SEAT Altea Freetrack 4
SEAT Altea Freetrack 4

We did not venture far off-road in the SEAT Freetrack 4 sticking to local green lanes and our friendly farmer’s tracks but it coped reasonably well. Under normal conditions power is directed entirely to the front wheels but when circumstances dictate as much as 50 % of the power can be sent to the rear axle to help you out of trouble. It is not going to tread where you might take a Land Rover Freelander and it doesn’t have a low ratio box or locking differentials, so real off-roading is prohibited.  The Freetrack 4 achieves an angle of approach of 17.6 degrees and an angle of departure of nearly 23 degrees; so it can tackle reasonable ascents and descents. But it is no comparison to the Freelander which can approach an angle of 31 degrees and depart at 34 degrees, slightly unfair I know but if you compare it to 2-wheel drive MPV's, then the Altea Freetrack 4 is ahead of the competition.

In reality if you are sticking to tarmac roads with just the occasional jaunt across the fields then the Altea Freetrack 4 can cope very well. In fact it might make the ideal vehicle for the school run out in the depths of rural Wales or the highland’s of Scotland.

It is very easy to get in and out of the Freetrack 4, the driver’s seat is easy to adjust for height, recline and reach, the steering wheel is adjustable for reach and rake, making it easy to get the ideal seating position. There is plenty of head and leg room for all passengers. Boot space is not fantastic bearing in mind the perceived size of the Freetrack 4; with the rear seats up you get 490 litres of luggage space and with the seats down 1562 litres. To give you some idea of a comparison the Land Rover Freelander offers 755 litres /1670 litres, so there is some compromise. Although there are plenty of cubby holes with a very useful storage compartment running down the centre of the roof.

There is little wanting in the way of equipment, the standard specification includes dual zone climate control (which we found a little tricky to operate on the move), four electric windows, folding tables on front seat back rests, cruise control, MP3-compatible CD player with AUX IN socket, six airbags, rear parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights, heated, electrically adjustable and power fold in door mirrors, auto-dimming internal rear view mirror and roof-mounted rear-seat multimedia DVD system, which is great for entertaining children on longer journeys.

The auto-on directional Bi-Xenon headlights (AFS an £870 option) adjust the direction of the headlight beam to the direction of travel and being asymmetrical they can move each headlight independently, for example in a bend one headlight is aimed into the inside the corner, whilst the other illuminates the area in front of the car. At first it can make you feel a little sick, but it soon becomes very natural and beneficial especially when driving at night or in poor weather conditions.

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