The Mii shares more than 90 per cent of its components with the VW and is built in the same factory in Slovakia. While the Mii is the first SEAT model to go fully electric, it’s descended from the first-generation e-Up!, which first appeared in the UK in 2014.
When Volkswagen introduced a heavily facelifted e-Up! (with a bigger battery and much-improved range) at the start of the year, ŠKODA and SEAT were invited to join the electric party for the first time. The CITIGOe iV only had a short life in the UK before being dropped, but the VW and SEAT live on, with the Mii now becoming the most affordable at £19,800 (Govt grant included).
While the Volkswagen e-Up! is £20,555, if you equip both cars 'like for like' (which is almost impossible thanks to the Volkswagen Group’s clever stage management of its competing brands), there’s actually very little difference in price.
The other advantage of the Mii is availability. The e-Up! is currently sold out and more stock isn't on its way until 2021. We found there were still plenty of Miis at dealers though.
Okay, that’s the complicated Volkswagen family business out of the way - let’s look at the Mii on its own merits. Despite being two classes smaller, it has the same 32.3kWh battery pack as the now-deceased Volkswagen e-Golf. It may look like a simple city runaround, but SEAT has done an incredible job repackaging the battery pack in without interfering with floor heights or luggage space. If you stepped from an old petrol Mii into the Mii electric, you wouldn’t notice a thing.
The new Mii is powered by a modest but hardworking 81bhp electric motor and has a WLTP range of between 160 and 223 miles depending on specification. Although it doesn’t have the fancy big screen displays of rivals such as the Zoe, it has all the kit you need, plus some clever touches such as a dashtop phone holder and USB port that allows you to run navigation on your phone.
Rapid charging at up to 40kW is standard, allowing reasonably-quick top ups when you are out and about - an hour will see you go from zero to 80%. This would work well for anyone wanting just enough power to get home on a longer journey or maybe charge the battery once a week while at the gym, shopping or eating out. A home charge from a wallbox at 7.2kW takes four hours.
There’s a lot to love about the Mii and we’ve been charmed by it. It’s an honest, well-made and surprisingly fun package that covers all the basics and delivers a longer range than supermini EVs such as the MINI and Honda-e. Factor in the sub-£20k price tag and it’s little wonder that the Mii is one of our favourite affordable electric cars.