Electric vehicles (EVs) are all over the place in a rush to beat the government’s deadline of 2030 for the end of all new pure fossil fuel car sales. As l have started with an EV, l will dedicate this issue to such vehicles.
City cars are the easiest and cheapest way into an EV, and the latest offering from SEAT can only be applauded. Since 2019, you have been able to buy the Mii with a petrol engine and here we have the switch out for the sparky unit which will go up against the Skoda Citigo-E and the VW e-Up – which sounds a little like a northern chap in a cloth cap saying hello.
In the days gone by, all manufacturers would create and design their cars in secret but not any more as all the above models are the same car with a different frock on. Change the dress, tights and knickers and hey presto, you have a different car.
The Mii has 36.8kWh battery, cleverly packaged under the floor so it doesn’t impinge on boot or passenger space, and 82bhp from a little e-motor powering the front-axle. The range of 161 miles is more than you get from the Mini Electric and Honda E, but then the Mii Electric’s top speed is only 81mph and it doesn’t get there especially quickly. Charging with an average unit will take an hour for 80% and 4 hours on a home charger.
Like all the new sparky city cars, it is press and go. That’s it, there is little more to say. It will fly round town and park on a postage stamp and is good fun to drive. You can take it on the motorway but the top speed is only 81mph and, if we discount the fibs about range, you could expect 120 miles or so on a charge, therefore 60 miles if you then want to get home. There are modes too – if you’re caught short. Eco mode restricts power and torque to 67bhp and 123lb ft, so what little range you have left should last a bit longer. If you’re desperate, Eco+ limits you to just 53bhp and 98lb ft, cuts your top speed to 59mph and entirely disables the air conditioning.
It will take rear passengers on short journeys and the 250 litre boot is pretty good for this size of car. The interior is well sorted with a funky silver pattern across the dash and a phone cradle fitted as standard.
The best aspect is that it flies around town at a decent lick and is good fun to drive – in town. But for long motorway drives, you’ll need a second car. This is the future, so get involved, as soon you will have no choice.
Model tested: SEAT Mii Electric
Speed: 0-60 - 12.2 secs
Range quoted: 161 miles
Price from: £19,800 with PiCG