Tuesday 20th April 2021
Car Enthusiast - click here to access the home page

 



Driven: SEAT Alhambra SE LUX. Image by SEAT.

Driven: SEAT Alhambra SE LUX
Is the Alhambra the perfect big family car? Kyle seems to think so...

 



<< earlier review     later review >>

Reviews homepage -> SEAT reviews

SEAT Alhambra SE LUX

4 4 4 4 4

Good points: spacious, comfortable, electric sliding doors, optional pre-heater

Not so good: looks ordinary, ride can be a bit firm

Key Facts

Model tested: SEAT Alhambra SE LUX 2.0 TDI 177
Pricing: 32,420 standard; 37,060 as tested with options
Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel
Transmission: six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Body style: seven-seat MPV
Rivals: Ford Galaxy, Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, Volkswagen Sharan
CO2 emissions: 158g/km
Combined economy: 47.1mpg
Top speed: 129mph
0-62mph: 9.3 seconds
Power: 177hp at 4,200rpm
Torque: 380Nm at 1,750rpm

Our view:

With two kids under three, a dog and all the associated paraphernalia, the SEAT Alhambra's size, sliding doors and all-round practicality get the thumbs up in my house. The full-sized MPV marketplace might have been decimated by buyers fleeing to SUVs and smaller, compact MPVs, but if you value practicality and ease over everything else then they're difficult to argue against.

Just one trip to a multi-storey or supermarket car park with tiny spaces and tiny people on board will convert you to the absolute necessity of the Alhambra's sliding rear doors too, the electric power operation of which - as part of the SE LUX trim - not a deal breaker, but oh-so convenient. That and the kids (and us big kids if we're being honest) will never tire of the doors magically opening at the press of a button on the key fob. There's only one other big MPV with sliders that we can think of: Volkswagen's all-but-lights-grille-and-badges-identical Sharan - Ford's Galaxy and S-Max offerings come with conventional doors despite the rest of their MPV range all featuring sliders.
So access is good, and once inside space is generous, too. A huge glass roof helps keep it light, while the electric operation of the blind is another kid-amusing/distracting detail when you're stuck in traffic. Other optional equipment on our test car, pushing the price to a not insignificant 37,060, includes some clever headlights that we could live without, a multi-functional camera, which again wasn't necessary, and an upgraded stereo system. The latter includes satnav and the likes, but we'd save the extra and spend it on the programmable interior heating option, which allows you to enter a toasty-warm car however long it's been sat outside in the cold. It's brilliant.

The boot's massive and the seating is versatile enough - the rear offering three genuine seats and there is still some useable boot space if you lift the rearmost pews into place. Those sixth and seventh seats, like all third-row options, are best reserved for the kids though. Topping off the child-friendly package is a pair of integrated child seats, which fold away neatly into the outer rear seat cushions. SEAT has thought of everything really, if only it could babysit it'd be the equivalent of an automotive nanny.

To drive? As you might expect, behind the wheel thrills are not of the highest priority, but it's quiet, quick and stable. The suspension could perhaps do with being a touch softer for greater rough road comfort, but there's nothing else of note, really. There's a 140hp version of the same engine to consider, which gets better economy. As you're unlikely to be racing - except perhaps from the nursery to school to Cubs/Brownies or suchlike - it'd more than likely suffice.

You're unlikely to lust after an Alhambra, but own one for a while and you'll inevitably fall in love with it. Like the snot-and-mushed food covered clothes you'll find yourself habitually wearing as a parent you'll be too busy and tired to care what anyone else thinks, and there's a joyous smugness to be had when you see others wrestling kids/buggies and all the other parental crap into their 'cooler' family cars. The Alhambra is brilliant, which is why it'll be at the top of our shopping list when the time comes to replace the trusty Ford Grand C-Max.


Kyle Fortune - 8 Jan 2015









  www.seat.co.uk    - SEAT road tests
- SEAT news
- Alhambra images

2015 SEAT Alhambra. Image by SEAT.2015 SEAT Alhambra. Image by SEAT.2015 SEAT Alhambra. Image by SEAT.2015 SEAT Alhambra. Image by SEAT.2015 SEAT Alhambra. Image by SEAT.

2015 SEAT Alhambra. Image by SEAT.2015 SEAT Alhambra. Image by SEAT.2015 SEAT Alhambra. Image by SEAT.2015 SEAT Alhambra. Image by SEAT.2015 SEAT Alhambra. Image by SEAT.



2015 SEAT Alhambra. Image by SEAT.
 

2015 SEAT Alhambra. Image by SEAT.
 

2015 SEAT Alhambra. Image by SEAT.
 

2015 SEAT Alhambra. Image by SEAT.
 

2015 SEAT Alhambra. Image by SEAT.
 

2015 SEAT Alhambra. Image by SEAT.
 

2015 SEAT Alhambra. Image by SEAT.
 






 

Internal links:   | Home | Privacy | Contact us | Archives | Follow Car Enthusiast on Twitter | Copyright 1999-2021 ©