Looking for a cute small car that’s cheap to run, fun to drive and surprisingly spacious? Here’s why the Seat Mii should be on your shortlist…
What is it?
The Seat Mii was developed and is built alongside its VW Group sister cars – the VW Up! and Skoda Citigo.
There are slight differences , but broadly speaking, they are modern-day successors to the original wheel-in-each-corner Mini.
Priced from £11,260, the Mii and its siblings are a triumph of packaging and boasts superb small car driving dynamics.
The Mii fights it out in the city car sector against the likes of the Kia Picanto, Hyundai i10, Suzuki Celerio and Citroen C1.
With a boxy yet distinctive profile, a tiny sloping bonnet and big windows, it’s finished off at the back with larger than average rear light clusters.
Thanks to its ‘floating roof’ design and interior/exterior colour options, there are numerous ways to personalise your Mii.
Inside there’s plenty of space up front and more room in the rear than you might think, plus various places to store small items. And despite its squared off backside, there’s a generous 251 litres of luggage space, expanding to 951 litres with the back seats flipped down.
Seat has simplified the Mii range so now it’s only available as a five-door and there are two trim options – Design, and the sportier, better equipped FR-Line.
There’s just one engine available – an eager 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol (59bhp for the Design and 74bhp with the FR-Line, while both are paired with a five-speed manual gearbox.
It may not be turbocharged, but it still packs a punch, seeming swifter than its 0-62mph times of 13.2 – 14.4 seconds might suggest. The little engine is efficient too with a claimed fuel economy of 64.2mpg and CO2 emissions of just 102g/km.
How does it drive?
I tested the entry-level Design Mii with DAB radio and plush Alcantara upholstery among the optional extras. At first it seemed a little basic inside.
The cabin is simple – no soft-touch plastics here – and there’s even body-coloured metal on the doors – but it works.
There’s no infotainment touchscreen in the centre console – just basic controls for the radio and air-conditioning etc – plus a harness for your smartphone above so that you can connect it if you want to use sat nav, for instance.
That said, it was refreshingly easy to switch DAB channels and the audio system sounds good too. Despite the fact that the steering wheel is only height-adjustable, the driving position is comfortable with good visibility.
The only option I would like to see would be Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) which really now should be standard on all new cars.
Start it up and there’s the thrum of the three-pot, but it settles down nicely. Yes, more spirited drivers will have to work it a bit harder, but it’s absolutely fine for everyday driving.
The good news is that its combination of light steering, nimble handling and soft ride means that it’s both fun to drive and comfortable. It leans a little if you corner too quickly, but generally it feels grippy and stable. Great in the city, it can also hold its own at motorway speeds.
Verdict: Frankly, the Seat Mii is hard to criticise. It’s cheap and cheerful motoring at its best, but most of all, it’s engaging to drive and cleverly package.