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Seat models, news & reviews
By Richard Aucock
28 June 2007 11:59
Ah – immediately, you’ve spotted Seat’s biggest problem with the Altea Freetrack. This is a crossover – part MPV, part 4x4. And, with its ‘family car sporting stick-on muscles’ looks, set for a bit-part in our lives? Don’t dismiss it so fast, though. The SUV element stretches further than just black plastic body mouldings. The ride height has been raised, suspension toughened and, crucially, four-wheel-drive made standard. A proper job, unlike sad pretenders such as the Renault Scenic Conquest, and VW Golf Plus Dune that the Altea will be compared with. Now they really are Rancho wannabes.
Because that would be treading on the toes of VW’s Tiguan, which current VW Group strategy disallows. It would push the price up, which Seat strategy disallows. And it would also go againt the company’s admittedly admirable aims of making the most car-like and sporty crossover it can. It’s undeniable that some will see a kitted-up Altea XL MPV as naff. It also breaks the golden SUV rule, whereby looks and image are all. Seat could have done more to counter that, as from the wheelarches up it’s a stock Altea XL. But give it a little slack, and there’s nothing to say the Allroad-style concept can’t work, for those keen on what something can do, rather than its image.
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Seat Altea Freetrack 4 2.0 TDi (2007) CAR review
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