Jim Holder
7 June 2012

What is it?

This is the Seat Mii, the Spanish firm’s subtly altered version of the much lauded Volkswagen Up.

This is our first opportunity to test the Mii on UK roads, and we’re sampling the base three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine in SE spec, which is third up in a range of four different trim levels.

 

What is it like?

The Seat Mii is largely impressive in just about every situation. It is well built, well appointed, surprisingly spacious inside and always useable.

Yet, for all this ‘goodness’, it doesn’t inspire a great deal of love. It is not an agile car, nor one that is particularly fun to drive, although the handling is precise, even if the steering is resolutely numb. The ride is also surprisingly choppy on the UK’s roads, especially at low speeds; during our test it was noticeably worse than that of an equivalent VW Up.

The engine is generally remarkable both in terms of performance from such a small unit and potential economy, although refinement goes to pot if you push it beyond the lowest of revs, something you must do to enjoy maximum power and torque. This – combined with its paltry power output – makes it an unhappy motorway companion. You could live with it for occasional journeys, but if you plan to venture on to our fastest roads more often then we’d recommend the larger power unit.

SE spec brings with it alloys, air-con, electric front windows and a height-adjustable driver’s seat, all refinements that increase your enjoyment of the Mii for a reasonable premium. The City Safety Assist function, which automatically brakes the car if it senses an impending collision, is a steal at £200, while the £530 convenience pack is also worth a mention if you plan to make long journeys or park in tight spaces; it adds cruise control, a trip computer and rear parking sensors to the equation.

Should I buy one?

If you want a great value city car that out-hits the vast majority of its opposition then we’d definitely point you in this direction. The Seat Mii delivers an awful lot of car for a very appealing price.

However, we need to add the usual caveat of weighing up the lower asking price of an equivalent Skoda Citigo and better predicted residuals and ride of the VW Up, plus throw in a reminder of the fact that the Fiat Panda is the more engaging companion.

Seat Mii SE 1.0 12V 60ps

Price: £9275; 0-62mph: 14.4sec; Top speed: 99mph; Economy: 62.8mpg; CO2: 105g/km; Kerb weight: 929kg; Engine: 3cyl, 999cc, petrol; Power: 59bhp at 5500rpm; Torque: 70lb ft at 3000rpm; Gearbox: 5-spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
9

With the Up! being so popular

2 years 20 weeks ago

With the Up! being so popular this may help someone who wants a car a little quicker, as there's less of a waiting list, but you'd need careful consideration of the different options on the car before choosing the Seat - the price differential is typically only a few hundred pounds, and residual differences after 3 yrs are likely to be as much if not more.

TS7

This, along with the Citygo,

2 years 20 weeks ago

This, along with the Citygo, looks like an anonymous Korean city car.

I'd be happy to fork out a few extra quid for the funky Up!

It would be interesting to

2 years 20 weeks ago

It would be interesting to know why the ride of this SEAT is different from the VW. And if it is, why would the VW group deliberately engineer one version that is better than the others?

I would have thought that the whole idea of offering three versions of this car was to share as many parts as possible to contain costs. It seems a bit counterproductive to offer three suspension variations, unless they each have some kind of benefit.

I'd also be interested to know what kind of fuel consumption figures these cars return in normal use.

   

The Mii has done nothing for

2 years 20 weeks ago

The Mii has done nothing for the SEAT brand, apart from diluted the Spanish flair further. It is just another Volkswagen clone car... At least when I look at the C1, 107 and Aygo I feel there is more of a difference between the models. It's such a shame because there has been so many missed opportunities and mistakes made by VAG regarding SEAT!

Purely Cosmetic ...

2 years 19 weeks ago

As with the C1 / 107 / Aygo trio, the Up! / Citigo / Mii are virtually identical except for the cosmetic changes to the front and rear ends ... I wager the choppy ride was just down to a rogue car and not an inherent design of SEAT ...

 It really all boils down to which brand name you want ... I'm certain with judicious haggling that all three cars can be got for more or less the same price ...

 My only hope is that VAG don't make the same mistake as Toyota/PSA Group and balls up the front ends of each of their cars in the vain attempt of making them look "fresher" ... 

This is the Seat Mii, the

2 years 19 weeks ago

This is the Seat Mii, the Spanish firm’s subtly altered version of the much lauded Volkswagen Up.

Who says the UP is much Lauded? Only the Car Magazines that VW spend a fortune on Advertising.... The Dashboard is pure Nasty Plastic and of the same quality as the outgoing Fox, Fuel Consumption has already been highlighted as alarming in the real world but as its the Gentlemans agreement "lets keep it to a mere mention" Nothing more is said.

For me the Citroen/Peugeot/Toyota C1 etc... Was years ahead of its time, it still has charm (in a cheap basic shopping trolly sort of way) has lower Co2 and shop around the discounts are plentyful.

Judging by the VW reliability record these look to be scary next few years until the group works out how to repair them, Look at the 1.6 TDi, its been out a few years now and still baffles Dealers, whilst the Daihatsu engines in the C1 are fairly bullet proof. 

What went wrong?

2 years 19 weeks ago

Regardless of the near identical body design of the Mii, Up and Citigo it is not unusual to see such varying handling and ride amongst cars that are mechanically identical. For example, the previous Focus rode and handled better than the Mazda 3 or Volvo S40, the same with Golf Mk5/6 compared with the Audi A3, Leon and Octavia. It all boils down to how each manufacturer tunes their car with the same hardware.

I am surprised, however, that the Mii's poor ride is not a result of sharper handling which would normally be the case, which suggests Seat have got the set-up all wrong. Doesn't bode well for Seat when the VW Group have been trying for years to make them their sporty brand, with driving pleasure to match.

As for the Mii, Up and Citigo trio, credit should go to PSA and Toyota as it's clear that not only has VW followed their lead in common engineering and platform sharing, but the basic design concept and marketing is near identical, but not light years ahead as it should have been in comparison to the PSA/Toyota trio are ancient but still look fresh.

And I can't help but feel that the Mii, Up and Citigo, or at least one of them, should be much better than the sum of their parts and VW's engineering and design might. They should have led the class by miles, instead they were just merely good and all now have been topped by the new Fiat Panda. If Ford had free reign on designing their own city car from the ground up, you know it would trample all over its rivals because of Ford's thoroughness and know how. Watch and learn VW.

Lanehogger wrote:  For

2 years 19 weeks ago

Lanehogger wrote:

 For example, the previous Focus rode and handled better than the Mazda 3 or Volvo S40, the same with Golf Mk5/6 compared with the Audi A3, Leon and Octavia. It all boils down to how each manufacturer tunes their car with the same hardware.

The difference is that the Mii/Up!/Citygo are all designed as one car, but with subtle tweaks in the styling. The Focus/3/S40, and the Golf/Octavia/Leon/Toledo/Altea/A3/TT/andamillionothers are all different cars sharing common parts.

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10 years of Smart ownership over, sensible car mode activated

Wrong car fo rthe wrong market

2 years 19 weeks ago

People who want this type of car was fun looking, cars. Sales success of the C1 / 107/ Aygo can tell you that. This will fail quite badly I think. It doesnt have the "premium" of the VW but looks plain boring. Almost reminds of the VW Fox, which was hardly the best selling car in the world. Shame on Seat the Ibiza and Leon, whatever you think of them, so look different and bold.

Hugely missed opportunity.

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Our Verdict

Seat Mii

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

  • First Drive

    Seat Mii 1.0

    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.

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