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2012 Seat Mii Auto review

  • Semi-auto Seat Mii city car driven
  • Available with 74bhp engine only
  • On sale now, priced from 10,490

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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 its not enough of an improvement to make the Auto cheaper to tax.

Whats the 2012 Seat Mii Auto like to drive?
The gearboxs electronic clutch is slow to respond, then engages abruptly, so caution is required when pulling out of junctions.

Whats more, once youre 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 its reluctant to change down again, so power isnt always readily available.

If you want to nip into a gap or overtake, its 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 thats light and precise, plus it has an auto-hold function that works well on steep hills. Unfortunately, theres no creep function, so the car will roll backwards on gentle inclines and its difficult to drive smoothly in stop-start traffic.

Whats 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 Miis.

That means its surprisingly spacious and has a simple, uncluttered dashboard, while the driving position is good, despite the fact theres 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 its about as good as city cars get.

However, unless an automatic gearbox is absolutely essential, this particular model should be avoided; its far from smooth and actually adds to the stress of city driving.

If your budget doesnt exceed 10,000 and you need a small automatic car, youre much better off with a one-year-old VW Polo DSG.

Read the full What Car? Seat Mii review

Rivals:
Fiat Panda Dualogic
Volkswagen Up ASG

What Car? says

By Dan Alcock