What is it?
The Freetrack is a jacked-up 4x4 version of the Altea XL MPV. Pumped-up 4x4 estates are selling like peerages at a Labour fundraiser these days, with second-generation versions of the Volvo XC70 and Audi Allroad leading the way. Even Skoda’s joined in, with the Octavia Scout.
Seat doesn’t have an estate to pump up and smother in tough-looking plastic, so it turned to the Altea XL.
There’s a choice of two engines – a 2.0-litre 197bhp turbocharged petrol or 168bhp turbodiesel. Both come with six-speed manual gearboxes. It’s the diesel we’ve tested here.
Only one trim level will be available; it’s an all-inclusive deal that includes 17-inch alloys, a rear multimedia screen (with sockets for MP3 players, DVDs and the like), auto lights and wipers and parking sensors. And brown interior plastics.
What’s it like?
The Freetrack comes with obligatory black plastic cladding, 40mm of extra ground clearance and, to prove it’s not all show, a Haldex four-wheel drive system.
In fact to our eyes it’s not much show, because the plastic cladding merely uglifies the Altea. At least it protects the car from off-road scrapes; as do the front and rear skid plates.