-MiEV to the very successful Tesla Model S battery-electric luxury sport sedan, which offers 208 or 265 miles of range at a price that can triple the i-MiEV's--or more.
They may share propulsion technology, but so do the gasoline Mitsubishi Mirage and Mercedes-Benz S 550 luxury sedan, and they don't get cross-shopped either.
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