Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

It's All about Mii

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

It's All about Mii

Article excerpt

Byline: Bruce Booth

BACK in 2011, things were pretty quiet over at SEAT's new product department in the Spanish city of Barcelona. With no new vehicles to showcase during the whole of that year, it took the marque all of six months of 2012 to finally get something new into UK showrooms.

And sadly, even then, their new Mii city car didn't have a clear run of the road ahead having to battle for a share of the spoils with not just serious competition from the likes of the new Kia Picanto and Fiat Panda, but from two of its own group stablemates in the form of the Skoda Citygo and VW up!, which shared the same platform and running gear.

However, it wasn't all doom and gloom for SEAT, for the sporty, modern and high-tech brand of the massive VW empire had a loyal customer base that would ensure that the Mii quickly achieved sales figures the company were looking for.

The Mii was a more than worthy replacement for the now long-gone Arosa, which was phased out in 2005. Since then, high insurance and everincreasing fuel and insurance costs helped the city car sector gain in popularity, yet SEAT set themselves a relatively modest target of just 6,000 Miis annually.

Initially, two new-generation engines were earmarked for the car, both one-litre, three-cylinder units delivering either 59bhp or 74bhp. Both were mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, although an automatic version did follow later that same year.

While three-pot engines tended to be a bit on the rough and ready side, that was certainly not the case with the Mii. Refined, smooth and quiet on the hoof, both units delivered everything you could possibly expect from a one-litre engine ... and some more.

For such small power plants, they delivered enough grunt for the car to keep up with the flow, while both returned more than 60mpg on the combined cycle.

Four trim levels made up the range, S, SE, Ecomotive and Sport, with the 59bhp mid-spec SE version quickly becoming the best seller.

Like all VW group cars, the Mii came beautifully put together and the SE and Sport trims got a flashy glossy top to the dash while chrome detailing also helped take any blandness away from the interior. …

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