SEAT Altea (2004 – 2015) Review

SEAT Altea (2004 – 2015) At A Glance


+Roomy cabin with a decent boot. Distinctive styling. Excellent crash test rating.

-The ride quality isn't forgiving enough. Overall a Ford C-MAX does it better. Poor treatment of owners over ABS/ESP module failures.

Insurance Groups are between 7–21
On average it achieves 87% of the official MPG figure

I have very fond memories of Altea. It's a pretty artist's town on a turquoise sea between Benidorm and Calpe. I had a girlfriend there when I was about 20. Her mama was a painter, and took me to a wonderful restaurant called Pepe's in an old building by the sea where we ate charcoal grilled mackerel with chilled red wine.

But instead of launching the Altea in Altea, SEAT chose Watford.

Why? Well it just so happens that The Grove hotel in Watford's green belt is probably the finest art hotel in Britain if not the finest hotel full stop. Everything, from the wall of keys behind reception to the Perspex case of butterflies in my room, is an accessible kind of art that delights even sceptics like me. And the sun shone almost as intensely as it does on the Costa Blanca. So the scene was certainly set to launch a car SEAT wants us to appreciate for its style and form.

SEAT Altea 2004 Road Test

Real MPG average for a SEAT Altea (2004 – 2015)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

28–59 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

Satisfaction Index

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Ask Honest John

Which is the best used family saloon?

"We need to replace our SEAT Altea. We have a £4500 budget and two growing children, but only a small commute. I'm taken with the idea of a Volkswagen Passat, SEAT Exeo, Honda Accord or Toyota Avensis. I know the Avensis is probably the sensible choice, but can't help feeling the driving experience itself may be lacking compared to the others. Also, what's your experience concerning the auto boxes in each? Many thanks."
The Honda Accord and Toyota Avensis are the sensible choices. Both have a good reputation for reliability. The auto box in the Honda isn't particularly refined, but we have received very few complaints in regards to reliability. The Avensis uses a CVT which again is reliable but occasionally noisy under heavy loads. Avoid diesel is your commute is less than 15-miles, a modern diesel engine is not designed for low-mileage runs.
Answered by Dan Powell

What the best car with a big boot for around £6000?

"I'm looking for a medium size hatchback with a big boot, up to seven years old and about £6k. You seem to rate the Civic which would appear to tick all the boxes, but how does the Golf Plus or SEAT Altea compare? Also, would I be better off with petrol? Reliability is important."
The Golf Plus and the Altea are more upright cars with more vertical space but are not as reliable. See The Civic 1.8 i-VTEC is more reliable than the 2.2 i-CDTI. Both are chain cam engines which saves a £500 timing belt replacement every 4 years.
Answered by Honest John

Replacing a Seat Altea - what would you recommend?

"I need to replace our 2011 Seat Altea 1.4 TSI as it was written off by another driver in an accident. There aren't any petrol Altea for sale in our area so I'm looking for alternatives - what would you recommend used for up to £8.5k? It will be our second car, used mainly for short journeys and needs to be able to accommodate our two young children and a buggy. "
You might find a Renault Scenic 1.4T, Vauxhall Meriva 1.4T. You are thinking sensibly to avoid diesel.
Answered by Honest John

Seat Altea 1.6 cr tdi Ecomotive se 103 bhp

"Hi, Happy Xmas any way, Have put a deposit of £40 on Seat 1.6 Altea that has done 890000 miles at a price of £4,900 not to bad a scuff or two. will give MOT & change oil and filter, came from VW Finance warranty of 3 months/or 3000 miles> Went for this one as has Ecomotive A is it worth getting a AA/RAC or some one do a check? B is it worth putting in a can of something to do good to engine if so what? Any other points please to watch for in time.!!!!! Regards & Thanks "
This EA189 engine will be recalled next year for modifications to the air intake and the software. It needed a new timing belt, tensioner and waterpump and if this has not been done it needs them now (a £500 job). Run it on Shell V-Power Nitro Plus diesel. You don't need anything else.
Answered by Honest John
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