2012 Mitsubishi i-Miev Review

2012 Mitsubishi i-Miev road test and review…

If you’re considering buying a pure electric car that seats more than two people, the Mitsubishi i-Miev is now available in Australia.

While technologically it ticks all the boxes that you expect from a modern car, handles well and is ecologically friendly with no emissions, there are a couple of serious negatives – price and the relatively short range between battery recharges.

While the package offers a good range standard niceties including full power accessories, filtered air-conditioning, SATNAV, a good sound system and even a heated driver seat.

It also features a quick-charger port (which allows you to connect to a public quick charger to provide 80 percent charge in just 30 minutes), a navigation system, a rear-view camera, Bluetooth connectivity and additional audio system features (a USB port and steering wheel controls.)

Other features include Active Stability Control, folding side mirrors, cup holders, reasonable head and leg room both front and rear and other small features we have come to expect in the modern motor car.

The automatic transmission is first class, with a couple of additional positions not found in the regular petrol car.

There is park, drive and reverse, but also “B” which provides regenerative charging when braking, and “C” when the charge is low, it will enable you to get to the next charging location.

Instrumentation is well laid out and all controls easily accessible.

Mitsubishi is claiming a range of 100 to 120kms between recharges, depending on how hard you drive the car.

Charging times vary according to what system you have.

For a 240-volt, 15 Amp quick-charge dock for your home should see a full charge in around eight hours.

A “Level 3” public quick-charging dock can provide 80 percent charge in just 30 minutes (when they eventually become available in Australia).

A 49 KW motor (which is equal to about 66 horsepower) propels the i-Miev to a top speed of 80 mph.

At just over 1600kg, the i-Miev is fairly light for an electric car; The i-Miev provides an eerily smooth and quiet drive – in fact it takes some getting used to.

When you turn the key, only a “ding” and a small display telling you “ready” is the only indication that the engine is running.

Safety is also a high priority with air-bags, and all the other safety features of the entire Mitsubishi range, from the small Colt to the large Pajero.

Certainly you’ll want to consider all your options when it comes to buying an electric car.

Obviously price will be a major consideration - you can buy three Colts for the price of one I-Miev, its relatively short range between recharges, and the yet to be proven life cycle of the batteries and electric motors.

Still it is no longer science fiction to drive a regular electric car down the street.

There can be no argument that it is the wave of the future when it comes to urban, and in time long range transportation

NUTS and BOLTS

Engine: Electric motor providing 49kW and 180Nm

Transmission: One speed fixed gear

Safety: Not tested

Warranty: 3 Years/50,000kms

Origin: Japan

Price: From $48,800

About Garry Fabian 120 Articles
Garry is a contributor to Behind the Wheel. He has been a freelance journalist for over 25 years across a wide range of subjects, including technical and health areas.He has written weekly car reviews and automotive articles and historic features for a number of newspapers and magazines.

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