My roommate owns the MiEV and while he went on vacation last year I drove it for a week. I do almost all my own repairs on my car / motorcycle / scooter.
After Consumer Reports beat the car unconscious they didn't stop until they beat it senseless by putting it on the top 10 worst cars list. I like a lot of what CR does but sometimes things get lost in translation. I celebrated briefly when when I saw it on the 10 worst list which was somewhat unfair.
Quite, functional power for a small car.
Handling - perfectly acceptable but a little odd due to the solid "live" rear axle and cheap basic suspension found on many econo boxes.
Interior / seats etc. I thought the general plastic stuff and fit and finish was acceptable and seems about the same as any rental car. It is small but most people drive with just one person 90%? of the time? Compared the my scooter the MiEV is a bloated SUV. I have no complaints about the inside or general quality - EXCEPT if you compare it to the typical $30K car then yes it sucks but you are paying for the battery and electric etc so I reject that car. Even my scooter could sell for over 100K if it was made with materials used on the space shuttle.
$20,000+ depreciation in two years is a disgrace and a crime. However, it creates a wonderful opportunity to afford electric the next owner. (due to Mitsubishi cutting the new car price in half which wasn't fair to existing owners because it devalued their car by almost 20K).
Lack of a spare tire, maybe they figure with the limited range you just walk home?
No cruise control - cruise is especially important when driving on the highway to keep speed consistent and low.
Winter and Summer: You can't afford to heat the car in winter or cool it in summer because the battery is too small. This limits the car in many parts of the country. For winter - why not add a gasoline heater system?
Lack of Bluetooth and other really helpful bells and whistles on the base model is shortsighted.
Range - I flat disagree with one person that said it is meant to be a city car. You don't need or want a car in the city - use the bus, walk, bicycle or buy a used scooter for $1500 that will out park any car any day!! With around 30K miles on the car and driving 60mph I would say the safe range is 45 miles. I ended up calling AAA for a tow as things got dangerously low and I had trouble with the charging stations - one required membership, another only had the level III but I forgot that it has two charge ports (my fault). But the experience scared me and gave me range anxiety. But I'm learning.
Power - could be more but just a minor wish, you don't need it.
Tires - very expensive and only last 30K miles. Should have been made all the same size. This is just stupid engineering nonsense make the front tires smaller so that car can drive 1/10 mile further. $300? for two tires? Outrageous.
Independent rear suspension. The ride quality is good but past a certain point the ride gets harsh. Not really a big deal same for most small cars. Heck even my neighbors 2003? giant 5000 lbs ford expedition rides poorly like a truck and so do many other suv's.
Could have done a better job with the regenerative system. Sometimes I want to cost not recharge the battery then press the gas pedal.
Defects: ABS light has been for over a year (got caught up in the largest air bag recall in history, parts suppliers fault). Brake booster recall (repaired under warranty, no big deal if it failed just press the pedal harder).
Battery compartmentt: I saw a Youtube video of a guy trying to repair a MiEV that went through a flood and water entered the batteries by way of the air vent. They wanted over 10K for a new battery pack and controller boards. That shattered the myth of simple reliable design. The air vents should have a simple float valve like a toilet that senses water and closes the valve and flashes a trouble code. The Controller boards should be much more accessible if they have to be replaced or tested. The batter box is a giant Chinese puzzle waiting to assault an owner with huge costs and a case study in how not to design. While it has been much better than the leaf both cars need work in this area.
At $8000 it's a great used car if you can live with the range.