There are two key things to know about the Mitsubishi i – it's the most fuel efficient vehicle on the road in the United States, and it's the lowest-priced electric vehicle (EV) on the road. You could stop there and have a pretty compelling vehicle, but the Mitsubishi i is so much more than those two things.
The Mitsubishi i has been named the most fuel efficient car in America by the federal EPA, which says it earned the title from a miles-per-gallon equivalent (MPGe) of 112. MPGe is used because not a drop of gasoline is used to power the Mitsubishi i. Power comes from a 49kW AC synchronous electric motor (66 hp), an 88-cell 16kWh lithium-ion battery pack and an onboard battery charger.
That onboard battery charger is going to replenish Mitsubishi i power in as little as 30 minutes, depending on the power source. The most typical recharge time will be seven hours from a 240-volt home charger. A $7,500 federal tax incentive is designed to offset the cost of installation. Once charged, the Mitsubishi i has an estimated range of 62 miles.
Not only is the Mitsubishi i the most fuel-efficient ride in the U.S., it is the most affordably priced mass-produced electric vehicle available in the United States. It has an MSRP of $29,125 for the base ES model before the federal tax credit of $7,500 and available state financial incentives. The SE trim level starts at $31,125.
The SE level, which is considered the premium trim level, offers a 360-watt, deluxe AM/FM/CD audio system with MP3/WMA playback and eight speakers, foglamps that serve as daytime running lamps, automatic on/off headlights, 15-inch alloy wheels (15-inch steel wheels on the ES), a premium brown interior and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shiftknob.
A Cold Zone Package with battery warming system and heated side-view mirrors is an option on both trim levels and is recommended for those who live in colder climates. A Premium Package – including a 40GB HDD Navigation System with music server and real-time traffic, FUSE hands free link with USB port, steering wheel audio controls, a quick charge port and a rear-view camera system – is available on the SE trim as well.
The Mitsubishi i, in spite of its small size, is surprisingly spacious. It's based on a gasoline-engine version sold overseas, the designers of which placed the engine in the rear of the car for better handling and more interior space. When it came time to make an electric vehicle, the engineers adapted the gas-powered model to create a roomy electric vehicle in a small package (further helping the range). The Mitsubishi i is 4.3 inches wider than its Japanese counterpart and has redesigned front and rear bumpers, a tire pressure monitoring system and Approaching Vehicle Alerting System that helps pedestrians know the silent-running EV is approaching. A redesigned center console featuring improved materials also features prominently in the Mitsubishi i.
Safety is also a key component of the Mitsubishi i. It has an advanced airbag system consisting of dual-stage front airbags, driver and front passenger’s seat-mounted side-impact supplemental airbags and roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental airbags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Active Stability Control with Traction Control Logic also included as standard equipment.
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