Review

SEAT Mii hatchback

Price  £8,195 - £11,345

SEAT Mii hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Excellent build quality
  • Spacious interior
  • Fun to drive
Cons
  • Poorly equipped
  • Running costs could be lower
  • Some cheap interior trim

At a glance

The greenest
Ecomotive 12V 60 PS 3dr £9,530
The cheapest
S 12V 60 PS 3dr £8,195
The fastest
Sport 12V 75 PS 3dr £10,380
Top of the range
by Mango 12V 75 PS 5dr £11,345

"The SEAT Mii is a smart, spacious and fun-to-drive city car – and it's cheaper than the VW up!"

The SEAT Mii is one of a trio of city cars produced by the Volkswagen Group, which also includes the Skoda Citigo and Volkswagen up!. All three cars are mechanically the same, but have been given their own identities, using unique exterior and interior designs. The Mii is the sporty, stylish one of the trio. Its design is similar to larger cars in the SEAT range, such as the Ibiza and Leon, with a narrow grille and wide-set headlights, and it's available as a three-door or five-door hatchback. The materials in the interior aren’t as high-quality as those found in the Volkswagen up!, but the Mii is cheaper and just as good to drive. It's particularly suited to city driving, as its tiny dimensions make manoeuvring in tight spaces a breeze, but its efficient engines cope just fine on the motorway, too. It's one of the best cars SEAT produces and one of the finest in the city-car class.

MPG, running costs & CO2

5 / 5

The Mii offers great everyday fuel economy, making it extremely cheap to run

Two petrol engines are available with the SEAT Mii, delivering 59bhp or 74bhp. The more powerful engine returns 60.1 mpg, while the 59bhp engine can see up to 68.9mpg when fitted to the Ecomotive model with brake energy recovery and stop-start technology. Running costs on all models are low and road tax won’t cost more than £20 a year, while the Ecomotive models are exempt from paying tax at all.

The Mii is aimed at young buyers and it’s available with competitive finance deals that make it cheap to buy, while insurance should also be very affordable.

Engines, drive & performance

3.9 / 5

The Mii offers nippy performance and sharp handling for a fun drive

The Mii is surprisingly fun to drive, thanks to its willing engines that don’t mind being worked hard. It’s very small, making it ideal for manoeuvring in town, and the controls are also light and easy to use. There's some body lean in the corners, but it's not excessive and the Mii never feels intimidating to drive.

Despite having just 59bhp or 74bhp to play with, the Mii always feels nippy, but you’ll have to work it hard on the motorway and overtaking will never seem effortless. There's much less engine noise than in rival models, though.

Interior & comfort

3.6 / 5

Surprisingly spacious and comfortable for such a small car

The Mii has soft suspension that does a good job of keeping everyone inside comfortable, but not at the expense of a fun driving experience.

Small cars often suffer from lots of engine noise, making them a wearing place to sit on long journeys, but the Mii is better than most. At low speeds, it makes a characterful noise, so it sounds good even under hard acceleration. Once up to speed, the Mii’s engine settles to a quiet cruise and at motorway speeds it's a surprisingly relaxing car – although it’s obviously not an executive saloon.

Practicality & boot space

3.2 / 5

Cleverly designed for everyday life, the Mii is surprisingly versatile

Wide-opening doors mean the SEAT Mii is simple to get into, and there's also a five-door option if you want added practicality. Once you’re inside, there's a surprising amount of space – so much so that even four tall adults should be able to get comfortable, but long journeys won't be ideal.

SEAT has scattered plenty of cubbyholes throughout the Mii’s interior, and both the glovebox and the door bins pass the Carbuyer big-bottle test with flying colours. Plus, even the back seats get cupholders.

Boot space is also strong, and the 251 litres offered by the Mii is more than you’ll get in some models from the class above, and beats the more expensive Fiat 500 and MINI hatchbacks. Drop down the Mii’s rear seats, meanwhile, and the load capacity expands to 951 litres. All models also get a double-layer boot floor that lets you slide large items in easily.

Reliability & safety

4.2 / 5

Very safe, but there's a question mark over the reliability of SEAT cars

The SEAT Mii didn’t feature in our 2014 Driver Power survey, but the Skoda Citigo, with which the Mii shares most of its parts, came second out of 150 cars. That means you can expect the Mii to be very well built. The Citigo also scored highly for both reliability and build quality.

The Mii is small, but it's also very safe. It comes with a long list of safety features, including multiple air bags, stability control, anti-lock brakes, traction control and ISOFX child-seat mounts. All that meant the SEAT received the maximum five-star score when it was crash-tested by Euro NCAP.

Price, value for money & options

4.8 / 5

Superb value for money, but sparsely equipped and extras are pricey

The SEAT Mii is based on the Volkswagen up!, but it's cheaper to buy – although there’s no denying the VW badge has slightly more prestige.

Trim levels include S, Ecomotive, SE, Toca, and Sport. S models are sparsely equipped, although they're very cheap, but we'd go for the Toca model, which gets smart-looking alloy wheels, air-conditioning, daytime running lights, 60:40 split rear seats and tinted windows. Choosing loads of extras can increase the price of the Mii quite rapidly, but there's plenty of useful equipment including a detachable sat nav system that seems like something worth having, given the Mii’s city-car status.

What the others say

4.3 / 5
based on 3 reviews
4 / 5
"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."
4 / 5
"Not since the days of the Arosa has SEAT been involved in the competitive city car market, but it should be a big name again in the sector with the Mii. The little hatch is a class act and is likely to cost less than the Skoda Citigo and the VW up! - the two cars that it shares a platform with. The engineers at SEAT are keen to tell everyone that this is Spanish design with German engineering."
5 / 5
"The removable sat-nav system should prove a popular choice, given that it's expected to cost not much more than £300, yet is integrated enough to offer nearby petrol stations when the car's fuel warning light comes on. The system's wiring will be standard on all models, though – so it can always be purchased later."
Last updated 
21 May 2014

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