SEAT’s seven-seater MPV is a veteran of the manufacturer’s range – and with a recent facelift, the award-winning second-generation model looks and drivers better than ever. Impressively low running costs and an array of useful onboard technology makes this model a better prospect than ever for families in search of a stylish yet practical people carrier.
Even with a full complement of passengers, the car still retains 267 litres of loadspace for luggage; this increases to 809 litres with the rear seats removed, and a cavernous 2297 litres when the middle row is also taken away. The wide aperture of the boot, along with the low loading height, also enables easy loading and unloading of items such as coolboxes and pushchairs. The sense of space in the cabin is heightened further by the large windows (and, on certain models, a panoramic roof), which flood the interior with light.
The Alhambra offers a choice between a 1.4 litre 148bhp TSI petrol engine and a 2.0 litre TDI diesel supplying 148bhp or 181bhp. Each unit also provides the option of a precise six-speed manual or DSG automatic gearbox. The power provided by either engines and the finely-tuned transmission ensures smooth and progressive acceleration, even when the vehicle is fully loaded. Equal attention has been paid by the engineers to the vehicle’s suspension, which offers superb ride quality whilst avoiding sloppiness; adaptive dampers are also available as an optional extra. The high driving position, good visibility and a minimum of body roll also means that the Alhambra stands out amongst MPVs with regard to driving enjoyment.
Regardless of the trim level, new Alhambra models all come with three-zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity and 16” alloy wheels. Steering wheel-mounted stereo controls enable easier access to the sophisticated SEAT Media System Plus. The SE specification strikes a still more luxurious tone with a leather steering wheel, 17” alloys and chrome roof rails, along with practical features such as foglights and cruise control. The Style Advance and SE Lux trim levels provide such amenities as Alcantara upholstery, heated seats, a rear-view parking camera, and a satellite navigation system.
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“The seven-seat SEAT Alhambra offers very strong value, and is three time winner of MPV of the Year!” | ★★★★☆ 4/5
“There are plenty of cars that have seven seats, but when six or seven fully-grown adults have to be transported in comfort, the number that can cope falls, but the Alhambra remains strong” | ★★★★☆ 4/5