Seat Mii Hatchback (2012 - ) review
Read the Seat Mii (2012 - ) car review by Auto Trader's motoring experts, covering price, specification, running costs, practicality, safety and how it drivesThe Auto Trader expert verdict: 4.0 The Seat Mii is a great city car, thanks to its practicality and low running costs. The fact it’s great to drive helps immeasurably, too.
- More spacious than you’d think
- Surprisingly grown-up
- Affordable to run
- Slightly staid design
- S trim level is too basic
- Larger wheels affect the ride quality
At a glance
Five trim levels are available – S, Ecomotive, SE, Toca and Sport – but S is very basic, with a two-speaker CD player with aux-in and 14-inch steel wheels. Ecomotive adds essentials such as air-con, electric front windows, body-coloured door handles and mirrors, remote central locking, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, split-folding rear seats and six speakers. SE adds 14-inch alloy wheels, leather trim for the steering wheel and gearknob, gloss white dashboard trim, chrome dial and vent surrounds and heated, electric door mirrors. Go for Toca and you add rear parking sensors and a portable sat-nav/Bluetooth system (an option on the lower trim levels), while the range-topping Sport trim gets 15-inch alloys, front fog lights, tinted rear windows, sports suspension and a gloss grey dash trim.
The Seat Mii is a solid-looking city car, with strong lines and a wheel-at-each-corner stance. It sets itself apart from its Volkswagen Up and Skoda Citigo relatives with a sharp ‘arrow design’ front grille and a palette of bold colours. If you want to add a little extra flair, you can choose from optional decal packs, as well as different designs of alloy wheels and a rear spoiler. S-trimmed cars look rather basic, with black door handles and mirrors, but on every other trim, they’re body-coloured. Alloy wheels are standard from SE trim upwards and Sport models also have dark-tinted rear windows.
Step inside the Mii, and you’ll find it has a conventional feel. However, conventional doesn’t equal bad in this instance. On the contrary, the Mii feels well-built, spacious and functional, with plenty of pleasant design touches. You can also specify a variety of options to smarten it up still further, such as different-coloured gear knobs and dashboard decals. Every trim apart from S has a height-adjustable driver’s seat to help you get comfortable.
There is just one engine available: a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol unit with either 59 or 74bhp, capable of accelerating from rest to 62mph in 14.4 or 13.2 seconds, respectively. In both cases, the performance might sound a little feeble on paper, but that’s not how the Mii feels. The engine is keen and eager at lower speeds and in everyday use – particularly in town – there’s little perceptible difference between the two engines, so we’d have no qualms opting for the lower-powered Mii. Only if you spend a lot of time beyond the city limits and on the motorway is the stronger engine worth the extra.
The Mii may be a small car, but it certainly doesn’t feel that way inside. There’s plenty of room up front and the rear seats also have enough room for a couple of adults. Although the five-door models give better access to the back, three-door models (except S trim) have sliding, ‘easy access’ front seats to make it easier to get into the rear seats. To cap it all, the 251-litre boot is generous for the class, and you can extend it by folding down the rear seats on every model. S-trimmed models have a one-piece rear bench, but it’s split 60/40 on every other model.
There’s very little relevant data on the Mii, so we can’t be totally sure how reliable it will be. However, we suspect it will give owners no trouble at all, as it has a simple design and robust engineering. If there is a criticism, it’s that the three-year/60,000-mile warranty looks a little meagre compared to what you get from Hyundai and Kia.
Ride and handling
What’s most remarkable about the Mii is how grown-up it feels – you can forget any worries that a city car might feel out of its depth away from the urban jungle. The Mii displays impressive roadholding and its light, but highly accurate, steering allows you to point the nose of the car exactly where you need it – perfect for a nippy city car. A Mii on small wheels is sweetest and best able to soak up the bumps that are a part of everyday life in the city. While the 15-inch wheels look much sportier, they actually make the ride less compliant and the car feels slightly less nimble, too.
For most people considering a Mii, this is probably their biggest concern – and the good news is that every Mii achieves more than 60mpg and CO2 emissions lower than 110g/km. The most economical model is the 59bhp Ecomotive, which averages 68.9mpg and emits 95g/km, equating to no-cost annual road tax. What’s more, every Mii sits in a low insurance group, keeping ownership costs down. Bear in mind, though, that the Mii won’t hold onto its value as well as its more desirable sibling, the VW Up.
The Seat Mii scored the full five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests, making it one of the safest cars in its class. Every model comes with front and side airbags, anti-lock brakes, front seatbelt pre-tensioners, Isofix rear child-seat anchor points and three-point seatbelts, but you need to avoid S trim if you want electronic stability control thrown in as well: it’s only available as an option, albeit a modestly priced one. Also optional (across the range, except on Toca trim) is the City Safety Assist system –designed to help avoid, or minimise, damage from low-speed bumps – which reads the road ahead and can perform an emergency stop at speeds below 19mph.