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The Mii And Me - A Brief Dalliance With A Small Spaniard.

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The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Seat Mii

The Mii And Me - A Brief Dalliance With A Small Spaniard.

Geoff Maxted
November 19, 2013

Seat Mii Seat Mii Seat Mii
Obviously the heading of this piece should be ‘The Mii and I’ but hey, why let something like English Grammar stand in the way of a catchy title?

The opportunity arose to test this car over a morning. Sorry that it’s dirty but that is how it was given to me. I stuck a fiver’s worth in and went for a spin. The idea occurred that I could compare this latest incarnation of the city car to my long-suffering two-year old Citroen C1. The C1 has been around for a good while now and, although refreshed from time to time, seems to be getting a bit long in the tooth; so how does it shape up against Spain’s cheeky newcomer?

As you know the Mii is SEAT’s version of the very popular VW Up and sits between that car and the Skoda Citigo on price. The model in the image is a three-door with the added benefit of basic air-con, and electric mirrors and windows; just like the top of the range C1, although the Citroen does without powered wing mirrors.

Like the Citroen, the Mii has a 1.0L three-cylinder 60PS engine and the perky performance belies the rather pedestrian figures. The Mii is lively, roomy and has a more forgiving ride than the C1 where the suspension is a touch over firm. Both cars have a rev counter and they are more useful than you’d imagine in these hockey-puck motors. The SEAT’s is small and discreet beneath the dash cowl whereas the Citroen’s is attached to the dash cowl like a big, bizarre ear.

As with many of these inexpensive city cars, the Mii is built down to a price. There’s plenty of hard plastic and some of it really does look cheap. The CD/radio is fine and has an AUX socket. There’s a heater and that’s about it. No bells and whistles here. Fit and finish seems fine. In the short time I used this car there was no chance to examine fuel consumption but even after a decent morning’s driving there was still more petrol in the car than when I picked it up. The official figure is 62.8mpg but that, inevitably, is a bit optimistic.

As mentioned, the Mii is spacious for such a small car. Four people could travel in it but the rear two would feel a bit cramped after a while. Thanks to the rather boxy design the boot is vast compared to the C1; that’s a real plus point.

There can be no doubt that the current crop of city cars offer excellent value with a ride and performance that belies their size and cost. Most are perfectly capable of staying with the traffic on motorways and convincingly hum along at 80mph without grumbling.

So is the Mii a step up from the ageing C1? Well, not really. I prefer the Citroen’s interior, handling and gearshift - the Mii’s is a bit notchy, I found, and the Spaniard does generate more tyre and wind noise at speed. The C1 delivers over 50mpg even when driven enthusiastically - which is all of the time. I suspect that the SEAT wouldn’t be much different. Certainly, the Mii is the more advanced and modern offering but the difference isn‘t great.

Personally, if I were buying a city car in the under £10k bracket I would shop around. The Skoda Citigo is terrific value and I reckon not much different to the Spanish version. There’s also a new Hyundai i10 coming out next year which is substantially more attractive. The advice is - shop around and make sure you insist on a decently long test drive before making up your mind. For me, I’ll stick with my C1 for now.

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