BE QUICK TO SNAP UP THIS ZESTY DRIVE

It’s Seat’s most ex­clu­sive car – the Mii by Mango Lim­ited Edi­tion – that’s aimed at women with an eye for fash­ion

Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - Front Page - FIRST DRIVE MATT KIM­BER­LEY

WHAT’S NEW?

You’d bet­ter move fast if you want one of these. The Mii by Mango Lim­ited Edi­tion is ex­actly that: its ex­clu­sive Oryx pearl white paint, spe­cial plum-fin­ished 15-inch al­loy wheels, plum up­hol­stery and match­ing trim ac­cents in­side and out are only be­ing brought to the UK 125 times.

It’s based on the ex­cel­lent stan­dard car, with the marginally pok­ier 74bhp 1.0-litre three-cylin­der en­gine. It still uses low-fric­tion tyres like the stan­dard car, and it’s no heav­ier. The Mango is all about adding style rather than me­chan­i­cal up­grades.

LOOKS AND IM­AGE

For a se­lect few, the stan­dard Mii by Mango might fall a bit flat in the style stakes, but the ‘Vel­vet’ pur­ple-on-white of the L.E. works a treat. It’s much more no­tice­able, dif­fer­ent and, with so few in the coun­try, much more ex­clu­sive. You wouldn’t want to pull up at the traf­fic lights next to an­other one, now would you?

Seat holds its hands up and openly ad­mits the Mango is aimed at women; young women with at least one and a half eyes on the fash­ion in­dus­try. But in fair­ness there’s noth­ing about the de­sign, colours, shape or driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that would put men off, ex­cept maybe the Mango badges, but then again, there’s such a thing as a Mango Man de­part­ment these days.

SPACE AND PRAC­TI­CAL­ITY

It’s al­ways amaz­ing how much room the Mii plat­form, along with its Cit­igo and Up triplets, gives to both pas­sen­gers and lug­gage. Two peo­ple can pack a week’s lug­gage into the boot if they’ve got a good record on Tetris, and four adults can sit back in com­fort in the five-door cabin. It’s a lit­tle Tardis, this car, es­pe­cially as a five-door.

It’s easy to top 60mpg in the real world, and on one trip in the test car, we even saw just over 70mpg. Treat it right and you’ll reach 400 miles per tank.

BE­HIND THE WHEEL

Hav­ing driven three of these sup­pos­edly me­chan­i­cally iden­ti­cal cars lately, some seem sweeter than oth­ers. The tester here is a gem, re­spond­ing quickly and pulling strongly (for a one-litre), with no rat­tles, squeaks or knocks from the sus­pen­sion.

The thrummy three-cylin­der en­gine does ster­ling work and zings its way up to 70mph much more speed­ily than its fig­ures would sug­gest. The five-speed gear­box does mean the car is calmest be­low 50mph and gets a bit rowdy at 70mph, but at least this one has (op­tional) cruise con­trol.

It turns with a lit­tle more dy­namism than the stan­dard Mii thanks to the larger wheels and lower-pro­file tyres that, nonethe­less, don’t com­pro­mise the ride qual­ity. If there’s a per­fect chas­sis con­fig­u­ra­tion for this car, the Mango L.E. has it. As for the seats, they are all per­fectly comfy for jour­neys up to 50 or 60 miles, but are a bit too soft for real long-dis­tance work.

VALUE FOR MONEY

If you can even get hold of one, given that they’re so few in num­ber, the base price of a shade un­der £12,000 means value de­pends on what you com­pare it to. It’s £800 cheaper than a pre-op­tions Fiat 500 Lounge equipped with the for­get­table 1.2-litre 68bhp four-cylin­der en­gine, and more than £2,100 cheaper than the same 500 with the char­ac­ter­ful 84bhp Twinair mo­tor. On that com­par­i­son, the Mango L.E. looks like su­perb value.

WHO WOULD BUY ONE?

Women are the main tar­get, and with only 100 or so of these yet to be sold, the only cus­tomers will be the quick ones. Young driv­ers will love its com­bi­na­tion of zesty joie de vivre and stylish add-ons, but that’s not to say it wouldn’t make a su­perb sec­ond car for a fam­ily. It’s ef­fi­cient, quirky and very like­able. Frankly it’s one of the best Mii/cit­igo/up vari­ants yet built.

FACTS AT A GLANCE Seat Mii by Mango Lim­ited Edi­tion,

from £11,995 En­gine: 1.0-litre petrol pro­duc­ing 74bhp and 70lb/ft Trans­mis­sion: Five-speed man­ual driv­ing the front wheels Per­for­mance: Top speed 106mph, 0-62mph in 13.2 sec­onds Econ­omy: 61.4mpg com­bined Emis­sions: 106g/km

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