Seat Altea Hatchback full 9 point review
There are just two engines available: a 1.6 and a 2.0-litre diesel. The 103bhp 1.6 is adequate rather than electrifying, while the 138bhp 2.0 gives strong, smooth acceleration, even from low revs.
Ride & Handling
Seat’s tall hatch has good handling, thanks to firm suspension that keeps body movement in check. The downside is a rather unforgiving ride, and in a car that’s designed to carry families, ride comfort is more important than handling. 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.
Buying & Owning
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.
Quality & Reliability
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.
Safety & Security
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.
Behind The Wheel
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.
Space & Practicality
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.