Prices for the Altea start at only £15,095 for the basic S trim 1.4 naturally aspirated petrol models, but this engine is best avoided. However, Seat offers the 1.2TSI in S level trim for only £16,295 – and its lower emissions and higher fuel economy make up for any extra purchase cost. The range finishes with the post-£21k SE spec 2.0 TDI with DSG gearbox, though you can save over £1000 by opting for the manual gearbox instead. 

Those keen to look after their cash and the environment should look towards an EcoMotive model. The SE 1.6 TDI CR model emits only 119g/km, so annual road tax is only £30, while the start stop and energy recovery systems mean it can return an average economy of 63.0mpg and it costs under £19k. 

Vicky Parrott

Deputy reviews editor
Standard Altea looks substantially smaller than the XL, though it's actually not much smaller at all

All Altea’s come with six airbags as standard and in general equipment levels are pretty comprehensive including air conditioning, electric front windows, ESP and an MP3 compatible audio system. Opting for the mid-spec S-Emocion trim will bring with it 16inch alloy wheels, while SE adds dual zone climate and cruise control. There’s plenty of packs available to help customise the Altea’s specification too, such as the £850 Media System pack with sat-nav DAB radio and Bluetooth audio streaming. Other options don’t come quite so cheap, such as the £1400 leather seats or £700 electric sunroof.

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However, thanks to the VW group sourced engines and parts maintaining your Altea shouldn’t break the bank, with servicing for much the same price (and often cheaper) than the equivalent-engined Volkswagen Golf

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