Review: SEAT Mii (2012 – 2019)

Rating:

SEAT version of Volkswagen Up. Powered by low emission 1.0-litre engine. Ecomotive emits below 100g/km CO2. Easy and fun to drive. Good value for money.

Not as distinctively styled as the Up and only slightly cheaper. Terrible automated manual transmission. High incidence of clutch failure on manuals. Timing belts need replacing at 4 years or 40k miles. Manual gearbox oil at 3 years.

Recently Added To This Review

5 November 2019

VW dealers offering a timing belt change on Up 1.0 engines for just £150 if carried out before 31-12-2019. Presumably applies to SEAT Miis and Skoda Citigos as well. Read more

2 October 2019

Complaint that new SEAT Mii will not easily go into 1st gear. Dealer fobs off the complaint. Read more

11 June 2019

Report of 2013 SEAT Mii reaching 65,000 miles without having the timing belt replaced or any sign of trouble (though probably wise to change belt now). Read more

SEAT Mii (2012 – 2019): At A Glance

The SEAT Mii is one of a trio of cars - it's the sister model to the Volkswagen Up and Skoda Citigo - and at just 3.5 metres long this little hatchback is designed as an affordable car that's ideal for urban driving. While it's unmistakably based on the Up, SEAT has tried to give the Mii its own identity with a different look including more angular headlights and a revised rear tailgate.

Everything under the skin is the same however with an identical engine line-up. Power comes from a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine that's available in two versions - one with 60PS and a more powerful 75PS.

Both are sprightly at low speeds while the Mii will happily keep up with motorway traffic. The big advantage the Mii has is fuel economy. The cleanest model is the Mii Ecomotive which can return a claimed 67.3mpg and emits just 97g/km of CO2.

Despite its dimunitive size, the little SEAT is surprisingly practical with reasonable room for adults in the back and a decent boot too. It initially comes as a three-door but a more useful five-door will be added to the line-up later in 2012 while it's available with a standard manual gearbox or an optional automatic.

As well as being affordable and cheap to run, the Mii is also enjoyable to drive and comfortable too. It feels solid and surprisingly refined for such a small car - in fact from behind the wheel it's easy to think you're in a larger hatchback like an Ibiza. The interior is good too. It's well built and neatly designed with plenty of room and good stowage. If you're after a stylish and affordable small hatch then the Mii could fit the bill perfectly.

 

What does a SEAT Mii (2012 – 2019) cost?

List Price from £11,250
Buy new from £10,250
Contract hire from £134.04 per month
Get a finance quote with CarMoney

SEAT Mii (2012 – 2019): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 3557 mm
Width 1641–1645 mm
Height 1478 mm
Wheelbase 2420 mm

Full specifications

While the outside of the Mii might look quite different from the Volkswagen Up, the inside is pretty much identical. That's no bad thing though. It's a neatly functional and fuss-free design with plenty of room in the front - even for taller drivers - along with well placed controls and a good driving position. The steering adjusts for height, but not for reach, however it's still easy to get instantly comfortable behind the wheel of the Mii.

The quality of the finish is good too. It feels a solid and robust car, evident in the nice thud the doors make when closed. There are also plenty of stowage spaces, not something that's always common on a car this size, with good sized door pockets (they can hold a one litre drinks bottle) and plenty of useful cubby holes, such as the ones in front of the gear lever - ideal for phones and sunglasses. All models come with a neat CD stereo that straightforward to use while the ventilation controls are placed high up on the dash.

Getting to the back seats isn't especially easy - it never is on any three-door car - but once there it's surprisingly comfortable and even taller adults can cope with short journeys. It's much more suited to children though as the rear seat is slightly raised giving them a good view over the shoulders of those in front. The boot really impresses too - while 251 litres of space may not seem much to write home about, it's considerable more than most cars this size. A MINI has just 160 litres for example while the Kia Picanto has 200 litres. The boot also includes an extra underfloor storage area which is ideal for when you need to carry taller or boxier items.

One useful option is the SEAT Portable System. This is essentially like a portable sat nav with a large five-inch colour screen that cleverly slots onto the top of the dash. It's easy to use with a clear display but there's more to it than just navigation. It includes Bluetooth with voice control and an on-board computer too. The sat nav system (developed with Navigon) can be kept up to date via online downloads while in the future SEAT is promising tailor-made apps.

Standard equipment from launch (May 2012):

S models come with black plastic door handles and mirrors, 14-inch steel wheels without covers, an MP3-compatible CD player with AUX-in port, two speakers and preparation for the SEAT Portable System, speed-variable power steering and a height-adjustable steering wheel.

S A/C adds air conditioning.

Ecomotive comes with an engine start/stop system, electric front windows, body-coloured exterior plastics and wheel covers, along with remote central locking and more flexible seating.

SE models get 14-inch alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel, electric and heated door mirrors plus interior styling details including a gloss white dashboard panel.

Sport comes with front fog lights, dark tinted windows, 15-inch alloy wheels, a gloss grey dash panel, trim highlights and a darker upholstery design. Like the Ecomotive, the Sport runs on lower suspension settings for increased aerodynamic performance.

Child seats that fit a SEAT Mii (2012 – 2019)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the SEAT Mii (2012 – 2019) like to drive?

The engine line-up in the Mii range couldn't be simpler. There's a 1.0-litre petrol engine that comes in two different versions - either 60PS or 75PS - and both feel nippy at low speeds helped by a nice positive shift from the five-speed manual gearbox. In fact there's very little to choose between the two variants apart from at the top of the rev range where the 75PS model does have a little bit more in reserve.

The 60PS feels more than adequate for the kind of driving the Mii is designed for. On paper it hardly breaks any records with an official 0-62mph time of 14.4 seconds (the 75PS model is slightly quicker at 13.2 seconds) but it feels more than quick enough away from the lights and in everyday town driving. Admittedly, the 1.0-litre engine's 95Nm of torque doesn't seem much, but you have to take into account that the Mii weighs just 850kg and as a result it's a sprightly performer.

This light weight not only means keen performance but also good economy. The 60PS version returns a claimed 62.8mpg with emissions of 105g/km. The 75PS version isn't far behind and returns 60.1mpg. Both engines are available as Ecomotive versions with a lowered ride, low-rolling resistance tyres and an engine start/stop system to aid fuel economy and lower emissions. As a result they emit less than 100g/km meaning no annual VED and exemption from the central London congestion charge. Fuel economy also improves to 67.3mpg and 65.7mpg respectively.

The Mii is perfect in and around town with a tight turning circle, light steering and a responsive throttle. All round visibility is good so it's easy to nip in and out of traffic while the near vertical rear end makes parking in small spaces stress free. The wheel in each corner design and relatively long wheelbase mean good handling too and there's a surprising amount of grip from the little wheels. Thanks to the light weight, it's very agile and on more demanding roads, the Mii copes very well.

It's certainly an enjoyable car to drive but it's also comfortable with an impressively forgiving ride and decent refinement. The engine is rarely noisy and never sounds coarse, even when worked hard. The Mii is also happy at higher speeds and will keep up with faster flowing motorway traffic with few problems. Wind and road noise are obviously more noticeable, but not intrusive so on longer journeys the Mii is a comfortable car to travel in.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.0 60 63–66 mpg 14.4 s 96–105 g/km
1.0 75 60–66 mpg 13.2–13.5 s 97–108 g/km
1.0 75 Automatic 63 mpg 13.9 s 105 g/km
1.0 Ecomotive 69 mpg 14.4 s 95 g/km

Real MPG average for a SEAT Mii (2012 – 2019)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

87%

Real MPG

42–68 mpg

MPGs submitted

94

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the SEAT Mii (2012 – 2019)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

What's the best small car on a £4500 budget?

I want to buy a used car and have a budget of £4.5k. Can you suggest a reliable, economical small car with three doors? Boot size is not important. I have been considering an Aygo or a Volkswagen Up but is it best to look for a car with low mileage or the newest car for my budget?
The Volkswagen Up is a really good car but not without its faults, unfortunately: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/volkswagen/up-2012/good/. If this doesn't concern you, also consider the SEAT Mii and Skoda Citigo - they're essentially the same car but a little cheaper. The Aygo isn't without its issues, either, and feels flimsier than the Up. I'd look for a Kia Picanto - it has fewer problems and is a great little car. I'd prioritise condition and service history over mileage or age, but there's no reason why you can't tick all the boxes with a £4500 budget.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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