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2014 Seat Mii by Mango review

Seat has got together with Spanish fashion brand Mango to create the Mii by Mango, which brings bespoke styling and desirable options such as part-Alcantara upholstery and an infotainment screen.

Words By Mike Vousden

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Since the Seat Mii, Skoda Citigo and VW Up triplets hit the road, the decision of which one to spend your money on has been a fairly easy one. If you want the cheapest option, it's between the Seat or Skoda - and which has the best finance options. If you want a bit more luxury, you’ll pick the Volkswagen Up.

The Seat Mii by Mango is a collaboration between Seat and the Spanish fashion brand, and is an attempt to add a bit more style appeal to its city car range in an effort to bring it into competition with high-end versions of the VW Up.

Seat isn’t shy about which gender this car is aimed at. A variety of styling details including β€˜nude’ paint finish (black is available) and contrast upholstery stitching, part-Alcantara seats and special contrast dark grey alloys, door strips and mirror caps aim to tempt style-conscious female buyers.

What’s the 2014 Seat Mii by Mango like inside?

At a glance, the Mii by Mango doesn’t differ too much from the standard Mii, which means you still get exceptional interior space considering the compact exterior dimensions. Most of the switches and dashboard materials feel nice enough.

Perceived quality is improved mainly through the addition of new part- leatherette/part-Alcantara upholstery. Those seats feel lovely, but without adjustable lumbar support they could become uncomfortable on very long journeys.

Otherwise, the cabin is sensibly laid out and all the switchgear is clearly marked, so it takes no time at all to acquaint yourself with the car. The Mii by Mango also gets Seat’s portable touch-screen infotainment system, which includes sat-nav and Bluetooth, and benefits from straightforward menus and a responsive screen, even if some of the icons are a bit small and tricky to hit precisely when you're on the move. It's just a shame that digital radio costs an extra Β£175, and there's no USB input.

The Mango influence can be felt elsewhere in the cabin. Unique β€˜Mii by Mango’ badges are dotted around the car, and the centre console and air vents get a special β€˜nude’ finish. Contrasting Atom Grey finish is applied to the alloys, mirror caps and door strips, helping the Mii by Mango stand out on your local high street.

Two adults will be comfortable up front, with plenty of leg- and shoulder room, although very tall drivers may want to avoid the optional sunroof as it eats into headroom. There’s great visibility all round, with relatively slim A-pillars and a well-shaped rear screen.

As with every other car in its class, rear space is limited, but it's still better than in rivals such as the Fiat 500. There’s sufficient headroom for two adults, although taller passengers might find their knees touching the front-seat backs. Rear access is also very good on this five-door model, although the three-door is more of a squeeze.

The boot, like the cabin, is surprisingly big considering the Mii’s diminutive size. It’s not very long so larger objects will require you to fold the rear seats, but it is fairly deep so it can swallow several grocery bags with space to spare.

What’s the Seat Mii by Mango like to drive?

There’s really no difference between the Mii by Mango and a standard Mii on the road, so you still get one of the most composed city cars out there. Small imperfections in the road surface are levelled out easily, and although you feel larger bumps, the suspension softens the impact very well.

It’s agile, too, and the steering is light, making it ideal for nipping around town, yet it's also quite fun on faster rural roads and stable on the motorway.

Refinement is generally good, with wind and suspension noise well contained, but tyre roar is noticeable at higher speeds. The engine is noisy at high revs, but its raspy exhaust note will sound quite sweet to some ears, so this isn’t necessarily a downside, and it's quiet at low speeds, when you're more likely to notice a bit of whine and clatter from the five-speed manual gearbox.

The car comes with the higher-powered 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol, which is flexibile, and gutsy enough to make it easy to maintain speed on the motorway.

Should I buy one?

The Seat Mii by Mango is an excellent city car. It drives well while also being comfortable, and it’s stylish and practical. The issue for the Mii by Mango is that a Mii i-Tech - although with only 59bhp - is all of those things and is Β£1000 cheaper. Even Sport trim, which gets much the same equipment and similar exterior style treatment, is Β£615 cheaper. Continuing that theme, a Skoda Citigo is cheaper still and is virtually identical, or if it's comfort more than style that you're concerned with, a Hyundai i10 is a more spacious option.

If you like the Mii, and you're willing to pay the price to stand out from the crowd, then the Mii by Mango model might be the way to go. Otherwise we’d avoid spending extra on what is ultimately a cosmetic make-over. For the plushest city car we’d recommend the Volkswagen Up, which feels more premium inside.

What Car? says…

Rivals

Skoda Citigo

Volkswagen Up

Seat Mii by Mango

Engine size

1.0-litre petrol

Price from

Β£11,345

Power

74bhp

Torque

70lb ft

0-62mph

13.2 seconds

Top speed

106mph

Fuel economy

60.1mpg

CO2

108g/km