By on 2018-03-14 -
SEAT's city car
capable on the open
SO many car designers never consider the remote locking keys for their cars and some are rather difficult to use, which seems bonkers when we use them all the time.
Of course, many of today's cars come with keyless entry and starting as standard, so this doesn't apply, but, for example, when the unlock button is close to the bottom of the fob it's often awkward to press the button without dropping it.
The VW/SEAT/Skoda keys are a case in point, as I found when I drove the SEAT Mii recently, and dropped the key in the road more than once when trying to press the button with gloves on.
The Mii is a smashing city car and of course is built in the same factory as the VW up! and the Skoda Citigo. They are all badged versions of the same car, with the same engines but slightly different trim options.
I drove the FR-Line, which is fairly close to the top of the range, and it was showing 50 miles per gallon when it arrived. That's the kind of economy we would all like isn't it?
There are two versions of the three cylinder 1.0-litre engine, with either 60bhp or the 75 that this one had. The Mii is also available with three or five doors and I drove the three door.
Remember though, that if you use the back seats regularly, always buy the five door. Getting children into car seats in a three door is a recipe for a bad back and expensive visits to the chiropractor.
Also, three door cars all have long doors and these can make access difficult in the supermarket car park.
The little 1.0-litre drives the front wheels through a five-speed gearbox and, as you might expect, fifthgearis pretty much just for cruising, or lane changing on the motorway.
Through the gears, acceleration feels good even though the figures don't back this up. That's because the engine sounds sweet right through its rev range, willing and peppy.
The gearchange is slick and the clutch light as a feather, but there's no left foot rest and, although there's space for the left foot when cruising, it's not that comfortable.
I found that I had to use the revs if I wanted to press on and, as with all cars, this hits the economy.
There isn't much urge under 3,000 revs, which is typical of a non-turbo, but from there it pulls lustily and feels very good.
Acceleration is linear, as you would expect, and overtaking can only be done with a great deal of care and plenty of space.
It rolls easily over a lot of ruts and bumps at town speeds and is rarely uncomfortable, but the narrow body and track means that it thumps over speed humps if they're taken too fast.
The excellent VW group steering is meaty and full of feel on the move and gives plenty of help when parking.
The car is stable and clings on brilliantly. Grip is fantastic and marvellous handling and road-holding make cornering a joy.
Inside, the uncluttered simple dash works well and there's plenty of storage around the cabin.
It is only a four seater at best and this goes down to three if the driver is tall, but the boot is deep and quite a lot bigger than others in the city car class.
Mechanical: 75bhp, 999cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox
0-62mph: 13 seconds
Combined MPG: 64
Insurance Group: 4
C02 emissions: 102g/km
Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles
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