What is it?
Seat’s five-seat mini MPV has undergone an eco makeover. Both the standard Altea and larger Altea XL models have been given the firm’s Ecomotive badge, which brings with it VW Group’s 1.6-litre common-rail, direct-injection TDI engine, a stop-start system and energy recuperation technology.
These changes have given both models CO2 emissions of 119g/km, which qualifies the Altea for £35 road tax. Common eco features on similarly badge cars including lowered ride height, low resistance tyres and modified aerodynamics have all been left off the Altea.
Seat says the CO2 savings these offer would not make the car’s overall output low enough to drop it into a lower tax bracket and were therefore not worth applying at this stage. Think of it as an Ecomotive light.
What’s it like?
Impressive. The Altea has always been a competent performer, with decent dynamic ability, but it makes even more sense with the Ecomotive badge attached to the back of it. The 1.6 TDI engine certainly allows it to mix with the class best.
The engine is smooth and refined both in town and on the motorway, while there’s enough torque to ensure swift progress through the gears. Its 104bhp is capable of powering its 1405kg weight and its rare to find yourself in a position where you feel wanting more.