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Consumer Reports Got It So Wrong!

Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:44 pm

First a note to Mitsubishi Engineering and Production:

You did a wonderful job of meeting the requirements to produce an extremely reliable ZERO EMISSIONS vehicle that satisfies the needs of the vast majority of drivers and households in the United States, recognizing that Americans own an average of 2.28 vehicles per household and drive less than 30 miles/day at speeds usually below 80mph. ... old-26437/

The March 2013 issue of Consumer Reports published what I would term an incredibly biased negative review of the Mitsubishi i-Miev, which completely fails to do justice to this great little car.

Here's a sample of what they wrote:

"The i-MiEV is puny, tinny, slow, jouncy, and clumsy."

"At low speeds the electric motor whines loudly. As speed build, tire and wind noise become louder."

"...typical range of just 56 miles in our experience."

"It's slow, chintzy, cramped, and so far off the mark that we often felt it was closer to being a glorified golf cart than an actual car."

Are they talking about the same car we're driving?

Inasmuch as open-minded prospective purchasers may be viewing this thread, perhaps we can have a cohesive point-by-point dissection of the Consumer Reports article, not only pointing out the errors (or agreements) in their review but also highlighting so many of the iMiEV's great features they either glossed-over or completely ignored.

To the prospective iMiEV purchaser: please go for a test-drive, crawl all over the car so you understand all of its features, then do the math and be your own judge, especially as this zero-emissions vehicle which uses no fossil fuel relates to your daily needs!
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

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Re: Consumer Reports Got It So Wrong!

Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:59 pm

Not yet (fingers crossed) :)

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Re: Consumer Reports Got It So Wrong!

Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:46 pm

Consumer reports is comparing the i-MiEV to vehicles like the Leaf, Fit EV, Focus EV, and Tesla Model S. Of course it's going to be outclassed! Mitsubishi, by their own admission, knows the base "i" is a 3-year-old car. It isn't as polished as some of the other EVs that had 3 extra years of engineering time. It's also not nearly as expensive. ;)

That being said, how the hell do you only get 56 miles of range? Uphill, both ways? Heat on full? In 10 feet of snow? That's almost as bad as ""'s review that only got 36 miles. (I've since blocked that site from my Google search results.)

The "i" is a city commuter car. Nothing more, nothing less. Once you realize that, the car is MORE than adequate to meet your needs.
2015 Nissan LEAF S

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Re: Consumer Reports Got It So Wrong!

Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:09 pm

Over the past 20 years or so, I've had several occasions to read some extremely biased CR 'critiques' of several of my favorite items which I considered to be very well made and a good value. Consequently, they lost all credibility with me long before they reviewed our wonderful car, so I could care less what they write. In my experience, there are usually several products which are a much better value than the ones they recommend. Not sure who collects the bribes for some of their articles . . . . obviously, Mitsubishi refused to pay up! :lol:

2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
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Re: Consumer Reports Got It So Wrong!

Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:33 pm

Consumer Reports wrote:"The i-MiEV is puny, tinny, slow, jouncy, and clumsy."

puny: small and weak; poor in quality, amount, or size

Many people, myself included, value small. I haven't found my i-MiEV to be weak or poor in quality. I'm guessing that the Consumer Reports reviewer does not like small, relatively light cars that aren't sports cars.

tinny: having a displeasingly thin, metallic sound; made of thin or poor-quality metal

I haven't noticed my i-MiEV having a metallic sound at all, and its metal seems to be of similar quality to other cars. I don't understand why the reviewer used this adjective.

slow: moving or operating, or designed to do so, only at a low speed; not quick or fast; taking a long time to perform a specified action; not allowing or intended for fast travel

The i-MiEV is fast enough for its design purpose. If it were faster, it would also be less efficient and have less range. It's perfectly capable of traveling the speed limit in almost all U.S. states.

jouncy: jolty or bouncy

The i-MiEV, despite having the longest wheelbase possible for its body length, still has a relatively short wheelbase which can make its body move more over uneven road surfaces. I suspect the reviewer prefers long-wheelbase American land yachts.

clumsy: awkward in movement or in handling things; difficult to handle or use; unwieldy

I consider my i-MiEV to be quite nimble, so I'd like the reviewer to explain what he means by "clumsy".

Consumer Reports wrote:"At low speeds the electric motor whines loudly."

The only sound I hear at low speeds is the AVAS which I suspect is what the reviewer heard and would have realized if he were a good reviewer. The electric motor is almost silent to my (old) ears.

Consumer Reports wrote:"As speed build, tire and wind noise become louder."

… as with any car, but I find my i-MiEV to be very quiet at highway speeds with little wind noise. But then I haven't spent much time in a big heavy American land yacht at highway speeds, so my point of reference is likely different from the reviewer's.

Consumer Reports wrote:"...typical range of just 56 miles in our experience."

The reviewer was not driving for efficiency, the ambient temperature was cold, or he was driving with the A/C or heater on. As most of you know, it's easy to exceed a 56-mile range.

Consumer Reports wrote:"It's slow, chintzy, cramped, and so far off the mark that we often felt it was closer to being a glorified golf cart than an actual car."

chintzy: cheap and of poor quality

The i-MiEV is among the least expensive EV's, so it's not loaded with expensive fabrics, surfaces, etc. If one wants a luxury EV, the i-MiEV isn't the right EV, but many of us don't value surface luxury nearly as much as solid engineering.

It's cramped if you prefer a large American car. But for those who want the most efficient packaging, it's hard to find another car with as much interior space in as small an exterior size. If you need to carry 5 large adults most of the time, the i-MiEV isn't your car.

The final assertion that the i-MiEV is "closer to being a glorified golf cart than an actual car" should disqualify the author as a serious reviewer. The i-MiEV has the same safety and comfort features that one expects in a new car which are far from that offered by even the most luxurious golf cart. This is just a ridiculous statement!
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Re: Consumer Reports Got It So Wrong!

Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:35 pm

If the text from their video review matches the print edition, I can see why Joe got steamed. I've submitted two reasoned comments so far, and they've not seen fit to print either...
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Re: Consumer Reports Got It So Wrong!

Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:55 pm

That part about characterizing AVAS as "At low speeds the electric motor whines loudly." is a point I've particularly noted in conversations with a few friends about this hatchet job. Unless CR retracts that statement in particular, they have zero credibility on this review. This obvious error proves that the reviewer was completely ignorant of even the most basic facts about the car.

They also repeat one of the biggest persistent misstatements we hear in i-MiEV reviews (and I believe this is in the video review as well) - that for "just a little more" you can get the golden child Nissan Leaf, so why settle for this miserable little pug?
The problem with that story is that it is a complete lie. The only Nissan Leaf that met my criteria was about $7000 more than my ES w/QuickCharge. That's not "just a little" in absolute terms, even less so in relative terms when you're comparing post-tax prices, where that difference is over 30%!!! As I've seen in review after review, writers keep comparing the price of the option-laden i SE Premium to the base Leaf SV. That's partly Mitsu's fault for pushing SE Premiums at reviewers, but CR actually bought the car, and acknowledge the availability of the less costly ES in the fine print while headlining the price in the opening paragraph as being well over $33k. I realize that this whole story is changing, to Mitsu's disadvantage, with the upcoming introduction of the Leaf S; but that's not relevant for the 2012 models discussed in the article.

There are legitimate critiques to be offered, caveats for those who might not otherwise be aware of some of the i's limitations or unusual qualities. But this CR piece goes far beyond that, on the one hand slamming the car for attributes inherent to its size and technology, on the other subjectively characterizing the car in terms that are unflattering and completely unjustified.

A good friend of mine who sold audio equipment for many years derisively referred to CR as "Consumer Distorts" for reviews that he considered at best ignorant and often downright misleading. After this fiasco, I understand his perspective a lot better.

Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic :evil:
2012 Silver ES w/QuickCharge+DRL/foglights, Eaton Level 2 EVSE, since 9/9/2012

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Re: Consumer Reports Got It So Wrong!

Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:36 pm

I just updated my August 2012 comments on the C/R web site. I hope people at least look at the car and other web sites and this forum in making up their minds. I posted our forum URL in my comments on the C/R web site.

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Re: Consumer Reports Got It So Wrong!

Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:55 pm

The i MiEV is a little guy from an underdog manufacturer, making it easy for these bully journalist to write a quick and dirty slam on our favourite car. I found long term reviews of the i are much more favorable than these pieces handed to unqualified reviewers that spend less than a day in the car. I drive 90% highway everyday and never have a problem with the car keeping up or keeping itself on the road. In actuallity, it moves along quite nicely even at top speeds. This writer needs to get a clue and a new haircut.

Like Dylan...I went electric.

  • Purchased: June 29th, 2012
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2013 - 25,431 km / 15,802 miles
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2014 - 51,286 km / 32,616 miles

List of Oil Spills:

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Re: Consumer Reports Got It So Wrong!

Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:58 pm

I also sent a letter to the editor. In addition to the points noted above I provided the following additional observation to them:

Lastly, there are other EVs, but they are not just "a little more." For many buyers (excepting 1 percenter’s), the EV is an additional car. Therefore, the cost is more important than you believe, and regardless of cost, they all get the $7,500 tax rebate, so the actual delta between prices is greater than you intimate. For example, my i-Miev cost $29,125. The Ford EV, which you describe as "how it's done," is $39,200 (and not even available nationwide). Considering the tax rebate, the Ford EV is $31,700 and the i-Miev is $21,625, a delta of over $10,000. This is not "a little more," and for a second car, this 32% delta can make the difference.

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