Style and performance used to be the headline items on most car buyers’ tick lists.
All that’s changed now and for most of us such matters as safety, affordable purchase and running costs, versatility, comfort and space are now the prime considerations.
Manufacturers have not been slow to identify this sea change and a rash of super-minis – compact on the outside, spacious within – have been hitting the market and reaping healthy sales.
Audi-Volkswagen Group has been quick out of the blocks, with VW, Skoda and SEAT city car models. The latter’s offering is the pert little Mii.
There’s a five-version line-up, providing S, S A/C, Ecomotive, SE and Sport trim and specification levels.
Power comes from a choice of two one-litre engines of either 60 PS or 75 PS power output.
Packaged perfectly to offer space for four adults and a generous boot yet sufficiently small externally to fully exploit tight parking spaces and gaps in traffic, the Mii has all the right ingredients for urban survival.
Big, wide-opening doors help and once inside the occupants are treated to generous head, leg and shoulder room and plenty of nooks and crannies for the bits and pieces that usually clutter a car.
But this is not merely a city runabout. Solidly built, it handles brilliantly out on the open road but there’s more than enough oomph to keep up with the motorway fast-laners – and it is very economical with fuel.
The Mii’s attractive design combines sporty flair with practical considerations. Standard equipment on all models includes a MP3-compatible CD player with AUX-in, twin front speakers, pre-installation for SEAT Portable System sat/nav, driver and front passenger airbags, combined head-thorax front side airbags, front seatbelt reminders, folding rear bench seat, ISOFIX points with Top Tether in the rear seats, height-adjustable steering wheel, speed-sensitive power steering, 14” steel wheels, emergency tyre repair kit, door handles and mirrors in black plastic, body-coloured bumpers, 12v socket in the centre console and daytime running lights.
Useful options, depending on model, include metallic or Custom Palette paint, chrome door mirrors, air-conditioning, panoramic glass sunroof, heated front seats, ESC (Electronic Stability Control), Safety Assist, 14” Silva alloy wheels and a space-saving spare wheel, The Convenience Pack option adds cruise control, front fog lamps, trip computer and rear parking sensors, while the Seat Pack provides split-folding rear seats and a height-adjustable driver’s seat.
The Mii’s great value basic prices range from £7,925 for the entry-level S three-door to £10,430 for the range-topping Sport five-door. Currently there’s a special finance deal from £79 a month, including free insurance.