At $4,050, Could This 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Get You To Rock Down To Electric Avenue?

Illustration for article titled At $4,050, Could This 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Get You To Rock Down To Electric Avenue?
Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

The average work commute in the U.S. these days is about 26 miles. That makes cars like today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe i-MiEV suitable for the job, even with its relatively short range. Let’s see if that, and this city car’s price makes it a good deal by a country mile.

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With all the bad stuff going on in the world this week, at least one bit of good news was had yesterday. That was that the 1985 Porsche 944 we looked at seemed to find a new home. A handsome and seemingly well-cared-for car with a LOT of miles, its ad was pulled by the seller as we were just getting started—a typical sign of a sale. More good news awaited that new owner as we gave the 944’s $5,500 price tag a solid 72 percent Nice Price win as well.

Have you ever eaten a Century Egg? Those are a funky Asian delicacy—eggs that are cured in an alkaline environment solidifying them while turning the whites inside inky and the yolks grey-green and very pungent.

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I’ve never had the opportunity to try one, but I am reminded of the dish by today’s black-painted 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV which itself is very egg-like.

Illustration for article titled At $4,050, Could This 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Get You To Rock Down To Electric Avenue?

The i-MiEV or Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle is the electric version of the Mitsubishi’s i and enjoys the distinction of being the only Kei car officially sold in the U.S. in this century. In place of the standard i’s three-cylinder, 659cc gas engine, the MiEV gets its motivation from a 63 horsepower permanent magnet electric motor and one-speed transaxle driving the rear wheels. The motor is juiced by a 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack which is fairly modest by today’s standards. The electric motor is liquid-cooled, however, the battery pack uses forced air for temperature control.

Together, the electrical system and drivetrain gave the i-MiEV an EPA-rated range of 62 miles between charges. Top speed is a mere 81 miles per hour, and of course, all these numbers go south once you load the car up with a full contingent of passengers.

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Illustration for article titled At $4,050, Could This 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Get You To Rock Down To Electric Avenue?

Sure, this isn’t a Tesla. You’re not going to go far, nor very fast in this i-MiEV, but for a lot of people, that’s okay.

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It was Ford’s Model T that first got Americans traveling. Prior to the advent of reasonably cheap automobiles, many rural and small-town folks never strayed more than just a few miles from where they were born and raised. The Model T made it possible to travel distances away from where railroad tracks had been laid.

These days we’re accustomed to jumping in the car and hitting the highway—or at least we were up until about February. That unencumbered wanderlust doesn’t mean, however, that we don’t also need to bop around town on short errands or to commute to work. It’s in those instances that a small, park-able, and energy-efficient vehicle like the i-MiEV becomes intriguing.

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Again, let’s make the point—this isn’t a Tesla. But then, it’s neither priced nor sized like one either. The i-MiEV is bigger than its Japanese progenitor, necessitated by larger bumpers to meet U.S. safety and lighting standards, but it’s still one of the smallest cars around. And it’s not as shitty to drive as a Smart, either.

Illustration for article titled At $4,050, Could This 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Get You To Rock Down To Electric Avenue?
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This one, in Century Egg black (which isn’t the official name, but it should be) comes with 43,777 miles on the clock and according to its seller a slew of maintenance and recall work having just been completed.

The ad says that until recently this was the ride of the seller’s college-age son. He has apparently moved on and didn’t want to take the Mitsu with him.

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It looks like college boy kept the car in pretty good shape. There’s only evidence of one keg scrape on the back corner and there’s no puke to be found anywhere. In fact, aside from some mud smeared on the door panel and carpet, it all seems almost as-new. Maybe he went to a commuter college?

Illustration for article titled At $4,050, Could This 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Get You To Rock Down To Electric Avenue?
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The exterior is monochromatic, enlivened only by the silver plastic wheel covers and bright front door key-lock. Inside, there’s room for four and some basic amenities. The battery pack sits under-floor so you don’t have an egregiously wide console or pushed-forward back seat like in some other electrics.

Everything is said to work as intended and the car is being sold with a clean title.

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Illustration for article titled At $4,050, Could This 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Get You To Rock Down To Electric Avenue?

As noted, this is not the car for a hobo, nomad, vagabond, or traveling circus worker. However, this is perfect for the vast majority of people who just need something to get them to work or school and back and don’t want to spend a fortune doing so.

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The fortune asked by this i-MiEV is $4,050. That’s Mama-bear low on these models, but we still need to decide how good a deal it might be. What do you think, is this all-electric Mitsu worth that $4,050 asking? Or, for that much is this an i that has you saying “not I?”

You decide!

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Minneapolis, MN Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Daniel D. for the hookup! 

Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.

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DISCUSSION

hangovergrenade
Unacceptably Dry Scones

This is all the car 70% of the population would ever need. Myself included. We may WANT M-cars and AMGs and huge stupid trucks, but we certainly don’t need them.

Before I get piled on, no not you. You are a special snowflake with a 200 mile daily commute over the Rocky Mountains with 5 cowboys and a horse trailer.