The SEAT Mii is the third new city car based on the VW up! and is the brand's first entry into the small car market since the Arosa, so is it any good?

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

The Mii is a likeable, useful little city car with a lot to offer young and older buyers alike. The keen styling, peppy engine and low price tag give it strong appeal, and it should definitely help SEAT attract new customers to the brand. The forthcoming five-door model will be a genuine alternative to conventional superminis too, but the Mii might struggle to differentiate itself from its sister cars, as the VW and Skoda could prove to be its fiercest competiton.

Completing the VW Group’s trio of compact new city cars is this, the SEAT Mii. Already on sale in Spain, the Mii will arrive in UK showrooms next year, aiming to take on its sister cars the Skoda Citigo and Volkswagen up!, but also more established rivals like the Fiat 500 and Toyota Aygo as well.

To help it standout from the crowd in this rapidly expanding market, the Mii gets SEAT’s own family design language, with a much narrower ‘arrowhead’ grille design and an oversized pair of headlights up front, bespoke bumpers and tweaked rear light clusters all lending it a unique personality.

In the metal it's surpsingly sporty, especially on the optional 15-inch alloys of the top-spec Sport, but the VW Group DNA is clear, and like the understated Skoda Citigo, the Mii uses larger, more rounded rear windows and a metal – rather than glass – tailgate to distinguish itself from the up!

Inside, the rock-solid build quality and reassuringly simple dash layout means drivers will quickly feel comfortable. The only annoyance is that the steering column doesn’t adjust for reach, but the rest of the cabin feels surprisingly airy from behind the wheel, a feeling that’s enhanced by how far back the windscreen is set. 

The large glass surfaces and tall seating position make for excellent all round visibility, and the two-tone plastics in our mid-range car ensure that it doesn’t feel too drab. SEAT is planning to offer a range of personalisation options that will include stickers, decals and unique colour options that will allow customers to put their own touches on the car. The brand is hoping that this, combined with the £300 portable sat-nav system, will give the Mii an edge over its competitors.

Thanks to its impressive 2.4m wheelbase, space in the back is surprisingly good too. Although taller passengers won’t want to spend too much time in the back, the Mii offers the kind of room that city car drivers a decade ago could only dream of. In fact, the Mii’s clever double-layered boot is nearly double the size of the old Arosa’s, at 251 litres, despite the two cars sharing similar exterior dimensions.

That said, the drivetrain has still been built with city streets and efficiency in mind. All versions use the same 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine. Our test car was fitted with the higher-powered 74bhp version, which covers the 0-62mph sprint in 13.2 seconds. That might sound slow, but around town the Mii rarely feels underpowered, and the engine’s lively off-beat warble as the revs rise gives it real character. The slick five-speed manual is a joy to use, although a five speed automatic will be introduced later

The steering, clutch and gear change are all incredibly light, so it’s a very easy car to drive, but direct enough to inspire confidence, and the tiny footprint makes it a doddle to park too. The softly sprung suspension means that the body rolls quite heavily into corners, but the trade off is a remarkably composed ride, with lumps and bumps in the road well isolated from the cabin.   

Despite its small size, the Mii isn't quite as efficient as you might expect, with the 74bhp version posting a combined figure of 60.1mpg. But a pair of efficient Ecomotive versions will arrive later next year, both of which will use stop-start systems and other fuel saving tech to bring carbon emissions down below the 100g/km threshold. We suspect that might be the model to go for but even in standard guise, the Mii is a highly talented city car - and at around £7,500, it's cheaper than the up! too.

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