Motor Trend drives the 2012 Mitsubishi i

The tagline on this review is “It works, but is that enough?” And that does hint at the overall opinion of this review. While the reviewer is not real excited about anything on this car, they do say the Mitsubishi i “won’t make a good weekend racer, nor is it a candidate for anything other than its intended purpose as a city commuter.”

Mitsubishi i driving on track

Every spec of the 2012 Mitsubishi i was held up to it’s main competitors – the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt. And every time it came up short, except for the price. And that’s what Mitsubishi was intending with the i.

Motor Trend says the car won’t make a weekend racer, like some are doing with their Nissan Leafs, and it isn’t really a good candidate for anything other than a city commuter. Mitsubishi is hoping to attract exactly those types of people with the car – and for the budget oriented, green conscious car buyers, the Mitsubishi i is perfect for them.

The Mitsubishi i has a 16 kw-h lithium ion battery pack which Motor Trend says is the same one that is in the Chevy Volt. We aren’t sure if it’s the same manufacturer and everything, or if it just has the same 16 kw-h rating on the battery pack.

The Mitsubishi i didn’t get any Motor Trend fans with it’s handling. Associate editor Scott Evans said, “I thought I knew understeer. Now I know understeer.” It was deemed “tippy” by one driver and the Mitsubishi i also exibited some rear-end instability under heavy braking.

The B driving mode on the Mitsubishi i engages the engine braking for recapturing the most energy and recharging the batteries, but reviewers thought it slowed the Mitsubishi i down too fast and made the ride too jerky to use in everyday driving.

Around the world the Mitsubishi i has fared well, selling over 11,000 units – time will have to tell if the US version of the Mitsubishi i-Miev can hold it’s own in the US.

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