Seat felt that its Altea MPV didn’t have enough storage space, so it’s given it an 18.7cm stretch.
You won’t be able to get any more people in; there’s still only five seats. But there is a new engine: a 157bhp 1.8-litre version of the Golf GTi’s powerplant.
To increase the carrying capacity, the new Altea XL comes with roof bars as standard. It loses out to seven-seat rivals such as the Vauxhall Zafira and Renault Grand Scenic, but the extra length does result in much greater boot space: 532 litres, up from 409; although the figure can be upped to 635 litres if you put the sliding rear seats as far forward as they’ll go. This is the first car in the VW Group to receive the new 1.8-litre direct-injection turbo engine. Otherwise the engine range is unchanged, with a 168bhp 2.0-litre TDI unit topping the diesel engine selection.
On the outside, the front has not been changed, but Seat’s designers have taken the chance to redesign the Altea’s rear. The new, horizontal tail-lights are now split by the tailgate.
The XL will be shown at Paris and launched in the UK early next year.