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