Mitsubishi i Review (2007)

Mitsubishi i
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Mitsubishi i Review

Mitsubishi i Review | Part TwoMitsubishi i Road Test

There was a time when ‘I’ was more of a suffix, with the ‘i’ in GTi, representing ‘injection’.

There was a time when ‘I’ was more of a suffix, with the ‘i’ in GTi, representing ‘injection’. But there is now a growing trend towards putting the ‘i’ in front, the Hyundai i130 for example. However, the Mitsubishi Motor Corporation (MMC), has gone a step further in naming its new mini car, it is simply, i.

MMC tells us that i is a play on the word ‘ai’, which is Japanese for love. Alternatively, it could be taken to mean the first person or perhaps a connection with iPod, which I’ll come back to later.

The i is what is known as a K-car, or a city-car, if you prefer. The K-car idea dates back to 1949, when the Japanese government decided to give tax breaks to smaller, more efficient cars. These were known as Kei Jidosha - Japanese for ‘light vehicle’, which turned into Kei-car and was further truncated to the K-car we know today.

The concept may have started in 1949, when resources were in short supply but for different reasons, it is just as relevant today, especially in the towns and cities that are the K-cars natural habitat.

The K-car regulations are quite strict and state that the vehicle can be no more than 3.4 metres long or 1.48 metres in width, furthermore, the engine must be 660cc or less and should not produce in excess of 64 horsepower.

The i conforms to these rules in that it is 3.39 metres in length and 1.47 metres wide. It also has a 660cc engine, which produces 57bhp. Mitsubishi suggests that the smart ForTwo is the nearest rival to the i, with dimensions of 2.69m (L) and 1.47m (W). However, the ForTwo is just that, and the i has four full-size seats with an equal number of doors.

The diminutive, i is a peculiar looking vehicle. It stands tall but is very narrow and takes the ‘wheel-in-every-corner’ idea, to a new level. By placing the engine at the back, just forward of the rear axle, MMC have created a car with minimal overhangs, front and rear. That, together with a long wheelbase, means enough room for four passengers to sit in relative comfort. Rear legroom is adequate as long as there isn’t a tall person in the front seat and, despite the narrow body, there is enough elbow-room for all.

Mitsubishi i Review | Part TwoMitsubishi i Road Test
Mitsubishi i Road Test Data
Model ReviewedMitsubishi i
  
Body Type4-Door Hatchback
ColourAmethyst Black
  
Performance (manufacturers data) 
  
0 - 62 mph14.9 Seconds
Top Speed 84 mph
  
Transmission4-Speed Automatic Gearbox
  
Fuel TypeUnleaded Petrol
  
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
  
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
  
Urban52.3 mpg
Extra Urban56 mpg
Combined54.6 mpg
  
Insurance Group4
Euro NCAP RatingTBA
Warranty3-Years / Unlimited Miles
Price (when tested on the 10/12/07)£9,084 OTR

The information contained within this Mitsubishi i review may have changed since publication on the 10 December 2007. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Mitsubishi dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. carpages.co.uk © 2017