This is the Seat Mii Auto, one third of a city car trio, which also includes the Volkswagen Up and Skoda Citigo ASG (Automated Shift Gearbox) models.
All three use the same five-speed automated-manual gearbox, although Seat offers it only with the Mii's range-topping 1.0 74bhp engine, whereas Skoda and Volkswagen both let you specify a 59bhp engine as well.
Fuel economy and CO2 emissions are actually slightly better than they are for the manual car, although it’s not enough of an improvement to make the Auto cheaper to tax.
What’s the 2012 Seat Mii Auto like to drive?
The gearbox’s electronic clutch is slow to respond, then engages abruptly, so caution is required when pulling out of junctions.
What’s more, once you’re on the move, shifts seem to take an age and cause the car to lurch back and forth.
In order to maximise efficiency, the ’box changes up as quickly as possible, meaning its often in fifth by the time you reach 30mph. Unfortunately it’s reluctant to change down again, so power isn’t always readily available.
If you want to nip into a gap or overtake, it’s best to override the gearbox by nudging the lever back and forth.
Like the manual car, the Mii Auto benefits from a supple ride and steering that’s light and precise, plus it has an auto-hold function that works well on steep hills. Unfortunately, there’s no creep function, so the car will roll backwards on gentle inclines and it’s difficult to drive smoothly in stop-start traffic.
What’s the 2012 Seat Mii Auto like inside?
Aside from the auto gearlever (and the absence of a clutch pedal) the interior is identical to any other Mii’s.
That means it’s surprisingly spacious and has a simple, uncluttered dashboard, while the driving position is good, despite the fact there’s no reach adjustment for the steering wheel.
SE trim is the only option if you want an automatic Mii, but this is pretty well equipped, getting alloy wheels, air-conditioning and heated door mirrors. Heated seats and a portable satellite-navigation system are available as options.
Should I buy one?
Under the body, the Mii is almost identical to a Volkswagen Up, which means it’s about as good as city cars get.
However, unless an automatic gearbox is absolutely essential, this particular model should be avoided; it’s far from smooth and actually adds to the stress of city driving.
If your budget doesn’t exceed £10,000 and you need a small automatic car, you’re much better off with a one-year-old VW Polo DSG.
Read the full What Car? Seat Mii review
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What Car? says…
By Dan Alcock
Our reviews are based on hard data and thorough testing in the real world.
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