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
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2017 BMW i32017 BMW i3
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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV
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2017 Fiat 500e2017 FIAT 500e
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2015 Smart fortwo 2-door Cabriolet Passion Angular Front Exterior View2015 smart fortwo
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Quick Specs
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.
The BMW i3 is a technological and stylistic tour de force—yet like any technology, it's nearing its sell-by date.
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.
If you can live with a real-world range of 80 miles, the 2017 Fiat 500e is probably the best 500 minicar.
MSRP From    
Gas Mileage    
Coming Soon MPG City / Coming Soon MPG HwyComing Soon MPG City / Coming Soon MPG HwyComing Soon MPG City / Coming Soon MPG HwyComing Soon MPG City / Coming Soon MPG Hwy34 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy
ElectricElectricElectricElectricPremium Unleaded I-3
EPA Class    
Subcompact CarsSubcompact CarsSmall Station WagonMinicompact CarsTwo Seaters
Style Name    
ES Automatic60 Ah5-Door HB LTHatch2-Door Coupe Pure
Rear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront wheel driveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
Passenger Doors    
Body Style    
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