The Altea is the first Seat to achieve a five star rating. The body is very strong and provided a stable cell for all of the occupants. The restraint systems include single-stage tethered airbags for the driver and passenger, front belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters and seat-mounted side airbags. The car protected its child occupants very well, while its side impact protection for the driver was very impressive. Meanwhile, the protection it gives to pedestrians is, with that of the Citroën C4, jointly best to date of any car evaluated by Euro NCAP.
The body shell suffered minimal structural deformation and the drivers’ door opened almost normally after impact.
The single-stage tethered airbags and belt pre-tensioners, in combination with load limiters together with the stable structure worked well, keeping loads on the front occupants’ chest and legs relatively low. However, contact with hard, unforgiving structures behind the fascia posed a risk of injury to the driver’s knees. The footwell suffered little deformation and control of the pedals was good.
A very impressive side impact protection system includes seat-mounted thorax airbags and a head curtain airbag, which protects occupants seated in the front and rear. The Altea achieved maximum points in the side and the pole tests.
A manual switch for the passenger frontal airbag is fitted and the airbag “off” status is visible on the fascia. However, apart from a non-permanent pictogram on the fascia end and a similar screen label, there were no warnings of the danger of placing a rear-facing restraint on the front passenger seat opposite an active airbag. Both children were carried in Fair Bimbo Fix restraints (forward facing for the older child and rear facing for the younger child) fitted to the car using two-point ISOFIX anchorages. Protection was good.
Protection was good , particularly from the bumper and bonnet where a child’s head might most likely strike. Less protection was offered for adult heads, while the bonnet’s leading edge was unfriendly.
A very good effort and, with the Citroën C4’s, the best to date.