Bought the car in November 2007, pre-reg 07 plate with 50 or so miles on the clock. The dealer (Colliers in Acocks Green, Birmingham) was good through the purchase process; not too pushy and gave us a test drive on the day we walked up, even though another customer had one booked. Cannot comment on servicing as we have only done 5000 miles so far. The car itself is a great drive. This is my first diesel and once you get used to using the engine in the right rev range it pulls well, overtaking is no problem at all. Economy is excellent - I have been getting 55mpg+ on motorway runs. Handling is also excellent, particularly as we live in a rural area with lots of winding B roads. Brakes are good, in fact sometimes a bit sharp at low speeds. I agree with some other posts that the interior is a large expanse of hard plastic, but it is well screwed together. The boot on the XL model is a good size - we have a young baby and no problem with fitting pram, plus changing bag, our things etc on trips away. My only complaints would be the reversing light is very poor making the rear parking sensors essential, and the headlights on full beam don't appear to have a great range.
Overall though, great drive, good looking car and practical.
I was told yesterday by a Seat dealer the cambelt change was 60,000 no time limit. About an hour earlier a Audi dealer same 1.9tdi engine told me 85,000 miles no time limit. I also have an email from Audi confirming that.
VW and Skoda 4 years or 60,000 miles and a letter from VW confirms their belt change times.
The Seat dealer also told me about their 1.4TSI petrol engine the one VW have dropped will it return? They said it had to run on Shell and Shell only petrol cannot remember the grade.
So come on "What Car" find out from VAG the facts regarding the cambelts on their group cars and the 1.4TSI engine you recommend but you cannot buy.
I am still running this Altea as a taxi. It has just covered 100,000 miles since April '07. Have just had to have a new flywheel fitted, fortunately under warranty. The dealer fitted a new clutch at parts cost. Although this did not need doing it was prudent as gearbox was out. Cambelt change is every 4 years or 70k. I have this in writing form SEAT Technical. Have also had a front suspension mounting changed, again warranted. Motorway noise is totally unacceptable. At 70 it is almost impossible to hold a conversation with people in the back! I won't be buying another to replace this one. Overall this is a good family car. Just avoid motorways don't pay over 75% of the list price and don't take any nonsense from the dealers.
What an excellent car it is gutsy very comfortable and economical on the fuel, ours has now covered 8000 miles in 6 months and has been all over the place. The steering is great its so light that it makes you feel like you are in a much smaller car. We were going to get a Golf Plus, but found this was more recomended by readers and the trade. We aren't disapointed. A great versitile family car and great value. Highly recomemded!
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