The sub-supermini citycar sector has never been more competitive, with the current economic climate and cost of fuel meaning that these little urban runabouts are becoming ever more popular. On the whole, manufacturers have responded with cars that are sometimes stylish and always frugal. The Mii is SEAT's offering in this market segment. The SEAT Mii is the Spanish car maker's version of the Volkswagen up! and shares almost all of its parts with its German cousin. This of course is also the same platform that Skoda
badges as the Citigo. This sort of platform sharing is the norm in today's car industry and sharing a platform with the VW up! is a pretty good starting point for any citycar. SEAT too has previous experience of this sort of shared development and their last citycar, the Arosa, was also a VW clone. That car was pretty successful and SEAT seems to be making another success here. The SEAT Mii is pitched carefully between self-consciously stylish small cars like the MINI
or the Fiat 500 and more value-led propositions like the Skoda. Rather than fall between those two stools, the SEAT Mii has actually carved out a nice little niche for itself.
Bang for your buck
From the outside, the approved used SEAT Mii follows pretty closely the styling cues that have become the norm in this segment ever since the shared platform from Peugeot Citroen and Toyota which brought us the 107, C1 and Aygo. Therefore we have the pretty front end with big headlight 'eyes' and a waistline which rises towards the glass rear tailgate. SEAT has added a little Spanish flair to the VW platform though, restyling the boot, bonnet and C-pillar to give the Mii its own identity. It works, too, but what is really important in a car like the Mii is how it uses what little space it occupies. This is where the SEAT wins hands down over rivals like the Fiat 500
. The Mii is the same length as the Italian car but offers a wheelbase that makes up 2.5 metres of its overall 3.5 metre length. This gives far more room inside than the Fiat and room for 4 adults, the rear two of which will be more comfortably accommodated in the five door version. The boot is big too at 251 litres and almost twice as big as you get in a MINI, for example. Trim is pretty Spartan on the base model with CD stereo and colour coded bumpers. Go for an SE model and you add air-con, electric windows, remote central locking, body coloured mirrors and door handles and folding rear seats. ESP is an option worth thinking about and comes with an accident prevention 'City Safety Assist' system which senses obstacles and brakes the car.
What you'll pay
A 2012 Seat Mii on a 12 plate and with 1,000 miles on the clock will cost you £5,495 in base trim. A 2012 example on a 62 plate with similar miles and SE trim will cost £9,995.
What to check
These cars are a little over a year old and still well within the manufacturer's warranty period, so you have little to worry about. The VW platform and mechanicals are sound and SEAT's build quality is good, so you should experience few problems. Keep an eye out for the usual urban prangs and check the inside for any cabin damage inflicted by the little darlings.
On a 2010 Seat Mii S model, a water pump is £34. Front brake pads are £29 and an air filter is £10.
How it drives
The SEAT Mii for sale has one engine, offered as a 60 or 75bhp petrol unit. It is a three cylinder engine and suits the Mii perfectly. The 60bhp version takes the car to 60mph in 14.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 99mph, while the more powerful 75bhp unit gets to 60 in 13.2 seconds and manages 108mph. These figures are pretty meaningless though, as no one buys these cars based on how fast they go. Instead, suffice to say they are nippy and eager around town and the raspy three cylinder unit makes it all sound like fun. The unusually long wheel base gives a comfortable ride and the whole package makes a used SEAT Mii a very compelling option in the citycar segment.