Review

SEAT Alhambra MPV

Price  £24,885 - £34,840

SEAT Alhambra MPV

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Great to drive
  • Well-equipped
  • Superb practicality
Cons
  • Small engine range
  • Not as stylish as SUV rivals
  • Limited legroom in seven-seat layout

At a glance

The greenest
S 2.0 TDI CR Ecomotive 150 5dr £26,775
The cheapest
S 1.4 TSI 150 5dr £24,885
The fastest
SE Lux 2.0 TDi CR DSG-auto 184 5dr £34,840
Top of the range
SE Lux 2.0 TDi CR DSG-auto 184 5dr £34,840

"The SEAT Alhambra is a roomy, good-to-drive and well built large MPV. Sliding doors and a spacious seven-seat layout mark it out."

The Seat Alhambra is a large people carrier, or MPV, with sliding rear doors and seven seats. As buyers flock to SUVs, spacious, practical cars like the Alhambra and its rivals the Ford Galaxy, Vauxhall Zafira Tourer and Volkswagen Sharan appear to have been forgotten. However, for some families, they’re a more practical and versatile solution. They’re not that bad to drive, either.

The Alhambra is closely related to the VW Sharan – the point being that you’re getting the VW's virtues of good build quality, a comfortable ride, pleasant handling and a versatile interior for a little less money. However, VW dealers can be generous with their discounts and finance deposit contributions, so don’t rule out the Sharan purely on its list price.

There are cheaper rivals, such as the Vauxhall Zafira, but the Alhambra is the better all-rounder thanks to its blend of comfort, good fuel economy and composed handling.

There's a choice of petrol and diesel engines, although all manage around 50mpg. The one petrol is a 1.4-litre producing 148bhp, which is also what the least powerful 2.0-litre diesel develops. The more powerful version produces 182bhp, which is easily enough to haul a fully loaded Alhambra around. Annual road tax costs from £110 (for the 148bhp diesel) to £180 (for the 1.4-litre petrol with a DSG automatic gearbox).

It's a large car, but the Alhambra actually feels quite surefooted and is fun to drive. The steering is accurate and, thanks in part to its firm suspension, the car doesn’t lean too much in corners. It's still comfortable, though. Naturally, visibility from the raised seating position and through the big windows is excellent.

The Alhambra's twin sliding rear doors are a real boon for families trying to squeeze into the car in tight parking spaces. Inside, the seats are easy to move around, take out and re-install as needed. It's solidly built, too – easily up to anything a boisterous family can throw at it.

There are four trim levels: S, SE, Style Advanced and Lux. The larger diesel engine is only available with the last two trims. All versions have seven full-size individual seats, alloy wheels, three-zone climate control, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, front and rear parking sensors and plenty of storage places.

The Alhambra is built in the same factory as the VW Sharan, where production standards are very high. All of its major components and engines are well proven, too. In addition, the Alhambra was awarded the full five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3 / 5

The SEAT Alhambra is cheap to run and very fuel-efficient considering its size

Engines, drive & performance

3.3 / 5

A good-to-drive large MPV with powerful diesel engines, the SEAT Alhambra handles and rides like a much smaller car

Interior & comfort

4.1 / 5

Spacious, comfortable and well built, the SEAT Alhambra is an MPV with an upmarket edge

Practicality & boot space

4.8 / 5

The SEAT Alhambra is one of the most practical cars money can buy

Reliability & safety

3.6 / 5

Safety is first-rate, but SEAT customers haven’t been impressed with the brand in recent years

What the others say

4.3 / 5
based on 3 reviews
4 / 5
“Access is easy, thanks to the sliding doors, which can be opened and closed with the push of a button on SE Lux models. Plus, the large windows and panoramic sunroof make for a light and airy interior.”
5 / 5
"The Alhambra is a big car, and you're well aware of that when negotiating tight car parks or narrow city streets."
4 / 5
“The Alhambra really can carry seven in comfort. Throw in an incredibly quick and easy system for folding the seats and you have a functional and practical people carrier.”
What owners say 
4.36875
4.4 /5 based on 16 reviews
81%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend

Owner rating:

2 star   0
1 star   0
Last updated 
29 Jul 2015
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