Continuing with the Consumer Reports review -
All the following discussion about vehicle handling has to be put into context: this is not a sports car but a basic urban commuter vehicle.The i-MiEV's ride is awful, with harsh impacts.
I have absolutely no idea what CR is talking about when they say awful
. Deep potholes? I've never had the suspension bottom out on the iMiEV, despite some aggressive driving on poorly-surfaced roads and I've never impacted anybody or anything.The car feels jumpy on uneven roads. And the ride is choppy even on the highway.
I've never ever felt the iMiEV to be uncontrollable, but she's certainly not as smooth as a heavy luxury sedan. Suspension compliance is what I think they're talking about and I wonder if CR recognizes just how short the wheelbase is on this car?- Don, maybe you can chime in here?
What CR failed to mention is the iMiEV's ASC (Active Stability Control) which tends to be quite aggressive on ruffled surfaces and keeps us from getting into any sort of trouble. The ASC has an OFF switch whenever we want to disable it for aggressive driving on rough surfaces.In corners, the i-MiEV feels clumsy, and the slow steering requires a lot of input and offers almost no feedback.
Look, the iMiEV is not a sports car, but this little puppy is certainly not clumsy and I have no idea what they're talking about as that steering is as quick and responsive as any I've driven.Ultimately, the car's narrow width helped it thread our avoidance maneuver quickly and securely.
Let's repeat that:Ultimately, the car's narrow width helped it thread our avoidance maneuver quickly and securely.
Uh, isn't that a testament to its decent handling? I had to dig, but CR shows the iMiEV was 0.5mph slower (52.0mph vs 52.5mph) through the avoidance maneuver than their highly-touted Ford Focus Electric or the Leaf which was also 52.5mph. This maneuver is very driver-dependent, and having driven the Leaf extensively in my opinion our iMiEV should have outperformed the Leaf as the iMiEV is more sprightly.
CR's reviewer's perhaps failed to appreciate the fact that, despite appearing to be a tall vehicle, the battery placement underneath the center of the vehicle results in a low center of gravity and reduces it's polar moment of inertiaBut it felt ungainly and did not inspire confidence because the skinny front tires lost grip easily.Efficiency
what this car is about and skinny Low Rolling Resistance tires are the compromise solution.
The car may look
ungainly, but it sure does not feel
Having pushed the iMiEV on occasion (with ASC turned off) with a fair amount of spirited driving, I believe the iMiEV's handling is totally predictable and controllable. I, for one, have full confidence in its handling characteristics - and I live up a twisty windy road that I know very well. Remember, this is not a sports car but an urban commuter vehicle.
CR forgot to mention that the iMiEV stopped in 132ft (146ft wet) from 60mph vs. the Ford Focus Electric's 140ft (154ft wet) vs. the Leaf at 136ft (149ft wet)... gee, we stop sooner, skinny tires and all.At low speeds the electric motor whines loudly. As speed builds, tire and wind noise become louder.
What an inane couple of sentences! As previously mentioned, whoever wrote that didn't realize they were listening outside
of the car to the artificially-generated pedestrian warning
noise. Inside the car it is SILENT - why didn't they put a db meter in there to quantify this parameter instead of making such a dumb statement? As speed builds, the iMiEV is still an extremely quiet car inside and normal conversations can be very comfortably conducted. To me, it looks like Mitsubishi put a lot of effort into attenuating wind, motor, and road noises.
The next paragraph CR entitled "Chintzy interior
"The cabin feels dated and cheap. Almost all of the plastic trim is hard, several screw heads are visible, and plenty of mold lines are evident in the trim.
So? This is a functional urban vehicle! A couple of days ago while we were taking a walk at a neighboring community farm, a harassed daddy was putting his kids into the back of his brand-new Tesla S (and two children into those wonderful seats in the trunk) - very muddy kiddy boots stomping all over that car's leather seats and beautiful upholstery! I, for one, am happy to have plastic surround, screw heads which mean I can take something apart easier if I need to fix it, and I could care less about mold lines. BTW, the only exposed screw heads I could find were the two screws holding the visor in place.Sitting up high makes you feel less vulnerable, but the fixed steering wheel is too far away and the pedals too close, contributing to an awkward driving position. Plus the seat doesn't go back far enough.
This is so subjective -
What does sitting up high have to do with "feeling" less vulnerable? It's a great high-seating position with plenty of all-round visibility except for those darn headrests (all four of which I now remove when I'm driving solo).
How about the car's fantastically easy ingress/egress? - a 97-year-old lady I drive around repeatedly compliments this feature.
I happen to think the steering wheel position is perfect
as I like to drive pretty much straight-arm but with a slight bend at the elbows and can never understand how someone can drive a car with the wheel crunched in their chest.
Never gave pedal proximity (to each other) a second thought, and I only use my right foot for both accelerator and brake.
What does pedal proximity have to do with an awkward driving position? Dunno what they're talking about.
I agree, I would like to move the seat back a bit further.Most controls are simple, except for the radio and integrated navigation system, which has no knobs and can be very distracting. Ridiculously, the navigation system displays gas stations rather than charging stations. Bluetooth connectivity is standard.
This similar comment in the video has already been addressed. I won't defend it since I didn't buy it, but at least the gas station locations tell you where the bathrooms are to be found.
Moving right along to their summary table...
They do show a picture of the remote and tell us it can heat the car while it's plugged in (by the picture but not in the text where they derided the heating).Highs - Low energy-consumption, zero emissions, turning circle
Good, they picked up on our London taxi-like maneuvering ability, but the turning circle CR shows on their data sheet is two feet more than shown on the Mitsu data sheets (33ft vs. 30.8ft). Guess I'll have to measure it myself.
What about the iMiEV's huge cargo capacity and flat floor with the back seats down? Lows - short range, long charging time, weak heat, spartan interior, acceleration, ride, agility complicated radio, headlights, driving position
Headlights? Further on down they say: Weak low beams don't shine far enough. High beams are only slightly brighter, but they reach a good distance.
Are these guys talking about the iMiEV or some other car? Our headlights are not LEDs, the low beams have a very sharp cutoff that avoids blinding the oncoming cars, and the high beams are a veritable floodlight (I drive home on a winding dark mountain road and think they're wonderful!).Braking - Stops are short, but the regenerative brakes make the pedal feel touchy.
Their opinion on the touchiness. The transition from regeneration to actual hydraulic brake application is so smooth and seamless that I can't distinguish between the two.Access - Easy to the front; more difficult to the rear because of a narrow footpath.
I didn't realize there was a footpath meandering through our car. Isn't that a function of front seat position?Visibility - Feels like a fishbowl, but the rear window is small.
I think being in a fishbowl is a compliment by them(?) The rear window is full height and full width. Are they talking about the iMiEV? If so, they forgot to point out the terribly-intrusive headrests.Cabin Storage - Modest: the glove box is about the only available storage.
...if you ignore the pockets in the doors or the little doodad holder in front of the shift lever or the three cupholders, two of which I bet they never even discovered.Head Restraints - All are sufficiently tall for protection
Yeah, but they intrude too much on the car's panoramic view.Child Seats - Difficult to fit in a car so small. Rear belts might not secure rear-facing seats adequately.
I don't know what they're talking about as I had no problem installing my granddaughter's seat and securing it to the built-in attachment points in the iMiEV.
All right, that about addresses the CR commentary and a few of the numbers in the CR review. I'm befuddled as to what Consumer Report's reviewers' motivation was for what seems to be such a negatively-biased and seemingly-vindictive review of what we know to be a great little urban car.
I'm going to start reading some of theCR review material available online and see if I can excerpt and comment on some of that.
I'm being really defensive of this car because after almost a year of ownership and over 11,000 miles this car has met all of our needs and I think we appreciate it even more now than when we first bought it.
Notice they didn't talk at all about EV-specific items (other than bitching about the range) such as power inlet port location and instrument panel. They completely missed the superiority of the iMiEV's regeneration control compared to the other EVs.
To anyone contemplating a purchase of the iMiEV all I can say is go drive it
and investigate it thoroughly for the purpose you intend to use it for and do the math for all the cost elements as well as real-life driving distances and then be your own judge