Mitsubishi pummels Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius, gets 126 mpge

James Raia

Amid all the promotion and hype of the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf and other mass-marketed hybrid and/or electric vehichles, the car with the best gas mileage in the United States is the unheralded Mitsubishi i.

A comprehensive review of the Mitsubishi i, with debuted in Japan as the i-MiEV, is posted on the online edition of Motortrend. The i-MiEV was initiated in Europe in 2010 and now it's available in the United States.

Yet, despite its lofty mileage status, the Mitsubishi i has yet to built a substantial buying appeal.

One reason, accpording to the Motortrend site, is the question of whether or not "United States' consumers are ready for "a small, underpowered and range-limited EV?"

But for pure economic reasons, the Mitsubishi i has no competitors. It's rated 126 mpge in city, 112 mpge combined and

99 mpge in highway driving.Mitsubishi pummels Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius, gets 126 mpge 1

"Even though first impressions are critically important, spending a few hours in the i strengthened my confidence in the diminutive EV as a (barely) capable road-going car.

"Elbow room is adequate for both driver and passenger in the front seats, and while the lack of a center armrest is a bit of an annoyance, it also means no one has to fight over it.

"Though the driver's seat is plenty adjustable, it was difficult to find a comfortable position. Perhaps that was because of the unusual height of the floor – likely due to the battery pack housed underneath. Whatever it was, my legs were always bent at an awkward angle."

The Mitsubish i is sluggish. It accelerates in the standard 0-60 mph test in 13.4 seconds. The Chevy Volt arrives 60 mph from a standstill in 8.8 seconds and the Nissan Leaf manages the same test in 9.6 seconds.

According to Mitsubishi, 11,000 i-MiEVs have already been sold abroad.

Here are the 2012 Mitsubishi i Facts & Figures

Base Price, $28,840; Vehicle Layout, Rear engine, RWD, 4-pass, 4-door hatchback; Motor 66-hp/145-lb-ft AC electric; Transmission, 1-speed; Curb Weight, 2,579 pounds; Wheelbase, 100.4 inches; Length/Width/Height, 144.8×62.4×63.6; Zero-to-60 mph, 13.4 seconds; Estimated fuel economy 126 city/99 combined.

To read the full report, visit: 2012 Mitsubishi i review


Article Last Updated: October 25, 2011.

0 thoughts on “Mitsubishi pummels Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius, gets 126 mpge”

  1. Thanks, James, for providing a new, fresh, story. To date, I had no idea this automobile existed. Important to have independent news outlets like yourself providing unique and uncommon viewpoints. And, for perspective, I recall early 1970s-era advertisements for the (then relatively new) Japanese cars touting: "Zero to sixty in sixteen seconds." Yes, power and acceleration offer advantage. So, too, does practicality. This innovative auto is one to watch.

  2. Slow, awkward, uncomfortable, barely road capable? I'm in! Where can I test drive this car? Are the crash test results equally underwhelming? I don't want anything too sporty or too safe. 🙂


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