As smaller cars become more popular on the road, car makers are rolling their ideal city cars off production lines more and more often. Seat’s offering to the world of the little car is the Mii, and it’s a very good one too. You’ll seat 4 adults in here and get a very solid spec too: expect tinted windows, MP3 connectivity, body-coloured bumpers, and power steering as standard. Think this might be for you? Then give us a call – we’ll be happy to discuss our Seat Mii contract hire offerings with you.
It makes an awful lot of sense.
This SEAT’s chirpy three cylinder 1. 0-litre petrol powerplant suits it perfectly – which is just as well as it’s the only engine choice on offer, though with a choice of either 60 or 75PS outputs. Three cylinder engines are, by their inherent nature, fun little things, cheeky and a little bit vocal, with busy, buzzy demeanour that plays with your subconscious and makes the car feel more alive. That's quite a task for a car that only packs a modest amount of punch.
The electric power steering’s light and effort-free in a car as nippy and manoeuvrable as you’d want any city tiddler to be with just under three turns lock-to-lock and a 9. 8m turning circle so tight that if you’re driving along and spot a space on the opposite side of the road, you’re likely to be able to respond taxi-style and turn right into it. If this is your usual environment, you’ll probably also want to consider the slightly jerky robotised semi-automatic 5-speeder that constitutes SEAT’s clutch-less gearbox option. Personally, I’d stick with the ordinary 5-speed manual if I possibly could.
Up front the first impression you get is that this SEAT has a little more spark and vibrancy to its cabin finish. Some of it’s down to little things – the italic-ised graphics on the instrument dials for example – and some of it down to sheer flair in the way that the interior has been styled and appointed. The white dash panels on this particular car for example, that brighten up the interior without leaving it feeling self-consciously funky.
The cabin manages to feel of decent quality thanks to a careful choice of trim and materials. You sit behind a smart three-spoke steering wheel that’s fashioned from light magnesium but unfortunately isn’t adjustable for reach: it only moves up and down. It frames a simple, clearly designated instrument cluster with a trendily large speedometer, while in the middle of the dash, there’s a compact centre pod for many of the minor controls.
Build quality seems good from the Slovakian factory: when you turn the air vents to one side for example, they locate with a well-rounded ‘click’. There's loads of storage too, with bottle holders in each of the two doors, a glovebox holder for pens, a bag hook integrated into the glovebox opening mechanism, a compartment for your sunglasses and four cupholders dotted around the cabin.
That only leaves luggage space. Which gives me another chance to underline the packaging genius of this design – with a stat that perfectly sums it up. This Mii is only 2mm longer than SEAT’s previous Arosa citycar. Yet its 251-litre boot is double the size, has four bag hooks and can feature a double storage net. And you can massively extend it by pushing forward the rear bench to reveal up to 951-litres – or 959-litres in the five-door version. That’s nearly twice as much space as you’d get in something like a Peugeot 107 or a MINI.
So, SEAT at last has a class-leading citycar: the brand has waited long enough for one. True, it’s a model that may not be uniquely Spanish, but then, nothing SEAT makes ever is. What matters is that it ticks all the important citycar boxes. Which means your choice could come down to the value proposition on offer.
SEAT feels confident here. Look beyond the list pricing and you start to see why. Specify this car as many will want to and it makes a strong case for itself against its in-house design rivals. And an even better one if you’re comparing against something else entirely in the citycar segment. Ultimately, it’ll come down to personal preference of course: your Mii always should reflect your personality. And you’ll find this one ready to do just that.