Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2
  • Electric motor very quick to respond
  • Nimble around town and capable on the motorway
  • Generally very refined

Replacing the petrol engine under the bonnet of the Mii Electric is a 61kW electric motor, which drives the front wheels via a single-speed transmission.

This is equivalent to 83hp, while the accompanying 212Nm of torque is delivered instantly – giving the Mii Electric greater performance than any previous version of this car.

This is borne out by the official figures, which state that the Mii Electric will go 0-31mph in 3.9 seconds (a benchmark for electric vehicles of this size) and 0-62mph in 12.3 seconds (faster than any petrol Mii).

Top speed is limited to 80.7mph (yes, 80.7 – equivalent to 130km/h). It's pegged in order to help preserve the battery's reserves.

What’s it really like to drive?

Like all electric cars, it excels in city driving. The motor gives you really punchy response from low speeds in a very predictable and dependable fashion – so you soon know exactly what sort of gap in the traffic you can squirt yourself into, and learn that you needn’t fear being bullied by bigger vehicles away from the traffic lights.

The single-speed transmission works like an automatic, but one that doesn’t need to change gear – so again, its responses are entirely dependable, and you won’t get thumped by a sudden downchange or be left languishing in too high a gear for the acceleration you need.

This responsiveness does tail off at higher speeds – and naturally, the faster you go, the quicker you’ll run down the battery – but it will cope with motorways more than merrily, and it’ll zap you out of a slip road with more than enough alacrity to make joining them a safe and sound experience.

Certainly more so than the old lower-powered petrol Mii models, which required revving to high heaven and the occasional prayer in similar circumstances.

Silent performer

Being electric, this Mii delivers its performance in near total silence – there’s a faint motor hum at low speeds but this is quickly drowned out by tyre and road noise as you go faster, and doesn’t sound as whiny as in some rivals anyway.

There is some wind noise, hardly a shock when the car is such a boxy shape. This seemed particularly bad in the vicinity of the left-hand door on the example we’ve driven, as if a seal was slightly out of spec, but this would soon be swallowed up by the radio and conversation at a normal level was easy.

What’s it like in the corners?

The Mii Electric weighs some 299kg more than an old petrol Mii at 1,235kg in total – and 238 of these extra kilos are accounted for by the battery pack, which is positioned beneath the rear seats.

This gives it a particularly low centre of gravity compared with a conventional car, which helps it maintain grip in corners better than you might otherwise expect.

As a result this is quite a fun thing to fling around, despite a generous amount of body roll. The steering isn’t exactly alive in your hands, but it’s direct, precise and gives you the confidence to make swift progress if required.

The Mii’s small size makes it nimble in traffic, too, not to mention very easy to park – something that’s further helped by the tight 9.8m turning circle.

Is the Mii Electric comfortable?

We’re yet to drive it in the UK – always the true test of a car’s comfort levels – but we have encountered speed bumps in Spain that could double as foothills in the Himalayas, and the Mii wasn’t fazed by these in the slightest.

The body roll in the corners is all well controlled enough not to be alarming, but still indicates there’s a reasonable amount of suspension of travel. Together with wheels pushed right out to the edges, this helps to smooths out the worst road imperfections, even with 16-inch alloys fitted as standard.