Car Culture

Mitsubishi i-Miev: Is 63 miles enough?

CNET reviews the Mitsubishi i-Miev, the second pure electric car from a major automaker this century.

Living in a dense urban environment, I appreciate the practicalities of a small car. While testing the i-Miev, I had no qualms about driving it home every night, knowing that parking would not be much of an issue.

But with only 63 miles range, making it back and forth might have become a problem, except for the fact that San Francisco is only about seven miles wide. As the road distance of my commute comes under five miles, the i-Miev's range was more than adequate.

Sounds like the i-Miev would be the perfect car for my lifestyle, but my lack of a home garage, meaning no place to keep it plugged in, makes it impractical.

And that is the crux of the issue with electric cars today. They fit some people's lives very well, but are not an all-purpose transportation solution.

The i-Miev would work very well for anyone with a garage and a commute to work of about 20 miles or less, through an urban or suburban environment. People in that situation can look forward to a much smaller cost per mile over a gasoline-powered car.

Mitsubishi prices the base i-Miev low enough to make it a consideration over the Nissan Leaf, however, take the higher trim and thrown in the Premium option package, and the price rapidly becomes equivalent. At that price, you are going to want to go for the better-performing, and more richly equipped, Leaf.

Read CNET's full review of the 2012 Mitsubishi i-Miev electric car.