SEAT Mii - road test

  • Extremely cheap company car tax
  • Nimble and agile for tight town driving
  • Has one of the biggest boots in sector

The city car market has had an injection of refinement and class in the past two months, thanks in no small part to a new platform spawning three new cars.

Okay, so you can’t buy the SEAT Mii, the Skoda Citigo or the VW up! until 2012, but we’ve driven the latter already and it has really whet our appetites.

With that in mind, the Mii should attract lots of attention from company car drivers who need small cars to zoom around town in.

This is the most compact SEAT since the Arosa, and when it is launched in 2012 it will be available as either a three-door or five-door.

We tested the three-door SEAT Mii powered by the 73bhp 1.0-litre petrol engine. It emits 105g/km of CO2, but even from launch its emissions are bettered by rivals. The Kia Picanto emits 99g/km and the chic Fiat 500 TwinAir emits even less - 95g/km. This means the Mii is already lagging behind.

However, if you are bothered about ultra-low emissions then hold off until the Spanish firm launches its Ecomotive engine, as it will emit 99g/km of CO2. Dipping below 100g/km means you’ll pay zero pounds on VED and no London congestion charge either. Company car tax will be payable at 10% until the end of the 2012/2013 tax year, rising to 11% thereafter.

On the fuel economy front the Mii’s competitors take another scalp. The combined economy of 62.8mpg is a fairly good return, but the Kia Picanto returns 67.3mpg, and the 500 TwinAir returns 68.9mpg so the SEAT still lags behind. Again, you’ll have to wait on the Ecomotive model for any improvement.

The 73bhp three-cylinder 1.0 litre engine is an excellent engine. It’s no V8 powerhouse but the benchmark sprint is competitive for this size of car. You will get from zero to 62mph in 13.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 107mph, more than enough for nipping around city streets.

Take the Mii out of town and onto single lane carriageways and you’ll need to work the gearbox hard to complete overtaking manoeuvres. It has a good chassis and you’ll find that if you drive enthusiastically there is very little body roll in the corners. The steering is great when in town but it is too light once you move out of the city and on to the open road.

Wind, tyre and road noise are reasonably well contained for this size of car and are not as intrusive as in some rivals. Even over rough surfaces the Mii performed well thanks to its supple suspension.

Load space is pretty good - 251 litres with the seats in place means the boot is one of the biggest in the class. However, fold them flat and this expands to 951 litres.

With an expected P11d value of £7,500, company car tax is likely to cost you around £12.50 per month on the 20% pay scale. That, we think you’ll agree, is absolutely incredible value for a well-engineered supermini.

To read our comprehensive full review of the new SEAT Mii, click here.

Also consider

Fiat 500 TwinAir

Appeals to the emotions and is a modern interpretation of a classic small Fiat from the past. Easy to drive and available with a host of customisation options. It has plenty of character.

Ford KA

Still the best to drive and the best handling car in its class. Much more grown up, particularly inside thanks to the well built and neatly laid out cabin.

Kia Picanto

Competitive pricing, a seven-year warranty and it’s good to drive. The Kia Picanto is a no-brainer for a lot of people thanks to its incredibly low running costs.