With smaller range, less powerful motor, fewer seats and a smaller trunk than the Nissan LEAF, the dome-shaped Mitsubishi i-Miev hasn’t sold well in the U.S. since it was introduced there in late 2011. In fact, less than 2,000 Mitsubishi i-Mievs have been sold in the U.S. since December 2011. The Nissan LEAF has sold more than ten times that figure in 2013 alone.
From early next year however, the Mitsubishi i-Miev will be a lot more attractive says Mitsubishi, thanks to a massive price cut which will place the all-electric hatchback at $15,495 after Federal incentives. That’s less than a mid-range 2014 Ford Fiesta SE Hatchback or an entry-level 2014 Chevrolet Sonic.
Of course, those in states which offer state EV incentives and tax credits alongside the U.S. Federal tax credit of $7,500 for qualifying plug-in cars will find the price of buying a 2014 Mitsubishi i-Miev will be even lower. Californians, for example, should be able to pick up a Mitsubishi i-Miev for $12,995, while Colorado owners could stand to save even more.
Thankfully, the price isn’t the only new thing about the 2014 Mitsubishi i-Miev. While previous model years have lacked some of the features most buyers now expect on all electric cars, Mitsubishi says this will be rectified for the 2014 model year.
In fact, a whole slew of items previously offered as optional extras will now come as standard, including driver and front passenger heated seats, leather-covered steering wheel, all-round speakers, battery warming system and most importantly, a CHAdeMO DC quick charge port. While most of these — along with aluminium wheels, front fog lights and new daytime running lights — will make the 2014 Mitsubishi i-Miev feel more like many of its direct competitors, the DC quick charge port will allow owners to make longer-distance trips beyond the car’s meagre 62-mile EPA range.
The Mitsubishi i-Miev isn’t the best electric car on the market by any stretch, but this latest price cut places it at the ideal price point for what we think of as its target market: urban, young first-time car buyers who are looking for a distinctive, cheap to own car to get them from home to school, university or work. Buyers who want something fun and funky, and are less worried about its small cargo area, tiny dimensions and small range.
Combine this with a price that’s nearly $5,000 cheaper than the base-model 2013 Nissan LEAF SV, and we think Mitsubishi will find more people willing to forgive the i-Miev’s flaws in favour of cheap, cheerful electric motoring.
The 2014 Mitsubishi i-Miev is expected to arrive at select dealers early next year however, so there’s plenty of time for Mitsubishi’s rivals — primarily Nissan, Chevrolet and Ford — to drop the price of their electric cars too.
Prepare for the next round of EV price wars…
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