Seat is injecting some real excitement into the family hatchback market, with the launch of the purposeful and dynamic Altea FR. Offered initially with a powerful TDI diesel engine producing 170 PS, and with a 200 PS petrol powerplant set to follow in June, the Altea FR provides a fantastic balance between practicality and performance.
What’s more, the Altea FR TDI is priced to impress, at £17,795 RRP on the road. Next to price-comparable diesel rivals such as the Ford Focus C-MAX and Peugeot 307, the FR is way ahead in terms of power and performance. In addition, standard specification is high, with 2 Zone climate control, six airbags, ESP (Electronic Stability Programme), a six-speed gearbox, sports suspension, four electric windows, active head-restraints, DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) and steering wheel-mounted audio controls among the highlights.
From outside, the FR is easily distinguishable from other Altea models. Taking an already attractive and curvaceous body, the FR adds a host of sporty design touches, which clearly communicate the car’s dynamic personality. These comprise redesigned front and rear bumpers, twin chrome exhaust pipes, exclusive 17″ alloy wheels, silver-painted door mirrors and unmistakeable ‘FR’ badging.
Step inside and the sporty theme continues. Body-hugging sports Seats proudly feature the black and red FR logo, while the motif also appears on the leather-covered steering wheel and specially-designed gear knob. It also sits within the instrument binnacle, which features striking white dials. Just like other Alteas, the FR is great for families, with plenty of space, flexible rear sliding Seats (split 60/40), a 409 litre boot with double floor, and 30 integrated internal storage compartments.
The Altea FR’s 2.0-litre TDI diesel is a sophisticated engine, featuring a Piezo Pump Nozzle system, four valves per cylinder and a modified turbocharger. It produces 170 PS, with maximum torque of 350 Nm (258 lb ft) available at 1,800 rpm, which ensures that flexibility is a key characteristic of the Altea FR TDI’s performance delivery. And of course, like every Seat TDI model, the Altea FR sips rather than guzzles fuel, with a provisional combined economy figure of 45.6 mpg and CO2 emissions of just 167 g/km.