If you’re familiar with the Seat Leon then the Altea’s cabin will appear very similar. Which means up front, occupants are treated to a curving dashboard with deep set instruments and an excellent range of steering-wheel and seat adjustment. 

Getting comfortable behind the wheel is certainly easy, and the seats themselves are firm and supportive. Unfortunately, despite being part of the Volkswagen group, the interior plastics don’t stand up to closer scrutiny like its more modern brethren. 

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Road test editor
Weirdly, you can spec alloy sports pedals. Can't think of a less appropriate car for it.

That driving position can’t make up for the poor visibility though, the scuttle is high and the bonnet all-but-invisible. And like many MPV designs, the oversized and far stretching A-pillars mean extra consideration is required when approaching junctions or roundabouts. 

It’s a mixed bag in the rear as well. On the one hand, leg and headroom is generous and passngers benefit from a particularly supportive bench seat positioned slightly above those in front. However, apart from a 60/40 split-fold the interior has no MPV like trickery often seen in direct rivals. Seat says there are over 30 different storage areas, but even this can’t mask the lack of flexibility on offer for occupants.

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Boot space on all models is actually pretty good, with the standard Altea boasting a load area of 409-litres. However, as the XL resists from adding an extra row of seating it increase this figure by 123-litres, and by sliding the bench seats all the way forward this can be expanded to a whopping 635-litres with ease.

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