Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

High Altea-Tude

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

High Altea-Tude

Article excerpt

Byline: By Mike Torpey

Seat, the Spanish car builder which brought us the catchphrase "auto emocion", is celebrating a double whammy with the arrival of its latest star.

The Altea, like the rest of the Seat range, is named after a Spanish town, in this case one close to tourist mecca Benidorm.

And not only does it spearhead a new generation of cars from the VW-owned company, but a fresh concept too. We know all about MPVs, SUVs and MAVs; well here comes the MSV, or as Seat would have us believe, multi-sport vehicle.

Just where Altea is going to fit in, and who it will appeal to, I'm not entirely sure. It's smaller than the midi people carriers, like the Scenic, Zafira and Picasso, which seem its most obvious rivals, yet offers more interior space than traditional hatchbacks.

Nonetheless, it's a stylish and attractive newcomer and first offering from a busy period that will see Seat launch a completely new Toledo next year followed by a revamped Leon in 2006.

Created by Walter de Silva, whose designs have given Seat models a real edge in recent years, Altea is based on the Salsa concept that graced the motor show circuit in 2000.

It comes with a choice of two petrol and two powerful diesel engines and a trio of trim levels ( Reference, Stylance and Sport.

While claiming to attract people who embrace technology, the new offering is first and foremost a family car built to satisfy a demand for added room. …

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