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SEAT Altea

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8.0 10 wowscore
8
 
 
Seat altea
  • Stylish looks
  • Enjoyable to drive
  • Good Ecomotive engine
  • Rivals offer more practicality
  • Firm ride
  • Slightly restricted visibility

The SEAT Altea is a good-looking small MPV that will suit a lot of families. It’s more stylish than rivals, competitively priced and comes with loads of kit as standard.

It’s not quite as versatile as some of its rivals but its cheap to buy, even cheaper to run if you pick a diesel, fun to drive, and well-built; what isn’t there to like?

Interior

The inside is pretty much standard VW-group fare; critics say that it’s solid, clean, and an attractive mix of high-quality black plastic and shiny sliver bits.

The rears seat is old old-fashioned 60:40 split, so loses marks and as we’ve said, it isn’t as big as some of its rivals – although you can specify it in as an ‘XL’, which adds a bit on the length and makes it more useful.

Driving

What’s it like to drive? “Impressive” according to one reviewer, with others saying that the “dynamics are unusually sharp” and its ride quality is “smooth and soft”. In short, “for those who enjoy driving, it ticks all the right boxes”; there's few other MPVs that are more fun to drive!

Engines

The entry-level 1.4 and 1.6-litre petrol engines aren’t that great and struggle at higher speeds – but the new 1.2 TSI and 1.4 TSI powerplants are cracking and are far more powerful than their size would have you believe.

It’s the diesel engines that draw the most praise though and seem to make the most sense in this application. They’re “smooth, quiet and refined” in town and country and have bags of torque, which makes overtaking effortless. If you pick the 1.6TDI you’ll pay the lowest rate of car tax too, although it isn’t actually free.

Value for money

Huge; it’s cheaper than most of its rivals and just as good, if not better. Anyone considering buying a Golf Plus should take a long hard look at the Altea; and if they don’t change their minds then they should have another look, and another, until they do!

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Worth noting

The ‘XL’ model is only slightly more expensive than the standard Altea and offers much more space with no performance or economy penalty.

Conclusion

The SEAT Altea is the enthusiast’s choice amongst the mini-MPVs. If you live with its lack of size and versatility you’ll find that it’s a genuinely accomplished driver’s car that has the added benefit of being cheap to run if you buy a diesel model.

Read SEAT Altea reviews >>

Key Details

Price range:
£15,255 - £20,935
MPG:
43 - 62
Date released:
2004
Replacement due:
Most probably in 2014
Model history:
In 2009 the Altea got a facelift, with revised exterior and interior styling and some new engines. We’ve only included info on this new one. In early 2013 the Altea Copa spec was launched which adds additional kit free of charge.
Engine to go for:
The 1.6 TDI Ecomotive won’t cost a lot in fuel and had plenty of power.
Engine naming:
TDI refers to diesel engines, TFSI to turbocharged petrol engines
Read SEAT Altea reviews >>
Type Reviews Score
1.6 TDI Ecomotive 3 8.0
2.0 TDI 2 10.0
General 4 7.5
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