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My daughter, who lives in Japan, has asked for my advice on buying her first car over there. She lives is a suburb suitable for small cars only and I immediately thought of the i-MieV. I know little about it (I have a Volt and a B250e) other than the fact that the battery tech got better around 2012?

Any help or advice welcome.
 

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Yes the batteries were improved, probably more around 2013 to the newer Lev50N cell over the old Lev50. Battery degradation tends to be pretty good, at least better than Nissan Leafs however the newer and lower mileage she can buy the better. Realistic mileage was 80-90 when new, so factor in that age and mileage affects this and work out if that is suitable for he usage. Heater is a basic electric element rather than a more efficient heat pump so the heater sucks miles, much better to use the heated seat, so double check it has one before buying.

Over here they can suffer with rust, especially suspension under the back so check this. No idea what conditions are like in Japan so that may or may not be an issue.

Best of luck.
 

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Oldish 2nd hand cars in Japan are subject to expensive compulsory inspections:make sure that is factored in to the buying decision.
 

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The inspection system is called Shaken and the cost and paperwork can be the demise of quite young vehicles, mechanics are very expensive too.
 

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The post 2015 cars were subject to lots of detailed improvements in software and hardware: things like the onboard charger were redesigned, the PTC heater likewise. Certainly buy a young one
 
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