Long-term tests

SEAT Mii electric: long-term test review

First report: battery-powered SEAT Mii electric city car is the talk of the town

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Verdict

Overall, the SEAT Mii electric has made a positive impression on me. It’s great in town and is already proving super-cheap to run, even when charging at public points. There’ll be more about how I’m getting on with that in future reports.

  • Mileage: 825
  • Economy: 4.9 miles/kWh

When I received the keys to my SEAT Mii electric, I felt a mix of enthusiasm and trepidation. I was happy to embrace the idea of electric driving, but given that I would be unable to charge the car at home, I was slightly nervous of its practicalities.

My nearest chargepoint is a 10-minute walk from my house and run by Source London, so when I knew the car was coming, I signed up. My membership card arrived within a few days and the £4 monthly fee means I get a slight discount, with the 7.4kW points costing 3.6p per minute of use.

I’ve lived with an EV before, so I do know it’s possible to get along with the intricacies of keeping a car charged up, but what I wasn’t so sure about was the Mii’s size.

After running a MINI Clubman, the Mii looked so tiny, but on the whole I’m not missing the extra space too much. The SEAT is a triumph of packaging, but on the road I’m sometimes reminded that it’s a small car. There are some quite large traffic-calming road humps where I live, but as long as I take them with care, the car copes fine.

Like a lot of other people this year, I haven’t done quite as many supermarket trips as usual. Instead, I’ve usually left it a few weeks between stock-ups, but this does mean the SEAT’s 251-litre boot is really put to the test. With a bag tucked behind each front seat we haven’t found it a nuisance, though. 

It’s mainly only been me and my husband Dave in the car. At 6ft 2in he finds it fine for legroom in the front, although when I gave my stepson and his girlfriend a lift, they did find it a bit of a squeeze in the back.

What I’ve really enjoyed about the Mii is the car’s regenerative braking. There are three levels and you can adjust it depending on how much you want to slow when you lift off. I haven’t driven too much in the more aggressive B mode, though, which is mainly for stop-start traffic and allows one-pedal driving. The car virtually comes to a halt when you lift off, which takes some getting used to. It’s always a worry that the person behind isn’t paying enough attention as well!

One thing I’m not totally convinced about is the interior. It feels like a real mix of budget car with a few touches that try to give it a lift. The cloth upholstery is smart and the front seats with integrated headrests look good and are comfortable, while the leather trimmed steering wheel, gearlever and handbrake mean the touch points feel good.

The radio, however, isn’t such a high point, because there’s only a small screen, although the smartphone cradle is easy to use. The bright, patterned dashboard design won’t be to everybody’s taste, but I like it – some think it looks like marble, but it reminds me more of Arsenal’s current away strip!

Model:SEAT Mii electric
On fleet since:October 2020
Price new:£19,800 (incl. PICG)
Motor/battery:1x e-motor, 82bhp/36.8kWh  
CO2/tax:0g/km/£0
Options:Mode 2 cable (£160)
Insurance*:Group: 12 Quote: £420
Mileage/econ:825/4.9 miles/kWh
Any problems?None so far

*Insurance quote from AA (0800 107 0680) for a 42-year-old in Banbury, Oxon, with three points.

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