The Auto Trader expert verdict: ★★★★★ ★★★★★ 3.8
The SEAT Alhambra is a great seven-seat MPV, with folding rear seats allowing passengers or a huge amount of luggage to be transported with ease.
Reasons to buy
- Flexible seven-seat interior
- Classy interior and dashboard
- Sliding side doors
At a glance
- How good does it look? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- What's the interior like? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- How practical is it? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- What's it like to drive? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- How powerful is it? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- How much will it cost me? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- How reliable is it? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- How safe is it? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- How much equipment do I get? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- Why buy? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
How good does it look?
The SEAT Alhambra is a sensible and functional MPV, with a little less design flair than some of SEATs sleeker models. It’s best viewed from the front, where its deep air intakes, large grille and dark headlight surrounds give it an aggressive face. Tinted rear windows suit its looks as well as giving rear passengers more privacy.
What's the interior like?
The Dashboard feels extremely solid and is simply laid out, so you can find every control with ease. A leather steering wheel adds some design flair, as does a strip of metallic trim running across the dashboard.
How practical is it?
The new Alhambra is much bigger than its predecessor (22cm longer and 9.4cm wider), so its seven seats are now better able to accommodate passengers on longer trips. With every seat in place there’s 267 litres of boot space, but this increases to 2,430 litres when all the back seats are stowed. SEAT’s ‘EasyFold’ system allows most seats to be folded with one hand, important when loading awkward items.
What's it like to drive?
The Alhambra is a comfortable and relaxing car to drive, with light steering and a smooth gearchange. There are no thrills here, just effortless driving with a keen eye on safety. The Alhambra always feels steady and secure.
How powerful is it?
There’s one 2-litre TDI diesel engine with either 138bhp or 168bhp and a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine with 148bhp. All offer good performance, and while most will opt for diesel power, it’s worth trying the petrol as it’s smooth and quiet. The slowest Alhambra takes only 10.9 seconds to reach 62mph, while the powerful diesel takes just 9.5 seconds. These are competitive figures which beat the Peugeot 5008 and Renault Espace.
How much will it cost me?
The 2-litre TDI engine with 138bhp averages 50.4mpg and emits 146g/km of CO2, making it impressively economical and cheap to tax for a seven-seater. The petrol model returns a decent 39.2mpg and emits 167g/km of CO2. Servicing is every 10,000 miles or 12 months.
How reliable is it?
Using tried and tested engines and major components, we’d expect problems with the Alhambra to be rare. It certainly felt well built during our time with the car.
How safe is it?
The Alhambra features seven airbags and it’s equipped with whiplash reducing head restraints and seat belt tensioners. Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) and Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) are also fitted to help reduce skids.
How much equipment do I get?
The entry-level S trim includes 16-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, three-zone climate control, Bluetooth, front and rear electric windows, remote central locking and a refrigerated glove compartment. SE introduces chrome window trims, front fog lamps, light and wiper sensors, cruise control, 17-inch alloys and USB/AUX audio inputs. The ultimate SE Lux trim gets power operated rear sliding doors, power tailgate, panoramic glass sunroof, electric front seats, sat-nav, five-inch touchscreen, DAB radio and a rear camera.
The SEAT Alhambra is a very well-equipped and function seven-seat MPV which is also relaxing to drive.