The MPV is an obvious choice for anyone with three or more kids because of their excellent space and versatility. The Alhambra is SEAT’s offering to the MPV market and it stacks up well against competitors. This is built with the same components that you’d find in a Volkswagen Sharan but the price tag on the Spanish option is more reasonable. The Alhambra gets good competition from Ford with both the S-Max and the Galaxy. Opel also has their finger on the pulse with the Zafira Tourer.
The Alhambra comes with a 2.0 TDI engine that offers a choice of 115 bhp or 150 bhp. The 115 bhp offering gives a maximum torque of 280Nm at between 1,750 and 3,000rpm. This MPV will bring you from 0-100 km/h in 12.6 seconds and it has a maximum speed of 184 km/h. The more powerful 150 bhp engine with a DSG gearbox gives maximum torque of 340Nm between 1,750 and 3,000rpm. We’re told that it has a maximum speed of 198 km/h and will give 0-100 km/h in 10.6 seconds. Considering the size of this vehicle both engines are powerful enough to not be sluggish.
Like the Ford Galaxy the Alhambra is a big car and it’s not brilliantly suited for city driving. It can be hard to park. On the open B-roads, dual carriageways and motorways it’s a pleasure to drive. Body roll should be expected in a vehicle of this size but generally SEAT knows how to disguise it.
As already mentioned, the engines available with the Alhambra are very well suited to the vehicle. None of them sound as if they are struggling. These vehicles are built with versatility and comfort in mind and on account of this the MPV is very well padded. Of course MPVs are generally aerodynamically challenged in comparison with saloon cars, therefore there is a degree of wind noise that seeps through to the cabin.
This is an extremely comfortable vehicle and it is up there with the Ford Galaxy for interior presentation. Regardless of which trim you opt for, the upholstery on the seats is of a high quality and each seat within the vehicle is large enough for an adult. Like most other SEATs, the infotainment system is easy to use and driver focused. The dash isn’t the fanciest that you will ever see but the plastics don’t seem cheap and they do feel durable.
In 2010 SEAT scored a full five stars for the Alhambra. They received an excellent 96% for adult occupancy and 80% for child occupancy. There are many safety features available with the Alhambra including Lane Assist. This system uses a camera that follows road markings, if the cameras notice that you are going out of lane the steering wheel gently redirects itself to keep the driver in lane. Like most other new SEATS, it is also available with a tiredness recognition system that monitors a driver’s behaviour. If the system notices something out of the ordinary it sends an audible alert advising the driver to take a break.
The Alhambra is a very large vehicle and it is like the Galaxy in the way that it can actually fit seven adults. The driver’s cabin also has plenty of space. The boot offers a massive 955 litres of space with row three pushed down.