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Mitsubishi's pint-sized electric vehicle might be the short commuter's dream. Unfortunately, the EV might be a personal finance nightmare as well.

The Numbers

  • MSRP: $22,995
  • Tested Price: $25,845
  • Tested Price After $7,500 Federal Tax Credit: $15,495 (additional state tax credit may apply as well)
  • AC synchronous permanent magnetic motor with a 16 kWh lithium-ion battery
  • 66 horsepower and 145 lb-ft. of torque
  • 126 MPGe in the city
  • 99 MPGe on the highway
  • 112 MPGe combined
  • Cargo Volume: 13.2-cubic feet with rear seats up; 50.4-cubic feet with rear seats folded down

Our test vehicle came with the Navigation Package ($2,000), which includes bi-annual map updates, hands-free Link System with USB port, and backup camera system.

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Hits

  • Excellent visibility due to the expansive windshield and low window sills providing an almost blind spot-free driving experience
  • Rear seats fold down to create a very functional cargo area
  • Acceleration is sporty due to the torque produced by the electric motor
  • Golf cart-like turning radius
  • Infotainment system is extremely easy to use, pairs easily with smartphones, and has an attractive, high-resolution screen

Misses

  • At highway speeds (65 to 75 mph), the I-MiEV feels like it is on the edge of becoming unstable; it does not deal well with crosswinds at-speed, either
  • Extensive use of hard plastics on the dashboard and door cards create an overall feeling of cheapness
  • Real-world EV range (we were able to only get 51 miles per charge) can create range anxiety
  • Seats are extremely spongy and feel down-market
  • No tilt steering
  • Abysmal depreciation that makes us wonder why consumers would buy new, when a very gently used I-MiEV can be purchased for almost half the after tax credit price 

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Value Retention

In regards to value retention, the I-MiEV sits in last place (out of 11) within our three-year-old sub-compact segment by holding only 19.4% of its value in 2015. The I-MiEV underperforms the segment value retention score of 45.4% for 2015.

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Our Verdict on Twitter

@NADAUsedCarGde says, "The @Mitsucars #IMiEV ES might just be the biggest steal on the used #EV market, yet."