A few years ago, my mother had enough of her Volkswagen Fox and went ahead and bought herself a brand-spanking new Fiat Panda. A few weeks back, she decided it was time to replace the Panda with something similar. She called for my help to find us a new car, but how did we get from a Panda to a Seat Mii?
At the time, the Panda had most of what she wanted in a car, but the decider was that most of the other contenders were nowhere near as appealing nor comfortable. They did not perform to her liking and in the scenario of us all having to go somewhere in a single car, we might as well practice to be professional yogis and stick our legs above our heads. If I had to find a way to describe the eventual decision, I would say it was a case of picking the best out of the worst.
To be fair, the Panda is not at all a terrible car to drive. There have been multiple occasions where I drove it over 100km at a time and it performed just fine. One specific moment springs to mind, when I took it to Dortmund (about 300km from where I live) packed with skiing and snowboarding gear, along with two siblings and a girlfriend. Trust me, not comfy.
However, I think we all know quite well that the Panda is not to be driven like that. The city is where it comes to life! Even though flooring it still has as much effect as trying to push a blue whale back into the ocean (“Overtaking? I’ve never heard the term!”), it handles perfectly and can fit a group of four to five with ease.
My biggest concern was reliability. Italians have always been notorious for the matter and even though there have been improvements, I can still hear that sinister voice (let’s call it Derek) in the back of my head, telling me it will at some point break down, no discussion. Luckily no such thing ever happened, and we had zero problems with our baby. It was to be assumed after all the reports about its reliability that nothing should go wrong, but like I said, Derek would not leave. 130k in and there have only been some mild issues during its final phases with us, none of which had anything to do with its drivability. All in all, I’d say the car was definitely a hit and I would not have liked it any other way, unless there was the option of us having a car way out of our league. Perhaps an Aston Martin Rapide?
Being the car specialist that I am cough, there was no doubt my mother asked me to join her on her journey hunting for a new car. Although she had been going on about the Seat Mii for about a couple of months now, I told her it was best to still have a look around. Sure, magazines might have tested several cars and compared them where it turned out the Mii definitely was a decent competitor, but if you ask me, it still is wisest to weigh your options. After crossing out a few options, like the Hyundai i10 and the -overpriced- Nissan Leaf, we ended up with a single competitor for the Seat Mii: the Renault Twingo.
At some point my mum found out that on her way to work, there was a Renault dealer who had a perfect example of a Twingo that she would very much like to own, called the Renault Twingo VIVA. We both liked the Twingo from the outside. The changes that were done to the previous couple versions of the Twingo were all pretty radical. Because of this, it was quite the coincidence that exactly when we were looking for a new car, Renault had made their most attractive Twingo to date.
That wasn the end of it though. After we got the keys for a test drive, we were immediately disappointed. Our hopes, held up by the design, were quickly yanked down. The steering did not feel natural at all. It was quirky, but not in a good way. Direct, yet indirect too. It’s what strikes me most when driving a car. When it comes to driving, the feel is put above all else. Hence, the Twingo did not do very well in my book. When turning the wheel, you’re met with so little feedback you might as well be playing tug of war with a toddler.
All right, so aside from the steering, it can’t be that bad right? Well.. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a terrible car, but it the exterior image simply does not correspond with what is presented to you when behind the wheel. If you don’t care about driving a car, and are merely looking for transport, then yes, the Twingo could be for you. However, I would not recommend it for anything else than driving it within a city’s boundaries. Especially because of this fact, we decided to pass on the Twingo. The ride on the highway was not comfortable enough, to us, to be driven at least 150 km’s a day. It’s noisy, easily affected by gusts of wind and, for the high price it was on sale for, not equipped with cruise control. To conclude: definitely an option when living in a city, but to be avoided for the long-range commute.
Onto the Seat Mii then! We actually went there the very same day, to check out an advert my mother had seen on the internet. Upon arrival, we were immediately presented with the keys. She drove the first part, I drove back, so we both got a feel in for a good fifteen minutes.
And what a feel it was. For such a small car, pretty much from a similar segment as the Renault Twingo, the contrast could not have been larger. Direct steering, a lot more noticeable compared to the Twingo, was a pleasant surprise. The wheel gave just that little extra resistance I longed for while driving the Renault. It simply enhances the experience for me. But being able to throw it into corners was not the only positive aspect. To us, comfortably driving the Mii on the highway is highest on the list. Fortunately, that is what it did best. It’s stable, agile and most of all, fast when you want it to be fast. Flooring the gas pedal actually does something for a change. Especially when you’re at a red light, you’ll notice how quick it accelerates. Even though I drove both the Fiat Panda (for a long time) and the Renault Twingo, they never seemed to get that part straight. Volkswagen managed to go overboard with their three-cylinder that powers the Mii, and for that I am grateful.
Added to its great performance is the in-and-exterior, that look overly impressive to me. Although I wasn’t the biggest fan initially, the Seat Mii grew on me enormously. The one we bought in the end, was the Seat Mii by MANGO, a special edition that has a lot of options. For a tiny car, having leather seats and leather steering wheel makes you feel that little extra special. It’s as if you’re driving a shrunken Golf, that happens to be loaded with extras. I just love it.
I’m sure you’re all dying to know what more I have to say about the Seat Mii, but I will go into greater detail once I review it. This will be done soon enough, so keep following us on social media, or sign up for our email service to find out when we post our final verdict.
As for now, thanks for reading and until next time!
Have a good one,