Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2017 BMW i3 VS 2017 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Near Scottsdale, AZ

Responsive image

2017 BMW i3

Responsive image

2017 Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Safety Comparison

The i3 offers optional Collision Mitigation, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The i-MiEV doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The i3 has standard Park Distance Control to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The i-MiEV doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The i3 has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The i-MiEV doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the i3 and the i-MiEV have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and daytime running lights.

Warranty Comparison

The i3 comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The i-MiEV’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The i3’s corrosion warranty is 5 years and unlimited miles longer than the i-MiEV’s (12/unlimited vs. 7/100,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the i3 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mitsubishi doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the i-MiEV.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 14th in reliability, above the industry average. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 20th.

Engine Comparison

The i3’s electric motor produces 104 more horsepower (170 vs. 66) and 39 lbs.-ft. more torque (184 vs. 145) than the i-MiEV’s electric motor.

As tested in Motor Trend the BMW i3 is faster than the Mitsubishi i-MiEV:




Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

13.4 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

19.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89 MPH

71.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the i3 gets better fuel mileage than the i-MiEV (MPGe):



i3 60Ah

i3 94Ah




137 city/111 hwy

129 city/106 hwy

121 city/102 hwy

The i3 94Ah’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 114 miles, almost twice as far as the i-MiEV’s 59-mile range. The i3 60Ah’s range is 81 miles.

The i3 REx’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 97 miles, almost 65% further than the i-MiEV’s 59-mile range. After it exhausts its pure electric range, the i3 REx can then continue for 86 more miles on its internal combustion engine, while the i-MiEV has to recharge for 30 minutes for only a 80% charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas. A full recharge at a conventional charging station can take up to 14 hours.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the i3’s brake rotors are larger than those on the i-MiEV:




Front Rotors

11 inches

10.1 inches

Rear Rotors

11 inches

8” drums

The BMW i3 has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the i-MiEV. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes which work much harder than conventional brakes.

The i3 stops much shorter than the i-MiEV:





70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

183 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

132 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the i3 has larger standard tires than the i-MiEV (155/70R19 vs. 145/65R15). The i3’s optional front tires are larger than the largest tires available on the i-MiEV (F:155/60R20 & R:175/55R20 vs. F:145/65R15 & R:175/60R15).

The i3’s optional 155/60R20 front and 175/55R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series front and 55 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the i-MiEV’s 65 series front and 60 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the i3 has standard 19-inch wheels. Only 15-inch wheels are available on the i-MiEV. The i3 offers optional 20-inch wheels.

The BMW i3’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Mitsubishi i-MiEV only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For superior ride and handling, the BMW i3 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Mitsubishi i-MiEV has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the i3 is 6 inches wider in the front and 7.7 inches wider in the rear than on the i-MiEV.

The i3 handles at .78 G’s, while the i-MiEV ES pulls only .68 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis Comparison

The design of the BMW i3 amounts to more than styling. The i3 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is significantly lower than the i-MiEV (.35). A more efficient exterior helps the i3 go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the i3 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space Comparison

The i3 has 4 inches more front headroom, 6.7 inches more front legroom, 2.9 inches more rear headroom and 1.9 inches more rear legroom than the i-MiEV.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The i3 has a much larger trunk than the i-MiEV with its rear seat up (15.1 vs. 13.2 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The i3’s standard tilting steering column adjusts to different sized drivers and makes entering and exiting easier. Mitsubishi doesn’t offer tilt steering on the i-MiEV.

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the i3 has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The i-MiEV doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

When two different drivers share the i3, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The i-MiEV doesn’t offer a memory system.

The i3’s front power windows open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The i-MiEV’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

If the windows are left down on the i3 the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the i-MiEV can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Comfort Access optional on the i3 allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Mitsubishi i-MiEV doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The i3’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The i-MiEV’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the i3 has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The i-MiEV doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The i3’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The i-MiEV’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

The i3’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The i-MiEV doesn’t offer the luxury of automatic dimming mirrors.

The i3 has a standard center folding armrest for the driver and front passenger. A center armrest helps combat driver fatigue. The i-MiEV doesn’t offer a front seat center armrest.

The i3’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The i-MiEV doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the i3 offers an optional Active Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The i-MiEV doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Optional BMW Apps for the i3 allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations, tagging songs to buy them later, following twitter accounts and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The i-MiEV doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the i3, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Bluetooth costs extra on the i-MiEV.

The i3’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The i-MiEV doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

The i3 is ranked first in its class and received the 2015 “Total Quality Award.” The i-MiEV is not ranked.

The BMW i3 outsold the Mitsubishi i-MiEV by almost 86 to one during the 2016 model year.

© 1991-2016 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. Who We Are
Click here to view the disclaimers, limitations and notices about EPA fuel mileage, crash tests, coprights, trademarks, and other issues.