2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
Seat has discovered the SUV segment. Unlike many of its competitors, however, the Altea Freetrack has all-wheel drive. The children can be happy too.
Seat was the last of the VW group subsidiaries to seize the premises. “We want to keep those who would otherwise have had to leave the brand due to family formation. We wanted to prevent that,”said Seat CEO Erich Schmitt. According to Schmitt, around ten percent of all Altea XL buyers should therefore opt for the crossover variant. That is why the Altea Freetrack has not only been refined visually compared to the series Altea, but also has the all-wheel drive, which is not only advantageous off-road. The first test drives in the 2.0 TSI showed that the upgraded Altea XL does well on all surfaces.
40 millimeters more ground clearance
The external appearance is based on the Altea XL, which celebrated its premiere last year. As with many competitors, the front and rear bumpers and the fenders were clad in black to emphasize the robustness of the station wagon. 17 inch wheels and wider tires do the rest. In addition, the Freetrack was given 40 millimeters more ground clearance so that it could score points away from the paved roads.
Dirt roads and small hills can be mastered with the crossover without major problems. The all-wheel drive with hydromechanical connection and electronic Haldex control keeps the 1571 kilogram mobile always on course. The chassis is hard-sprung and absorbs bumps well, so that some even want a softer suspension. However, the occupants are held in position by good lateral support in the comfortable but not soft seats.
The gasoline engine from the VW group with 147 kW / 200 PS acts very solidly. However, the Altea Freetrack, which is equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, needs a brief moment before it takes up the gas. But then the journey can take off - whether on dirt roads or paved roads, a torque of 280 Nm, which is applied between 1800 and 5000 rpm, ensures powerful propulsion.
Seat gives 7.5 seconds for acceleration up to the 100 km / h mark, from there a further 114 km / h can be used up to the top speed. The consumption in the mix should be 9.4 liters of super, on the first few stretches the on-board computer showed a slightly higher value, but without penetrating into the double-digit range. The 223 grams of CO2 emissions specified by Seat per kilometer then also spiral upwards.
Small diesel follows
In addition to the TSI engine, a 2.0 TDI with 125 kW / 170 PS will initially be used. A smaller 2.0 TDI with 103 kW / 140 PS will be added later. Even smaller units will not add to the range, however, as the sporty aspirations of the Spanish VW subsidiary will no longer be guaranteed.
And the interior should also inspire the occupants in a sporty way. The black already used for the Altea is complemented by an earthy brown tone in the center console to show the relationship to the vastness of nature. The interior and the trunk with a volume of 593 liters are just as spacious. Thanks to a wheelbase of 2.57 meters, all occupants really have a lot of space, especially when the rear seats are moved back another 16 centimeters.
DVD system as standard
Then the passengers also have enough space to extend the standard 7-inch monitor that is attached to the headliner. In addition to DVD players, video consoles, laptops and MP3 players can also be connected there. This will especially attract the younger family members who do not want to start their trip on vacation with just impressions of the landscape.
The only question is whether the father complies with the wishes of the offspring. Because the 2.0 TSI we drive starts at 29,990 euros, the diesel is at least 800 euros more expensive. Anyone who then orders a navigation system, Bluetooth interface, xenon light or side airbags scratches the 35,000 euros. If, on the other hand, the all-wheel drive is dispensed with, the diesel fun starts at 26,890 euros. But then the fun is reduced a bit.