Fun in the smallest

SEAT

SEAT Mii, front
SEAT Mii, front
SEAT Mii, front
SEAT Mii, side
SEAT Mii, side
SEAT Mii, rear
SEAT Mii, interior
SEAT Mii, interior

I AMfast coming to the conclusion that some motoring pundits don't know how to get the best out of the cars they drive.

On a recent 300 mile return trip I had huge fun in the lowly powered SEAT Mii city car and found its marvellous road-holding and handling was close to that in the original Mini.

Across the uncluttered roads of the Peak District it was a delight - with brilliant grip and good steering feel, plus a very comfortable ride.

Yet more than one other critic has said it handles ‘reasonably well' or something similar, damning this excellent little car with poorly assessed faint praise.

All I can say is they need to go back and learn how to drive properly or find another subject to write about of which they have a little more knowledge.

The Mii was a 1.0-litre with just 75bhp from its smooth three cylinders and, like other triples, came with a delightful engine note as the revs rose.

Of course, with that amount of power, there is nothing to spare and acceleration is fairly slow from 30 or 40 miles an hour, making overtaking on a two lane road an art using the slingshot technique.

Suffice it to say that I found plenty of opportunities to do so, winding the willing and sweet little engine up to the yellow line to get the best from it.

The gearchange is positive and a little chunky and the clutch very light, so it was no hardship to keep the little triple on song and yet, amazingly, despite being driven pretty hard for much of the journey it returned a real 52.4 miles to the gallon.

The suspension soaked up the worst of country lane surfaces as Google's maps guided me around a number of traffic hold-ups on my return journey.

Apart from sometimes being very late with directions, this system worked like a dream and, while I was using it, I hardly stopped moving for 70 miles.

Such a small power output does have limitations of course, so there is very little acceleration in fifthgear and not much more in fourth.

People used to the latest tranche of small turbos would find this odd, but I grew up when very few cars had turbos and they needed to be revved to get the best from them.

It takes a while to get there, but as well as being a perfect companion around the town or city, it can happily keep up with the flow of traffic on the motorway over long journeys.

Standard kit in the FR-Line I enjoyed includes traction control, front and side airbags, a decent stereo with aux in and Bluetooth, four seatbelts, steering wheel and seat height adjustment, air conditioning, electric front windows and mirrors, 50/50 folding rear seats and start/stop.

FAST FACTS

Price:£12,070

Mechanical:73bhp, 999cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:107mph

0-62mph: 13.4 seconds

Combined MPG: 65

Insurance Group: 4

C02 emissions:97g/km

Bik rating: 23%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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