Have you seen the episode of the Inbetweeners when Simon drives his friends into central London in his iconic yellow Cinquecento? He swaps his shoes with a tramp, gets his car clamped and ends up making a phone call to his dad along the lines of, “first of all, I want you to know it wasn't my fault”. Well, this is exactly the episode I have in mind as I point a borrowed yellow Seat Mii towards the middle of London on a night-time drive to see the sights – complete with a couple of friends equipped with cameras. Only my passengers are under strict instructions not to shout obscenities out of the window.

If you're not familiar with the Seat Mii, it's Seat's new city car that shares a platform with the Volkswagen Up and Skoda Citigo. They're all built in the same factory in Bratislava and are essentially the same car with minor tweaks to the design of each. The Mii I've borrowed is the top-of-the-range Sport model which comes with the more powerful 74bhp engine as well as a lowered suspension and tinted rear windows. It's also crammed with options including the Vibora Negra pack (£1,740 as fitted to this car) which includes the black 15” alloys, viper stripes, side decals, a chequered dashboard, side skirts, spoiler, black mirror caps and a black gear knob. There's also the convenience pack fitted (£310) which includes cruise control, trip computer and rear parking sensors; safety assist (£200) which, when driving in slow stop/start traffic, detects if the car in front has stopped and prevents you crashing into it; and the Seat portable system (£275), Seat's clever sat nav system that includes bluetooth phone connection and a fancy trip computer.

Now, on to the journey. The plan is simple – we're going to wait until it's evening (so we don't have to pay the congestion charge), and head into the big city from our hotel on the outskirts of Crawley. But first we have to get there from our base in Leicester, which involves a motorway journey down the M1 and a stint on the M25. A few years ago you wouldn't have dreamt about doing such a journey in a small city car such as the Arosa. Just going on the motorway in one of those was a scary prospect. But the Mii I'm driving is a surprisingly efficient motorway cruiser. As I join the M1 the Mii feels perfectly adequate and I soon arrive at a comfortable pace, turn the cruise control on and let the miles pass by. Even the M25 isn't a problem for the little Mii and before we know it we've arrived at our hotel.

After a few hours of looking over maps and a pub meal to prepare us for the evening’s road trip, three of us jump into the Mii, select a playlist for the journey and enter the postcode for Buckingham Palace into the sat nav. The portable system is a Navigon unit that can also act as a trip computer, a screen for the CD player and even a rev counter, if that takes your fancy. Initially the sat nav feels counter-intuitive, however you soon get used to it and the lane guidance feature makes it very clear where you're heading at complicated junctions. However, using the Mii on routes I know well, it sometimes suggests strange routes that neither I, my Tomtom, or Google Maps would consider.
But for now we decide to blindly follow the sat nav as it receives traffic updates and directs us through small suburban roads to avoid jams in areas like Croydon. Before we know it we're driving along the side of Buckingham Palace. I wonder what Her Majesty would think of our little yellow Mii with black racing stripes if she's looking out of the window. That's our first destination ticked off, where next? We decide to tootle up Birdcage Walk before dropping off photographer Adam and passenger Martin at Parliament Square so I can do a few laps while photos are taken. Photographers are a picky breed and aren't happy with a quick snap, which means in the end I do about half a dozen laps of Parliament Square, each time increasing in speed and enjoying the buzzy nature of the BumbleMii (as I've christened it). The extremely light steering makes the Mii a pleasure to drive in town but there's very little feedback through the wheel. Although I was being fairly sensible during my laps of Parliament Square, I was going fast enough to expect the steering to increase in weight as the tyres were loaded up, and perhaps even to go light as I lifted off mid corner, but I hadn't got a clue what the wheels were doing as the electric power steering gave zero feedback. While it sounds odd that you'd drive a car to its limits of grip in the middle of London, the Mii is such a fun little car it begs to be chucked about even at almost pedestrian speeds. However, while I can understand that Mii buyers won't be after excellent driving dynamics, it'd be easy to get too cocky and stick the Mii in a hedge (or the Houses of Parliament) if there's little warning when you're pushing on.

I'm sure normally the sight of a little yellow car with viper stripes doing laps of Parliament Square and trying to coax lift-off oversteer would get the attention of the many rozzers in the area, but I'm not alone. I'm following a Subaru Samba – a nasty Japanese VW camper van replica, driven by an elderly man who's kicked his wife out to get some photos of it driving past the Houses of Parliament. The sports suspension fitted to this model of the Mii means there's very little body roll, so pretty soon I'm able to lap the nasty camper van creation. Soon however red lights spoil the fun and my passengers jump back in, so we can go for another explore.
We head for the Thames and the impressive sight of the London Eye comes into view. I point the Mii at it and find myself down some little roads that make for some perfect photo opportunities. I pull up behind the Eye and two young, female European tourists stop taking photos of it, turn around and take photos of the Mii, exclaiming that it's 'cute'. Unfortunately we can't stop and chat for long – we've got plenty more of London to see and it's already fast approaching 10pm.
We drive back across the river, swing a right and head up the Embankment, before taking a left to head towards Trafalger Square. Not the fastest route but we're enjoying seeing the sights and trying to confuse the sat nav. Trafalger Square is fairly snarled up but the Mii comes into its own, squeezing between buses and picking out a route. We decide to head towards Kensington to see if we can find any supercars who wouldn't mind us hanging around with them. We drive past the Dorchester and head down Park Lane towards Harrods, prime supercar territory, but are disappointed. In a final attempt to stumble across some rich Arabs we take a left and follow the road to the rear of Harrods. It's a strange moment – this little road is unusually quiet for the middle of London and, while there are no billionaire boy racers cruising around, there are a mixture of Ferraris, Porsches and Range Rovers parked up. We stop for a photo at the entrance to Harrods where a security guard appears out of the blue, having watched us on CCTV and wondered what three blokes in a little yellow car are doing loitering outside Harrods at nearly midnight.
We didn't come to London for peace and quiet so we pile back into the Mii and head towards Piccadilly Circus. We can almost see the bright lights when we hit major traffic and a convoy of police and ambulances rush past us. It turns out a tourist has been run over by a taxi, making Piccadilly Circus even more hectic than usual. The Mii copes admirably – again darting in and out of traffic and avoiding being crushed between buses. Although I'm loving the experience my passengers are getting tired and, as we've ticked off all the main tourist attractions, we tell the sat nav to take us to a road we'd read about online – a little cul-de-sac in Canary Wharf that promises excellent views.
Again we head back up the Embankment and soon hit more traffic. Being stuck in a jam late at night is a bizarre experience for someone not used to London. I'm also a little impatient so, when a car in front turns up a little cobbled road that looks like a short cut, I decide to follow it, as does the minibus behind me. We're all a little peeved when it turns out to be a dead end but, while the minibus has no option but to reverse back out onto the main road, I manage to turn the Mii in the smallest of spaces thanks to its rear parking sensors and tiny turning circle.

Eventually we arrive at our destination. As we pull into the street we can't work out what's so special about it. I start doing a three-point-turn at the end of the road when the most stunning view of Canary Wharf comes into view.

“Oh, so that's what's so special.”
Even my passengers who've been longing to go home and to get some sleep for a while now jump eagerly out of the car to take in the impressive sight.

After taking a few snaps we go for a cruise through Canary Wharf. It's a complete contrast to central London. Being a business area we're the only people about this late at night. The Mii looks tiny as it glides past some of the tallest skyscrapers in the UK, with the noise of the three-cylinder engine punching above its weight and thrumming off the walls (seriously!). While at low revs it sounds a bit clattery, as soon as it approaches the redline the little Mii takes off and sounds fantastic. Of course, doing this regularly might be partly to blame for not achieving the claimed fuel consumption.

It's now very late indeed so my passengers decide it's time to head back to the hotel. The sat nav takes us out towards Dartford where we join the M25 which, even at night, is unforgiving thanks to miles and miles of roadworks and 50mph limits. I put the cruise control on, wind the window down, turn the music up and enjoy the drive home as best as I can while my two passengers snore away.

So what did this trip teach me about the Mii? Well, as you'd expect, it's the perfect city car. It feels confident and nippy and a pleasure to slot through London's traffic jams. But also, it's more than capable on the motorway. It's surprising how many lane hoggers move over when they see the yellow Mii gaining on them or sitting on their tail like an angry bumble bee. It feels a lot bigger than it is. After our trip to London I headed home to Leicester via the South Downs, Wales and Shropshire and having covered over 800 miles in a couple of days, I felt I could get in it and do the same journey again. That'd be impressive in a luxury car – but in a city car like this, it's amazing.

I've already talked about the steering being too light and the sat nav being irritating. At first I didn't understand why someone would opt for the Sport model - what's the point of a firm suspension on a city car? But over our trip it grew on me – it's not overly harsh and if I was buying a Mii I'd be disappointed with less power. Although the boy racer in me loved the viper stripes I think very few people will pay the full price for the Vibora Negra pack, although you can opt for the bits of it you want without paying the not inconsiderate sum for the full pack.

Seat Mii 5dr Sport 1.0 75PS

Recommended retail price: £10,430
Price as tested: £12,955
Top speed: 106 mph
0-62 mph: 13.2 secs
Official combined fuel consumption: 60.1 mpg
Average fuel consumption during test: 45.5 mpg (over 292 miles including motorway and driving through central London)
CO2 emissions: 108 g/km
Insurance group: 2E
Road tax: Band B - £0 first year rate, £20/year thereafter
Servicing: 12 months/10,000 miles
Warranty: Three years/60,000 miles
I liked: An excellent city car that’s also good at eating up the miles.
I didn’t like: The irritating sat nav, expensive options and over-assisted steering.

Thanks to Adam Rosenberg for the photos - visit his Flickr here.

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