When Seat launched the Altea they referred to it as a Multi Sports Vehicle rather than the more traditional MPV moniker, suggesting it was more dynamic, more exciting and more interesting than rivals. Are we convinced? 

We weren’t at launch, and we’re still not almost ten years on. However, that doesn’t mean the Altea is without merit. If you want plenty of storage space and excellent cabin room (for four adults, at least) but still want a responsive drive then the Altea is worth investigating. It’s not as flexible as a traditional MPV, and plenty of more contemporary rivals have come along to eclipse it in the intervening years, but the Altea still appeals. For a start it still looks great, and it actually works quite well as a conventional hatchback, delivering a genuinely entertaining and competent drive, despite its full body. The recently introduced TSI petrol engines and revised diesels make it more efficient and fun to drive than ever and the large boot, and option of an even more practical XL model, only adds to its appeal as an all-round family car. 

We'd like to see a full-size spare tyre as an option, at least, in a car like this

Most important of all that though, is the Altea still feels like a proper Seat rather than a rehashed VW and was the first car in the Spanish maker’s arsenal to do so. Finding a character all of its own, it came across as fresh, stylish and interesting - attributes that still shine through to this day. 

Top 5 Family hatchbacks

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Volkswagen T-Cross 2019 review - hero front
    23 July 2019
    Car review
    VW's new compact crossover retains its classy, substantial feel on UK...
  • Toyota Supra 2019 UK review - hero front
    23 July 2019
    Car review
    It won’t depose the affordable sports car class’s mid-engined elite, but...
  • DS 3 Crossback 2019 road test review - hero front
    19 July 2019
    Car review
    French premium brand gets PSA’s new supermini platform first. Does it deliver...

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Volkswagen T-Cross 2019 review - hero front
    23 July 2019
    Car review
    VW's new compact crossover retains its classy, substantial feel on UK...
  • Toyota Supra 2019 UK review - hero front
    23 July 2019
    Car review
    It won’t depose the affordable sports car class’s mid-engined elite, but...
  • DS 3 Crossback 2019 road test review - hero front
    19 July 2019
    Car review
    French premium brand gets PSA’s new supermini platform first. Does it deliver...