We first drove the SEAT Altea when it was launched back in 2004 and have driven several variations since. Our last in-depth SEAT Altea Review was in 2005, when we drove an Altea 1.9 TDI PD Stylance. We have now elected to drive SEAT’s range topping Altea FR with a 2.0-litre TDI 170 PS diesel engine priced at £17,795 OTR.
The Formula Racing (FR) range is SEAT’s label for their sports range of cars, which encompasses the Ibiza, Altea and Leon Models, with a mixture of petrol and diesel engines. SEAT doesn’t call the Altea an MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle), they would rather use the sexy moniker of MSV (Multi Sports Vehicle) but in essence it is a tall family hatchback, albeit with a bit of a sport flare.How It Drove - Performance
You have a choice of two engines with the Altea FR Series, either a petrol 2.0-litre T FSI 200 PS powerplant or the diesel 2.0-litre TDI 170 PS engine. SEAT’s Leon FR range also shares the same engines, although they are a little more potent than the Altea.
The 2.0 litre TDI engine feels quicker on the road than the paper figure of 0 - 62 mph in 8.6 seconds (top speed 130 mph), especially with the deliverance of so much torque low down in the rev band. This can lead to interesting overtaking as you can find yourself having to change up whilst you are at your the most exposed.
You do have to watch the delivery of the power as with an enthusiastic right foot you will be spinning the wheels in both first and second as you accelerate away. TCS (Traction Control) is standard on all FR models and this regularly flickers on and off as you become acquainted with the Altea FR’s performance.
This is a 13-year+ news article, from our SEAT archive, which dates back to the year 2000.
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