THE Seat Mii city car with the option of three or five door body styles caught my attention recently because of its low purchase price and the potential low-cost way to ownership.
The Mii is Seat's version of the VW Up and Skoda Citigo and it sits in the middle of their versions as far as price goes.
The Mii starts from just £8,060, the Skoda from £7,990 and the VW from £8,265. All three ranges have the choice of 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engines with the choice of 59 or 74bhp power outputs.
What first impressed me about the Mii was the low cost of actually buying one using their PCP personal credit purchase scheme. My test version, the 59bhp, three-door Toca specification is £79 a month for 36-months with a deposit of £2,719. A more usable five door Toca model would costs £85 a month.
The Seat Mii 1.0 60PS Toca three-door is priced at £9,995 and will officially return 62.8mpg in the combined cycle from its throaty sounding three-cylinder 59bhp petrol engine.
Driving up hills takes its toll on performance as does carrying passengers and overtaking slower traffic on A/B country roads needs a little thought. On the plus side CO2 emissions are only 105g/km so VED road tax is £0 for the First Year rate and then only £20 for year two onward. Insurance is rated as a very low Group 1.
Highlighting the appeal of the Mii's low purchase price and fuel economy potential, the 1.0-litre 59bhp unit is the most popular in the UK with three door models accounting for 55 per cent of total sales being £350 less in price than five-door models.
The Toca version looks the most sense in terms of specification as it includes such items as electric front windows, electrically operated/heated door mirrors, 14-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, central locking, electronic stability programme, split folding rear seats, leather steering wheel and gear knob, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth and best of all the touch-screen on-board computer information system including sat/nav.
All the controls are well placed and simple to use. The visibility is also first class – ideal for a city car.
The interior fascia and door trims use a combination of painted metal surfaces and rigid plastics for durability but there is an element of modern chic about them.
The cloth covered seats add a little 'warmth' to the overall interior appearance. At the rear is a small deep boot of 251-litres with the only drawback being the high rear sill which means heavy bags have to be lifted over it. With the rear seats folded the load space goes up to 951-litres.
Otherwise the boxy shaped Mii is functional and fits its motoring role in life. It doesn't impress with its exterior styling, it looks a bit anonymous but above all it is fit-for-purpose.
The ride comfort is generally quite good for a small car given the limited suspension travel these cars generally have.
To answer several questions I received during my Mii time – it's pronounced 'me' and Seat says the word Mii has no meaning. But after a little research on-line views think 'Mii' (me) follows Nintendo's use of 'Wii' (we). Another view has 'Mii' used in Spanish as 'my'. Whatever Mii means, it is a price-leader model range for Seat whose UK sales have increased this year by a healthy 15.2 per cent.