SEAT Altea Freetrack 4 (2007 – 2009) At A Glance
When I first drove the SEAT Altea I didn't like it.
And that was not because the launch was in Watford rather then Altea.
I couldn't get on with the way the tall body handled, the 140 diesel that bogged down then catapulted the car forward, and the coalface of a dashboard.
But since then it's been allowed to grow 13" into the XL. And now SEAT is offering a version of the XL with four-wheel drive, that they call the Freetrack 4.
Renault tried this sort of thing before, not very successfully, with the facelift Scenic RX4 that had a spare wheel on the back and used a lot of fuel.
But SEAT, being part of VWG and availing itself of VWG's parts bin, has taken a different route and fitted the Altea Freetrack 4 with the same Audi quattro-derived running gear as the Skoda Octavia Scout. And either the 170PS version of the 2.0TDI or the 200PS 2.0TSI petrol engine.
SEAT Altea Freetrack 2007 Road Test
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Real MPG average for a SEAT Altea Freetrack 4 (2007 – 2009)
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Reviews for SEAT Altea Freetrack 4 (2007 – 2009)'s top 3 rivals
Ask Honest John
"We have a 2009 SEAT Altea Freetrack with 49k miles and FSH. The FSH is not from the main dealer as that is 35 miles away, so it's done at a trusted independent.
The car has had a number of the typical modern VAG faults, but during the last month the haldex 4wd controller has failed. These cost approx £750 plus vat for the replacement part. That's a big bill for a recent car and Internet searches indicate these controllers are failing regularly on other VAG cars.
SEAT customer care said they are unlikely to help as the car has not been serviced at a main dealer and haldex won't sell me the part direct at a more sensible price. Have you any advice? My main concern is buying another and it giving up after 3 years. "
VAG's attitude is understandable. Suggest you try specialists such as http://www.ecutesting.com or http://www.bba-reman.com to see if they can fix the original Haldex controller.
Is there such a thing as a small MPV with four-wheel drive?
"I am looking for a small MPV that provides a relatively high driving position. I have a C3 Picasso and like the driving position so am now looking for something similar for my wife, who has back issues. She's currently driving a Mondeo estate. I would also like to find something with 4-wheel drive as we live in the Cotswolds and when it snows it is always a nightmare. I would be looking for a used car up to £12,000, either petrol or diesel as it won't be covering more than 10,000 miles pa. "
Four-wheel drive MPVs are rare but not unheard of, and there are so many different types of cars available these days that an 'MPV' can come in many guises. Taking into account a high driving position and easy access we'd suggest looking at something like a SEAT Altea Freetrack (it's a four-wheel drive version of the Altea MPV) but these are quite few and far between on the used market - we could only find two - but both were under £12,000.
The other car to consider would be a Subaru Forester which is a sort of estate with a high ride height and four-wheel drive. For £12,000 you can get an 07-plate model (it's the previous generation) with less than 40,000 miles on the clock. Avoid the 2.5-litre which is thirsty and go for the 2.0-litre petrol.
One more alternative is a Skoda Octavia Scout - an Octavia Estate with four-wheel drive and a raised ride height. It's available with a petrol engine but we'd suggest the 2.0 TDI which is cheaper to run.