Friday, October 17, 2014


Did you know thta the SEAT Altea is still one of the smartest looking small people carriers currently available in the UK. It's efficient, fun to drive and offers two effective diesel engines that offer an appealing balance of performance and economy, so it's cheap to run too. You get a practical boot and a spacious interior – but other rival people carriers, such as the Ford C-MAX, offer superior practicality and more room for passengers. 

Also, even the larger SEAT Altea XL doesn't get seven seats – meaning it loses out to rivals like the Ford Grand C-MAX and Renault Grand Scenic. Like the Golf, though, the build quality is solid, equipment levels are high and prices are affordable, all in all making the Altea affordable and fun family transport.

The longer XL version feels virtually the same as the standard Altea. We have no complaints about the engines, which are generally refined. However, road noise is far too pronounced at motorway speeds, and you can hear the wind licking at the rear edges of the front doors.List prices are competitive, undercutting those of key rivals, and buyers should also be able to haggle for a large discount. Running costs are reasonable and there’s a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty. Many rivals cost less to run, though.

The Altea’s cabin is solidly built. Seat has tried to make it interesting to look at, but the hard plastics, sombre colour scheme and small glass area make the cabin feel dark and drab. The Altea’s VW-sourced mechanicals are proven and should present few problems. All Alteas come with anti-lock brakes and stability control to keep the car in check, even in slippery corners. There are also twin front, side and curtain airbags, and Isofix child seat mounts, as well as an alarm and deadlocks fitted.The driver’s seat is height-adjustable and the steering wheel moves for reach and rake to give good comfort. 

The controls are logically placed, too, but the small windows between the windscreen and front doors are of little use, while the upsweep of the rearmost side windows creates a blind spot when reversing. There’s lot of space in the cabin for adult passengers, and the rear seats split, fold flat and slide. However, they don't tumble, and can't be removed completely like they can in other MPVs. That said, the split-level boot is deep and large, especially in the longer XL model. XL models also have roof rails.

Entry-level S models have air-conditioning, front electric windows, a CD player with an Aux-in socket, while S Copa models add alloys, Bluetooth, and climate and cruise controls. SE trim brings electric rear windows and a leather steering wheel, while SE Copa trim adds sat-nav, DAB radio and automatic lights and wipers.

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