2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV vs. Its Competition

2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV

The 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric car has four seats, five doors, and the lowest price tag (about $23,000 before incentives) of any plug-in car sold in the U.S.

It probably competes most directly with the Smart ForTwo Electric, which has only two seats, more power, a longer range, and a price tag $2,000 higher.

The Nissan Leaf is the de facto electric car; the larger Leaf costs about $6,000 more than the little Mitsubishi, but has five seats, more cargo capacity, better performance, and a longer rated range (84 miles vs the i-MiEV's 62 miles).

The Leaf is also far more capable at highway speeds, with a more powerful motor and a larger battery pack.

Then there's the high-tech BMW i3, with unusual looks, a body shell built of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic riding on an aluminum chassis, and the highest efficiency rating of any vehicle on the market.

But it starts above $40,000, with an extra charge for its optional range-extending small engine.

Finally, two small "compliance cars" are viable competitors, but only for buyers in California: They are the Fiat 500e, which only has three doors, but offers cheeky looks and fun-to-drive character.

The Chevrolet Spark EV is closest in its small size to the i-MiEV, but far more powerful; it also has a more stylish interior and modern infotainment features.

2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV
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2016 BMW i32016 BMW i3
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2016 Chevrolet Spark, test drive outside Detroit, July 20162016 Chevrolet Spark
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2016 Nissan Leaf2016 Nissan Leaf
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2016 Fiat 500e2016 FIAT 500e
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Quick Specs
6.6
The 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV is nimble around town, can carry four adults, and has the lowest price tag of any electric car sold in the U.S.--but both its range and performance are only marginal at highway speeds.
7.6
The 2016 BMW i3 is a futuristic and different kind of car, not just a new take on what a BMW represents.
7.4
The 2016 Chevrolet Spark is an all-new version of the minicar that actually seats four adults; its more "adult" styling, higher-quality materials, and optional active-safety features may make it the best of the tiny cars.
7.2
The 2016 Nissan Leaf remains a somewhat appliance-like drive, but its new range rating of 107 miles raises it to the top of its class—and it's still smooth, quiet, and calming to drive.
The 2016 Fiat 500e can be viewed as the best 500 minicar, if you can live with a real-world range of 80 miles; its power is smoother, its handling is more balanced, and it's cheap to buy and run—but you can only get it in California and Oregon.
MSRP From    
$22,995$42,400$12,660$29,010$31,800
Gas Mileage    
30 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy
Engine    
ElectricElectricGas I4ElectricElectric
EPA Class    
Subcompact CarsSubcompact CarsSubcompact CarMid-Size CarsMinicompact Cars
Style Name    
4-Door HB ES4-Door HB5-Door HB Manual LS4-Door HB S *Ltd Avail*2-Door HB
Drivetrain    
Rear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
44454
Passenger Doors    
N/AN/A4N/AN/A
Body Style    
HatchbackHatchbackHatchbackHatchbackHatchback
Transmission    
AutomaticAutomaticManualAutomaticAutomatic
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV vs. 2016 BMW i32016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV vs. 2016 Chevrolet Spark2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV vs. 2016 Nissan Leaf2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV vs. 2016 FIAT 500e