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SEAT Mii review

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SEAT Mii eeviw 2012
On our camera infested, congested roads do we need transport any better than this?

For – Remarkable performance and refinement for a city car
Against – Looks too much like a VW Up! and a Skoda Citigo

I can’t believe that even in its present badge engineering mood, Volkswagen could spin Bugatti, Lamborghini, Bentley or Porsche versions off the Volkswagen ‘Up!’ which suggests that the new SEAT Mii completes the set. 

It should perhaps have been SEAT which launched the new city car first as it was the first brand in the group to have one, the Arosa launched in 1997.

Mii replaces the Arosa after a seven year hiatus
In view of SEAT’s position as the Volkswagen Group’s ‘sporty’ brand, we might have hoped that the Mii would be designed to attract younger more performance-loving customers instead of being just an Up! with a different front end and rear side windows.  I became excited when I saw a press release from SEAT with a photograph of a really sporty looking Mii, all black stripes and arch-filling wheels. My excitement grew when I read it was called Vibora Negra (Black Viper) as the only other Viper I know, from Dodge, has ten cylinders, 640 PS and hits 100 mph in less than nine seconds. Unfortunately the SEAT Viper is more like a grass snake with just 60 or 75 PS.

SEAt Mii review 2012SEAT has shown a red and black Mii concept special labelled FR, SEAT’s GTI equivalent. While it looked great with fat 16” alloys and sports seats it was just a cosmetic exercise with no sign of increased power that the excellent chassis could so easily handle. SEAT said it was difficult to justify a €3,000 suspension/ power package on a €10,000 car. I believe a hot Mii for an extra £2,500 would sell like hot cakes in Britain and help to reinforce SEAT’s sport credentials which have been hard to spot over recent years.

It may not be sporty but it’s a great city car
Forget any sporting aspirations and you are left with the perfect city car with enough performance and refinement to cut it on longer journeys and motorway use. If you think back to basics – this is it; it is all you need on our camera infested heavily congested roads.

The Mii is available with three or five doors with prices starting at £7,845 for the 1.0 litre 60 PS three door ‘S’ and climbing to a still reasonable £10,745 for the 1.0 litre 75 PS five door ‘SE’auto.

The 1.0 litre 60 PS ‘S’ aims to be efficient transport at its most basic and while SEAT’s marketing people can’t actually bring themselves to show a picture of a window winder in the glossy brochure, that is what you get with the ‘S’ and there is nothing wrong with that – surely less to go wrong. Probably more difficult to live without is air conditioning which actually costs an extra £500 on the ‘S’ A/C.

SEAt Mii review 2012Despite no electric windows or remote controlled central locking, the S is actually quite well equipped for such a low price, entry model. It has four airbags, MP3-compatible radio / CD player with AUX-in, folding rear seat, speed sensitive power steering, daytime running lights,12v socket in the centre console, height adjustable steering wheel and ISOFIX points for rear seats.

The Ecomotive is excellent value for an extra £1,335 as it includes air-conditioning and remote central locking as well as start/stop system, energy recovery, electric front windows, electronic stability control, height adjustable driver’s seat, six speakers and split folding rear seats.

For an extra £95, the SE adds 14”alloy wheels instead of steel, leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear knob and heated and electrically adjustable door mirrors. However, it doesn’t include the stop/start and energy recovery.  The SE Auto comes with the 75 PS engine and costs an extra £1,115 which seems a lot.

For an extra £705, the Sport has 75 PS instead of 60, 15” alloy wheels, front fog lights, dark tinted rear side windows and sports suspension.

SEAt Mii review 2012
The five-door is just £450 extra which seems extremely good value.

The Volkswagen Group has been very clever in specifying the various grades of Up!, Mii and Citigo differently making it difficult to compare prices. The cheapest SEAT is £150 cheaper than the cheapest Up! which might mean something.

The brand which is bought is probably as much down to the proximity of the dealer as much as anything else

SEAt Mii review 2012

 © Robert Couldwell. August 2012
For publication on WintonsWorld

 SEAT Mii 1.0 SE
Engine:1.0 litre 3-cylinder
Power:
58 bhp @ 5,500 rpm
Torque:
95 Nm @ 3,000 rpm
Gearbox:
5-speed manual
Drive:
front-wheels
Acceleration:0-62 mph 14.4 seconds
Top Speed:99 mph / 250 kph
Fuel Consumption:
claimed combined – 62.8 mpg
CO2:105 g/km
Emissions class:
Euro 5
Length:3,557 mm
Width:
1,641 mm
Height:1,478 mm
Weight:
929 kg / 2,044 lbs
Wheel-base:2,420 mm
Suspension:
Front: McPherson struts Rear semi rigid coil springs
Service Intervals:
Insurance Group:
Warranty:
Boot capacity:
251 litres seats up, 951 seats down
Competition:Peugeot 107, Toyota Aygo, Ford Ka
Same for much less:
Would I buy one?
Rating:*****
Price:£9,275
For:Remarkable refinement and performance for a city car
Against:Looks too much like a VW Up! and Skoda Citigo
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