WELL it may not be a T-Bird, but you can certainly have fun, fun fun in the glorious little SEAT Mii electric.
If you have been thinking of investing in an electric model and just want a city runaround, you could do no worse than take a good hard look at this lovely little car. I’ve had it for a week and fairly churned up the miles, spun it around the corners and zoomed it into parking spaces.
It is small and light but very well balanced, making it great fun to take out for a drive, especially with the foot down.
Of course it is no Ferrari – 81 mph top speed – but since some of us do not necessarily have the need for speed, this is not always a drawback. And what this mischievous little car has is plenty of attitude and the performance to go with it.
First of all the range. Officially SEAT says it is 160 miles and this may well be the case if you include the ‘limp’ mode included in the car’s systems.
This is an Eco+ button that you can press if you are nearing home and think you are not going to make it. It basically cuts everything out to try and give you enough energy and miles to get you home.
After having plugged it into my domestic socket overnight, however (and apparently that’s how the majority of EV owners charge their cars), I ended with a full ‘tank’ or charge and with 136 miles on the clock.
Not that I am complaining because 136 miles was more than ample for two to three days every day driving around. If you want a rapid charge, plug it in at your local supermarket while you shop.
There is a ‘B’ gear that you use to enhance energy recuperation that is usually done by taking your foot off the gas or braking. The ‘B’ gear just makes this all the fiercer, although you do lose a little power in the acceleration.
The car itself is quirky looking with quite a straight rear hatch which makes it easy to reverse park – with sensors – and the boot is not bad with room for shopping bags and a buggy, probably if it is put in sideways, which is possible because of the high headroom.
The seats are comfortable and quite jazzy with black cloth and white stripe detailing on my model. They were also, surprisingly, heated, which I thought was quite an upmarket feature for a small electric car.
There is a handy little perch above the centre console on which to, well perch, your phone, which means it is not slithering around all over the place or falling under a seat and a 5ins colour screen with DAB radio as well as smartphone integration, sat-nav and Bluetooth. There is a USB port and an AUX-in port.
With the SEAT connect app – and because this is an electric car – you can pair it to your phone and control specific things remotely like pre-heating it in winter, opening it and switching on lights. (It’s also helpful if you lose your car in a car park).
The SEAT Mii with its new electric powertrain under the bonnet – or floor as the case may be – has come into its own and is a revelation to anyone who thought EVs were boring.
Maggie Barry is an Award winning journalist, she regularly travels in Europe and beyond to test drive cars. A former lecturer in journalism and motoring editor of Media Scotland she has written for and contributed to the Daily Record and Sunday Mail among others. She is on the panel judging the Scottish Car of the Year and Women’s World Car of the Year. She lives near Glasgow with her husband and several cars.
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