2017 Mitsubishi i-MiEV vs. Its Competition

2017 Mitsubishi i-MiEV

The 2017 Mitsubishi i-MiEV is the least expensive electric car sold in the U.S., at about $23,000 before incentives.

Its most direct competitor may be the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, which will be replaced by a brand-new model for 2017 that we haven't reviewed yet.

Even the carryover Smart has more power and a longer range, though it will only carry two adults to the i-MiEV's four, at just $2,000 more.

For buyers in California, the three-door Fiat 500e compliance car offers cheeky looks and fun-to-drive character, and good lease deals are available.

Moving up in size, the Nissan Leaf is by far the highest-selling electric car in the world.

It got a range boost to 107 miles for 2016 (against the i-MiEV's 62 miles), and will likely carry over unchanged to 2017.

It's pricier, but larger, faster, and offers far more features.

The high-tech BMW i3 offers the highest efficiency rating of any vehicle on the market, but starts at more than $40,000—justifying a carbon-fiber reinforced plastic body shell on an aluminum chassis.

But the most powerful competitor will be the Chevrolet Bolt EV, on sale early in 2017, which will offer a range of 200 miles or more in a subcompact-sized car with the interior volume of a mid-size sedan.

Its price is roughly $15,000 more than the i-MiEV, but it's a fully modern electric car with surprising space inside, the latest in safety, electronic and comfort features, and a large enough battery to dispense with range anxiety.

It simply highlights how outmoded the i-MiEV's 10-year-old design and powertrain are today.

2017 Mitsubishi i-MiEV2017 Mitsubishi i-MiEV
Browse Used Listings
2017 BMW i32017 BMW i3
Browse Used Listings
2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV
Browse Used Listings
2017 Fiat 500e2017 FIAT 500e
Browse Used Listings
2015 Smart fortwo 2-door Cabriolet Passion Angular Front Exterior View2015 smart fortwo
Browse Used Listings
Quick Specs
3.8
While the 2017 Mitsubishi i-MiEV is okay around town and holds four adults, its low price tag doesn't make up for inadequate range, marginal acceleration, and a dated interior.
6.6
The BMW i3 is a technological and stylistic tour de force—yet like any technology, it's nearing its sell-by date.
7.4
The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV could become the first mainstream electric car, with a 238-mile range and a base price in the high $30,000s before incentives.
6.2
If you can live with a real-world range of 80 miles, the 2017 Fiat 500e is probably the best 500 minicar.
MSRP From    
$22,995$42,400$36,620$32,995$13,270
Gas Mileage    
34 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy
Engine    
ElectricElectricElectricElectricPremium Unleaded I-3
EPA Class    
Subcompact CarsSubcompact CarsSmall Station WagonMinicompact CarsTwo-Seaters
Style Name    
ES Automatic60 Ah5-Door HB LTHatch2-Door Coupe Pure
Drivetrain    
Rear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront wheel driveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
44542
Passenger Doors    
N/AN/A4N/AN/A
Body Style    
HatchbackHatchbackHatchbackHatchbackCoupe
Transmission    
AutomaticAutomaticNAAutomaticAuto-Shift Manual w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2017 Mitsubishi i-MiEV vs. 2017 BMW i32017 Mitsubishi i-MiEV vs. 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV2017 Mitsubishi i-MiEV vs. 2017 FIAT 500e2017 Mitsubishi i-MiEV vs. 2015 smart fortwo