Mini MPVs have become popular choices for small families in recent years and the Seat Altea XL sits proudly alongside its better known, bigger selling competitors. While it may not have the same profile as its rivals, the Altea XL is arguably one of the best options on the market at the moment within this particular automotive niche. First introduced in 2007, the Altea XL is essentially a larger version of the standard Altea, which arrived three years earlier and shares most of its underpinnings with the Seat Toledo.
Bang for your buck
The approved used Seat Altea XL is notably longer than its smaller sibling, extending an additional 18 centimetres in total and bumping the luggage capacity up to 532 litres from the already impressive 409 litres found previously. With all this space on offer the Altea XL can easily swallow all of the bags and accessories you need to lug around with you on the typical family holiday. If you need even more room then you can shift the rear seats forward to up the total boot capacity to 635 litres, which should be more than enough for most households.
You might be worried that the Altea XL might look like a bit of a stretched-out beast, but the designers were careful to ensure that this longer model was styled to compliment its added length. Dynamic lines, cool curves and a sporty stance make it look fun and flirty, not bland and functional like some other mini MPVs. On the inside things are just as impressive, with over 30 cubbyholes littered around the cabin for all your bits and bobs and also a good number of cup holders, arm rests and other comfort-enhancing features that come into play on those long road trips.
Engines include a 1.6 litre petrol and 1.9 or 2.0 litre diesel units, with the latter fuel type being the more economical and popular option. There are a variety of trim packages, adding things like cruise control and full electrics if these are features you are after.
What you'll pay
The used Seat Altea XL is not hugely common in the UK, but if you are looking to buy one that was first sold in 2007 then prices range from £4500 to around £6000. More recent iterations come in at closer to £10,000 and the condition of the car will obviously play an important part in the price, as will mileage.
What to check
The only thing you really need to worry about when buying a used Altea XL is whether or not it was used as a taxi or a hire car in a former life. The build quality is excellent because the platform is based on that of the VW Golf and the engines on offer are well respected for their reliability. With a full service history you can buy with confidence.
The used Seat Altea XL has impressively affordable replacement parts on offer, such as the £185 alternator and £50 front brake pads. Choosing the 1.6 litre petrol rather than the diesel engines might net you cheaper parts in the long run.
How it drives
Some mini MPVs can be a bit cumbersome because of their high centres of gravity, but the Altea XL for sale has been set up to keep body roll to a minimum, which helps the handling to feel pin sharp and quite fun. When you aren't flinging it around corners the ride is comfortable and you'll be happy to spend a few hours behind the wheel or sat in the passenger seat.
The most powerful 2.0 litre TDI engine develops 167bhp, which helps to give the Altea XL a sporty feel. Even the 1.4 litre petrol TSI with its 123bhp has a plucky spirit that has to be admired. If you are concerned about safety, as well you should be, then the Seat Altea XL will be able to tick a few boxes. With twin front, side and head airbags included in the standard trim your family will be well protected. Anti-lock brakes, traction control and standardised child seat attachments are also included in every model regardless of trim. Seat has done well to make the Altea XL as good as it is. And because of its relative obscurity, you can feel smug as you enjoy one of the automotive world's best-kept secrets.