From £8,385
The Seat Mii takes the Spanish manufacturer back to the happy hunting ground of city cars. Like its Skoda Citigo and VW Up sister cars, it oozes first-rate qualities.

Our Verdict

Seat Mii
Three and five-door versions are offered

The Seat Mii is the Spanish brand's take on the Volkswagen Up city car and shares its thrummy 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine

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17 November 2011

What is it?

You know those competitions where they black out the outline of a car and ask you to guess what it is by its silhouette? Well the VW Group is in the midst of delivering a joker in the pack, as separating its near-identical VW Up, Skoda Citigo and Seat Mii is going to be impossible.

All three have the same dimensions, same engine line-ups (at least initially) and same mechanical set-ups. The distinguishing features only become apparent under detailed examination, as all have their own front-end designs, chiefly taking in the grille and headlamps. Oh, and the prices and on-sale dates will be slightly different, in the order of VW, Seat and Skoda on both counts.

The Mii, which will go on sale next spring and cost from an estimated £7800, takes Seat back to the happy hunting ground of city cars, which it previously fared well in with the Arosa. Seat UK sold 19,500 Arosas between 1997 and 2005, and reckons its latest value offering will fare equally well.

There will be three trim levels and two equipment packages, although the specifics of each have yet to be set. All that is certain is that Chic will add a chrome pack, while Sport will come with a hardened chassis set-up and tinted windows. Although the latter hints tantilisingly at a more sport Mii down the line, insiders say they’ve yet to be convinced of the business case for it.

The Mii will be offered with two petrol 1.0-litre engines at launch, with either 59bhp or 75bhp. Both produce 70lb ft of torque and are linked to a five-speed manual; an automated sequential gearbox will be sold later.

What’s it like?

We drove the more powerful version on a standard suspension set-up, and if there were any doubts about the VW Group offering essentially the same set-up across its three brands, there were quickly cast aside; whatever the badge on the front, this is a car that oozes first-rate qualities.

The 999cc engine is amazingly capable, both in its natural town habitat and on the motorway. At low revs it is remarkably refined, and at worst it only rises to an appealing three-pot thrum that seems to somehow enhance the experience rather than intrude. While 0-62mph in 12.7sec won’t wow anyone, it’ll cruise up to three-figure speeds given enough space. The gearbox is direct and light to use.

Steering is light and agile, if not massively feelsome. Again, that works best to the car’s city car credentials, as it makes nipping in and out of traffic, manouvering and parking simple. The ride is mostly excellent, although the most broken roads hinted at a slight firmness that may be exposed in the UK.

All this is delivered in a cabin that is notable for being functional, fuss-free and, in places, characterful. No doubt the high-spec model we tested helped, but the flashes of polished plastics and interior colour lifted the interior above the level of most rivals, if not up to the standard of the Fiat 500.

Although there’s no defying the Mii’s basic, small dimensions, there’s also room for four, provided the back seat passengers are small or not going far. Boot space is 251 litres, which might just take a weekly shop, and opens up by another 700 litres with the rear seats down.

Should I buy one?

If you’re heart is set on one of the three versions of this car, then its more likely that personal brand preference and the proximity of a dealer is going to sway you than the predicted small price differential. The Mii certainly makes its case just as strongly as its rivals.

Harder, though, will be picking your purchase if you’re just browsing the city car market, especially if you’re minded to go for a top-spec model that will raise the price closer to £12,000. At that point, there are rivals out there which make picking the winner a job to do after we’ve tested the Mii in the UK.

Miguel Velarde

Seat Mii 1.0

Price: from £7800 (est); Top speed: 106mph; 0-62mph: 12.7sec; Economy: 60.1mpg; CO2: 108g/km; Kerb weight: 929kg; Engine: 3 cyls, 999cc, petrol; Power: 74bhp at 6200rpm; Torque: 70lb ft at 3000-4300rpm; Gearbox: 5-spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
23

23 November 2011

Really quite liked these at first, but it the 12 or so months since the Up was first shown, it has gone from freshly-styled to a generic looking city car which looks like it could've been released at any piont in the last 15 years.

23 November 2011

[quote autocar] We drove the more powerful version on a standard suspension set-up, and if there were any doubts about the VW Group offering essentially the same set-up across its three brands, there were quickly cast aside [/quote]

I'm not sure if I am reading the report correctly but this has a different set up to it's siblings?

If so, it doesn't really tell you in the report if it is better or worse than the others?!?

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

23 November 2011

[quote TegTypeR]I'm not sure if I am reading the report correctly but this has a different set up to it's siblings?[/quote] I took from that, that there is a standard set up to all three cars, but there is also another setup (no doubt sport) available. Which I can't remember hearing about before.

23 November 2011

" Seat UK sold 19,500 Arosas between 1997 and 2005, and reckons its latest value offering will fare equally well."

Are there some 0s missing? Seat will be hoping for considerably more than 2,500 per annum for the Mii

23 November 2011

Looks wise I certainly think Seat drew the short straw. It really doesn't look any more fresh than the facelifted Arosa. Glad to hear all of the 3 models offer the oh-so-desirable and attractive rear tinted windows on the more expensive models.

23 November 2011

Another characterful little car. It's very very reminiscent of the Arosa indeed, a car I always had a soft spot for (that and the Lupo). However I am simply appalled by some of the grammar in this article. Sort it out, Autocar!

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

23 November 2011

Back end: City Rover? Or is it Tata Nano?

Otherwise, like it, just needs a turbo for about 100bhp.

23 November 2011

[quote sierra] "Seat UK sold 19,500 Arosas between 1997 and 2005, and reckons its latest value offering will fare equally well."

Are there some 0s missing? Seat will be hoping for considerably more than 2,500 per annum for the Mii[/quote]

The segment's almost doubled in size since 2000, so hitting the same market share today would be a chunk more cars...

23 November 2011

[quote Autocar]The distinguishing features only become apparent under detailed examination, as all have their own front-end designs, chiefly taking in the grille and headlamps.[/quote]

The rear windows also seem to have lost their 'kink'. Or is this another feature which didn't make it from the concept? I thoughy this was the 'production' version of the Up...

23 November 2011

[quote goodhand]The rear windows also seem to have lost their 'kink'. Or is this another feature which didn't make it from the concept?[/quote]

Only the Up gets that detail, along with the glass tailgate.

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