I have owned this car for a couple of days now and it is amazing! I am used to vast amounts of space inside as my last car was a Fiat Mulipla.
This car doesn't make you feel short changed in that department, although it is narrower. There is a huge amount of legroom on offer, front and back. Iam six foot and I can fully stretch my legs if I sit behind the driver's seat.
The boot looks a bit cosy when you first see it, but it opens up in layers to give a very usable cargo area. Thoughtful things like nets are even provided. The seats are not removable, but do fold flat in 60/40 ratio to make the statutory trip to Ikea possible!
The DSG auto gearbox is totally smooth and rapid. The car handles more like a hot hatch than an MPV. The ride is supple enough to be comfortable, yet firm enough to be interesting There is enough kit on board to keep any gadget monger happy for hours.
The heating warms up pretty fast for a diesel. Build quality is first rate and the drive home from the dealers was not accompanied by the slightest rattle or creak. (That's a first!)
The quantity of airbags gives reassurance as does traction and stability control systems. Not surprised that it got five stars in the Euro NCAP tests.
Overall it gives the air of quality you'd expect from an Audi, goes like a GTi with effortless thrust from a very civilised diesel powerplant, and has sufficient practicality to cope with most family situations.
I came to drive this car as my company had booked a hire car. I have to say my first impressions were based on looks and I couldn't make my mind up if I liked it or not, it was different from the usual 'drab' modern look car.
I had to drive it (and my coleague) from Gatwick to High Wycombe. We are both 6ft tall, I am 15 stone - after Xmas weight, but I found the car very spacious. The seats were very supportive, firm but comfortable.
The dash layout was good, it was dark so the dash colour was a red backlite environment which again liked. The heating had dual controles, the radio was OK but could be better I suppose. The visability was very good, it just felt like a taller Golf GTI.
I haven't driven a turbodiesel for a while so this VW 2.0 Turbo was going to be compared to my BMW's straight 6 2.8i... it could be interesting. It was, the pick up was excellent and once on the go the mid-range power was very impressive. On the motorway I was able to pull away from every car was sitting on my tail.
On the next day we had to go to Reading so had a feel for the around town ride, it was firm but the handling was excellent, very nippy and it weaved in and out of trafic no problems.
Having previously owned an MG ZT190 for three-years and finding that my annual mileage was increasing I decided the time was right to try a turbo diesel.
Since its introduction I have always liked the looks of the Seat Altea so I test drove a 2.0 TDi Sport. I was immediately impressed with the mid-range torque and the handling was also a revealation. The Altea is quite a tall car and I did not expect it to corner in quite such a flat attitude. Visibility was not that great but overall I was very impressed.
I purchased a new Altea in November 2004, the only extra being reversing sensors. The car is very easy to live with, averages 45mpg on mixed driving. Build quality is excellent and it is also very practical. I am looking forward to my next three-years with this car.
I have had my Altea for about two weeks now and I am really impressed. This car comes loaded with just about every extra you could want as standard. The six-speed gearbox is great on motorways and when combined with the cruise control the car is very relaxing to drive. It is no slouch either - overtaking is easy, with plenty of smooth power available. The ride is firm but comfortable and there is very little body roll for such a tall car. Build quality is not up to VW standards, but the Altea has an amazing list of safety features including curtain airbags and Isofix points for baby/child seats . At the moment my Altea is drinking petrol at the rate of 30mpg. I have been told that this will improve by the time I have done 1500 miles. Do not think that this car is an MPV because it is not ! The boot is on the small side and the seating not as versatile as some other MPVs. Just think of it as a big hatchback and no more . If you are looking for a new hatchback make sure that you look at an Altea. I looked at a great deal of cars before getting mine and nothing came close based on performance, equipment and looks.
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