New Seat Alhambra proves roomy, well kitted out and frugal

Road Tested by Hugh Maguire.

Road Tested by Hugh Maguire.

THE new Seat Alhambra is one of many MPV vehicles currently available on the market today. As we all know MPVs are primarily bought for their practicality and undeniable ability to lug a family around on their holidays, do the school runs, yet provide comfortable motoring.

There really are so many MPVs to choose from that I am not going to list them all here, however obvious rivals to the Seat Alhambra include cars such as Ford’s Galaxy, Renault’s Grand Scenic, or Espace, the Peugeot 5008 and of course the car with which the Alhambra shares much of its mechanicals, the VW Sharan to name but a few. There are two versions available, the Reference, and the Style. I test the 2.0 TDI Reference this week. So what is the new Alhambra like?

First Impressions

While the square rather van-like proportions of the new Seat Alhambra may offer good interior packaging it really does nothing for its looks. Cars such as the Peugeot 5008 manage to look a bit more attractive. The new Alhambra shares its front Seat family face with cars such as the new Leon and Ibiza not bad, from there back though it’s less interesting.

Behind The Wheel

In true Seat fashion the cabin is practical, functional and very well laid out. The dashboard is a model of excellence with everything where it should be. I like the solid well built feel to the car and the interior materials are of good quality. In short the Alhambra is as you would expect from Seat, very well put together.

I like the commanding driving position, visibility is pretty good all round and standard specification on this “Reference” model is very good. Apart from the usual expected electric windows and so forth the Alhambra “Reference” model has a multi-function steering wheel, roof rails, 16 inch alloy wheels, cruise control, a very good sound system, Electronic Park Brake with Auto Hold function, ISOFIX, and of course a host of airbags as well as, ESP, ABS, ASR, EDR, EDTC, and TRSP.

Accomodation is excellent with masses of head and legroom both front and rear. The third row of seats makes the Alhambra a full seven seater but of course with dramatically reduced luggage space. With the last row folded down a huge load area is available and easily accessible via the big rear tailgate that opens to bumper level.


Powered by the VAG tried and tested 2.0 TDI mated to a good six-speed gearbox performance is lively even when laden. This unit produces some 140 bhp, while C02 emissions are 146g/km putting the Alhambra diesel in band C at €302 to tax.

Over my week’s road test which included very mixed short and long journeys the Alhambra burned just 6.1 litres of diesel per 100km giving it a range in excess of 1,000km between refuels...excellent!

Road Behaviour

In a way I was quite surprised at just how well this rather boxy looking MPV drove. As I said performance proved lively, but it rides and handles very well too! Furthermore I could not fail to be impressed at just how refined and quiet it proved to be.

With little or no wind, engine or road noise the cabin of the new Alhambra proves to be a very nice place in which to travel.


The Seat Alhambra as tested in “Reference” specification costs €38,180. That is indeed a tidy sum of money these days and some rivals are a bit less expensive!

So the new Seat Alhambra probably has to sell itself on its quality, refinement, specification and practicality. There are more stylish MPVs and others can beat it on price, but if the above virtues matter to you then try the new Alhambra.