The SEAT Altea range offers a wide range of petrol and diesel engines. We tested the following engines: 1.6 (102PS) petrol with 5-speed box, 1.9 TDI (105PS) and 2.0 TDI with 5-speed box (140PS) with 6-speed box. The 1.6 litre petrol engine is smooth and refined although it does require you to work through the 5-speed gearbox to keep a steady speed, the 0-62 mph sprint is respectable but not quick at 12.8 seconds. If you require more performance go for the 2.0 FSI (150PS) engine with 6-speed gearbox which shaves 3.2 seconds off the 0-62 mph time to 9.6 seconds and goes on to a top speed of 128 mph compared to 112 mph for the 1.6 version. The 2.0 FSI engine is also available with a six-speed Tiptronic gearbox.
Two diesel engines are available in the Altea model range the 1.9 TDI (105 PS) and 2.0 TDI (140PS). The 1.9 TDI was coupled to a 5-speed box and performed exceptionally well with plenty of power and was relatively quiet even at high revs. The 2.0 TDI with 6-speed gearbox although a quicker car (0-62 mph 9.9 seconds compared to the 1.9 TDI 12.3 seconds) didn't feel as good to drive as the 1.9 TDI which felt more refined and relaxed to drive. The 2.0 TDI engine is available with the optional dual-clutch, six-speed DSG gearbox.
Based on the new Golf's platform the Altea also features the Agile Chassis Concept originally developed for the high performance Leon Cupra R. Also commonly known as Dynamic Steering Response (DSR), this provides greater control and greatly enhances safety for the Altea delivering rapid steering response with surprisingly little body roll, despite its relatively high chassis and seating position.
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