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Mitsubishi i-MiEV Earns Best Value in America Award

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Vincentric Trophy - Best Value in America

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV was announced the winner of the 2017 Vincentric Best Value in America™ award in the electric/plug-in hybrid vehicle segment.

The Vincentric Best Value Awards have been running for 13 years and look at vehicles from both the United States and Canada to determine cost of ownership. Eight factors come into play: financing, insurance, maintenance, fees and taxes, repairs, depreciation, fuel costs, and opportunity cost.

Award winners are identified by measuring which vehicles have lower ownership costs than expected considering their market segment and price.

With a starting MSRP of just $22,995, the 2017 Mitsubishi i-MiEV is the most affordable EV in the industry. It can go 62 miles on a single charge, making it ideal for city commuters, and comes with plenty of standard features and amenities despite its low cost, such as heated front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Check It Out: The incredibly efficient Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Mitsubishi i-MiEV driving

It’s probably no surprise, then, that the Mitsubishi i-MiEV won Vincentric’s Best Value in America™ award in its segment, even though the car itself only sold fewer than 100 models last year, which was even fewer than the year before.

Clearly, value isn’t the only thing that matters to customers; or rather, not when it comes to electrics. The Mitsubishi Mirage and Mirage G4 are also extremely value-oriented cars—and in fact were identified by Vincentric as having the lowest cost of ownership of any subcompact or subcompact hatchbacks in America—and their sale figures are in the same ballpark as the much more established and feature-laden Outlander SUV.

That the i-MiEV is comparatively so much less successful than the Mirage, despite essentially filling the same role in the market (relatively low on features but very affordable) except on the electric side, is either a sign that customers are not yet ready to buy electrics or that they seek other things when shopping for them.

Or maybe it’s the styling.

Value Oriented: 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage G4 spotlight

Source: Vincentric

  • Jay Donnaway

    The styling is unique and polarizing, but it does have a bugly appeal, and Americans will buy any gawdawful assault on the eyes- just look at the new Prius (if you can). The blame lies squarely with Mitsubishi. They got clobbered by Nissan’s release of a base 2013 LEAF at lower pricing, did nothing to react for over a year, and have been in hiding ever since, with dealers refusing to order or stock this maintenance-free EV. The i-MiEV has the most seats-down cargo capacity of any competitor, even more than the Kia SOUL EV, and has a much better battery design than the LEAF, albeit lower capacity, and it is a simple airconditioned battery rather than complex water-cooling . It has four driving modes and proportionately more regen than a LEAF, making for a very enjoyable drive. It could’ve been the classic Beetle of this generation, with EVerything you need but nothing you don’t, with personality galore, but Mitsu fumbled…

  • tpolen61

    Low sales are directly a result of Mitsubishi’s failure to market the i-MiEV in mainstream advertising.

    I have been enjoying driving this little jellybean for over four years now. Even after driving numerous other EVs including the Volt, LEAF, i3, and Tesla Roadster, the i-MiEV remains my favorite vehicle. “Routine” maintenance involves replacing tires and windshield wipers, as well as topping off washer fluid, on an as-needed basis.

    I’m glad the i-MiEV won this award. Hopefully it’ll revive some interest in the car before Mitsubishi decides to end production.

  • Benjamin Nead

    I’ll also chime in with praise for the i-MiEV, a car that elitist car reviewers have been slamming for years and that Mitsubishi (at least the North American division) almost refuses to acknowledge even exists. My 2012 example, purchased used in late 2015 (for the paltry sum of $7000, no less,) has been a fun car to drive, eminently practical and virtually maintenance-free. The power for the approximately 6000 miles I’ve put on it since has almost exclusively come from the 120V outlet in front of my rental house and – even with gasoline now priced at historically low levels – costs me about a third as much to drive per mile when compared to a similarly-sized gasoline car . . . and that isn’t even factoring in things like exhaust systems and internal combustion engine (ICE) replacement parts I’ll never have to purchase again. Any number of credible studies (start with ones published by the Union of Concerned Scientists) show that EVs, like the i-MiEV, produce far less pollutants and greenhouse gasses over their lifetime when comparable ICE cars, even when compensating for electricity coming from a dirty grid. As the grid becomes cleaner, cars like the i-MiEV become cleaner. Only EVs can legitimately make that claim.

  • Ed H

    Best car I ever had. Very fast in traffic and operates on pennies. Major maintenance for me has been putting air in all 4 tires!