SEAT Mii by MANGO review – A lot of space, not a lot of tech
When I first heard that SEAT and Spanish fashion brand MANGO were teaming up to create a new, more stylish version of the well-known Mii, I was really intrigued, and so was rather excited when I got the chance to spend a week testing out the car for myself.
The first thing you notice about the SEAT Mii by MANGO is that it’s not trying to hide that it’s aimed directly at women in the slightest, from the nude paintwork and contrasting dark grey alloys to the stylish leather interior. The car also has MANGO badging stamped all over it, including on the floor mats and key fobs, just so that everyone will know your Mii by MANGO isn’t your standard Mii.
While the interior, along with the unique colour of the car, really was lovely, and looked really good, I couldn’t help but feel that the shape of the car was very boxy. It’s the kind of shape car I remember my nana driving around, which isn’t a good look. However, with my usual car being a Fiat 500, it was a hell of a lot roomier inside than what I’m used to, and has a huge boot.
The car was straightforward enough to get started and drive, with most of the switchgear clearly marked. However, I did have some quite major issues with managing to find out how to turn the headlights on and how to get the car into reverse.
Due to London being mental for traffic (especially on a Friday evening), it took me almost two hours to drive from work to home, with a huge part of the journey involving me relying on other people’s headlights to see and frantically flicking all the switches trying to find the lights on the Mii by MANGO, because I couldn’t find them anywhere. This also meant I got a lot of people pulling up next to me to try and tell me that my headlights weren’t on (Thanks, I wasn’t aware). I found the switch 15 minutes before I got home, thanks to Google (sorry but I WAS stationary in traffic!). For future reference, there’s a dial to the bottom-right corner of the steering wheel that looks like it’s for the air-con. It’s not, it’s for your headlights.
Then there’s the reverse. I definitely managed to get stuck in the middle of the road trying to do a three-point turn, because I suddenly realised the car didn’t go into reverse simply by moving the gearstick to reverse position. After what felt like a lifetime of really trying to shove the gearstick into reverse, even through trying to find a button to bring upwards, like how my Fiat 500 works, I ended up having to call the PR to find out how to actually finish my three-point turn. It turns out some cars go into reverse if you push down the gearstick before moving it towards the ‘R’ sign.
When it comes to the tech inside the Mii by MANGO, it’s quite basic. There’s an easy-to-use DAB radio built in, and the car includes a Garmin portable infotainment system, with sat-nav and Bluetooth, as well as voice recognition (which definitely hated me, but we’ll get back to that), but, annoyingly, there was no USB input. The infotainment system has a straightforward menu layout, and it’s pretty easy to use and connect your phone via Bluetooth, however I did find it tricky to hit the buttons you actually wanted whilst on the move.
What I did really like about the system, specifically the sat-nav, was that it gave three different route options when you typed in a postcode, and highlighted its recommended route. This was really good for when I was stuck in traffic, as it rerouted to avoid me getting stuck any longer than necessary.
Now, back to the voice recognition; the part of the car that really should work well, for safety purposes. I tried to call out names and phone numbers to ring whilst driving, but every time I said ‘seven’ (a number that happens to be in every single phone number FYI), the system seemingly thought i was saying ‘zero’. Also, there were quite a few steps to go through, which involved looking at the screen to press buttons, before being able to use the voice recognition. Not ideal to use when driving.
The Seat Mii by MANGO is an excellent city car. It drives well while also being comfortable, and it’s stylish and practical. The issue for the Mii by MANGO is that, at prices starting from £11,345, it does seem that you’re really paying for the fashion label rather than the car, especially as the tech isn’t really up to scratch. So, if you’re willing to pay a bit more to stand out from the crowd, and you’re looking for a car that drives really smoothly, with a lot of space for your bags, the Mii is great, but if you’re more worried about how the car performs inside, then maybe another option is for you.
To find out more details about the Mii by MANGO, check out the SEAT website.