THERE’S no more difficult task in the motoring world, than creating a good small car.
Small cars cost virtually as much to design, develop and crucially to build as larger models, yet you have to sell them at a cheap price.
But most people still want big-car options at a small car price and a vehicle that can do long motorway treks too. How on earth is that going to be possible?
There are ways and means, of course. The Spanish brand Seat is part of the Volkswagen Group, and that means shared technologies across the various manufacturers. You get a lot more for your pound as a result.
So there are other versions of this small city car within the group, but they all have a slightly different take on the genre.
This being a Seat means there is a sportier flavour, and you get that from the moment you first set eyes on the Mii.
It’s a compact city car, of course, so the basic shape is still a take on a basic box, but it’s certainly not short of character. The nose has the sharp-edged Seat family grille, the lights are edgy and look expensive and the numerous creases and edges in the bodywork give it a toughness that adds to the appeal.
Sport models benefit from 15in alloy wheels and tinted windows too. You can go a little bonkers with the options list and add numerous styling packs, but even the standard car has plenty of personality.
The small price tag doesn’t mean compromises in the quality either. It’s a grown-up cabin, with smart instrument graphics, quality switchgear and a sophisticated feel.
It’s a pleasure to operate, rather than a constant reminder of how little money you’ve spent, which is exactly how it should be.
There’s more good news underneath with a new 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol unit up front. The 74bhp version in the Mii Sport has useful extra pep and handles higher-speed roads with more conviction, and the three-cylinder configuration gives it real character.
It doesn’t feel like a small car out on the road either; the steering, although electrically assisted, isn’t overly light and responds with accuracy.
Forget the notion that you have to buy a car like the Mii because you can’t afford anything bigger or better; this is a car you can buy because of how good it is.
Take a closer look and you might wonder why you need anything more.