- Enough room for seven adults
- Surprisingly engaging drive
- Not as stylish as an S-Max
- Not the most greenest MPV
- Higher-spec models are expensive
Spacious, practical 7-seater MPV
Large family buyers won’t find it too difficult to find a car that has seven seats nowadays, but to find a car that has enough room for seven people to sit comfortably isn’t that easy. Enter the Seat Alhambra. The Alhambra, first introduced in 1996. Is the Spanish manufacturer’s answer to Ford’s Galaxy, Citroen’s Grand Picasso, and Volkswagen’s Sharan. It offers seven full sized seats, a versatile interior, efficient engines, and attractive styling. It’s not the most fun to drive, but few cars are as comfortable as the Alhambra. It’s also cheaper than its rivals, all of which makes the Alhambra excellent value for money.
The latest update in 2010 saw a complete redesign, with more efficient and engines, and a completely new platform.
Ample room for seven adults, and excellent interior quality
The Seat Alhambra is a car designed with families in mind, there is therefore an ample amount of space. Few cars have such a spacious interior, and build quality is also excellent. There’s also plenty of equipment as standard, so buyers won’t ever feel short changed.
The dashboard design of the Alhambra is pretty similar to the entire Seat range. There’s a simple, contemporary feel, and the quality on show is a match for the Volkswagen Sharan. Controls are well-placed, well-damped, and easy to use. There’s also plenty of classy soft-touch materials used across the dash, and throughout the cabin, with solid build quality that’s engineered to last.
Spacewise, there’s few cars that are quite as practical as the Alhambra. There’s enough room for seven adults to sit comfortably, even for longer journeys. With all seven seats up, the boot boasts a capacity of 267 litres. That’s enough space for a couple of cabin bags, or even a child buggy. Make the Alhambra into a five-seater, and you’ll get a ginormous 809 litre space, big enough for pretty much anything you can think of.
Equipment levels in the Alhambra are generous, no matter which trim you choose to go for. Even the entry-level S trim comes with three-zone climate control, alloy wheels, Bluetooth, and Seat’s Media Plus infotainment system. This setup is simple and easy to use, though it’s not as modern as something like BMW’s iDrive system.
The inside of the Alhambra is an extremely well-thought-out package. It’s spacious, well-built, and generously equipped. There will be few complaints from most buyers when they take the Alhambra for a spin.
Comfortable, refined, and decent handling
Most seven-seat MPVs aren’t the most fun to drive, but the Alhambra actually handles pretty well. OK this isn’t a car that you’ll want to take out for a B-road blast at the weekend, but it won’t send you to sleep over long distances. There’s plenty of grip through the corners, and for such a big car, body roll is minimal. Steering is also pretty precise, so it inspires confidence when you throw it into a corner.
Suspension and Chassis
Ride refinement is one area in which the Alhambra excels. The suspension and chassis iron out all but the worst of loose road surfaces, potholes, and speed bumps. That makes the Alhambra at home in both the city, and out on the motorway. Speaking of motorways, the Alhambra is also a refined motorway cruiser. There’s not a lot of wind and road noise at speed, especially for a car of the Alhambra’s size, so long journeys should be a breeze.
Gearbox options in the Alhambra come in two guises. The standard throughout the range is a six-speed manual transmission, that’s sharp, and precise. The optional DSG automatic is certainly worth considering though, as it’s smooth, refined, and gives you the option to change gear manually for when you need a quick burst of acceleration.
A good range of flexible engines
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Alhambra, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. There’s a good range of power outputs, with enough grunt throughout the range, though emissions aren’t as low as in some competitors.
Most family buyers won’t have high-end performance at the top of their wish lists, the Alhambra doesn’t therefore have a true performance model. The most powerful engine in the range is the diesel-powered 2.0 litre TDI (184), which produces 184bhp, and accelerates from 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds. Those figures aren’t going to get petrolheads head’s spinning, but it feels quick in a car of this size.
Eco-friendly buyers won’t be too disappointed with the engines in the Alhambra range, though no engine is exceptionally green. The greenest engine in the range is the diesel-powered 2.0 litre TDI (150), which produces just 130g/km of CO2 emissions. That’s quite some way off the magic 100g/km mark, but for a car this size, it’s still pretty impressive. This engine is also the best option for money-savers, as not only does it offer the lowest road tax in the range (£110p/a), it’s also the most fuel efficient. With up to 57.6mpg on offer, you can save plenty of money each week at the fuel pumps.
Whichever engine you choose to go for in your Alhambra, you’re not going to be disappointed. All engines have enough power, decent fuel efficiency, and reasonably low CO2 emissions. Diesel engines offer the greatest flexibility however, which is a point worth considering.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests, impressive standard safety kit
Like almost every car in its class, the Seat Alhambra easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. With scores of 96% in adult safety, 80% in child safety, and 46% in pedestrian safety, the Alhambra beats the Ford Galaxy, the Ford S-Max, and the Renault Espace for adult safety, and boasts exactly the same results across the board as the VW Sharan. You’ll also get seven airbags, front and rear parking sensors, and a tyre-pressure monitoring system, no matter which Alhambra you choose to go for.
Impressive value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Seat Alhambra represents excellent value for money for family buyers. This obviously varies from model to model, but CO2 emissions are reasonably low throughout the range, and fuel efficiency is impressive, especially with diesel models. Low-mileage buyers should consider the low-powered petrol engine, as although CO2 emissions are higher, and fuel efficiency is lower, it is noticeably cheaper to buy the car in the first place.
Insurance costs in the Alhambra are pretty good value for money, especially for a car of its size. Whichever Alhambra you choose to go for, you won’t be paying any more than you would for an equivalent rival. The Alhambra range starts in group 13, for the entry-level 2.0 TDI CR Ecomotive S, and ranges up to group 23 for the top of the range 2.0 TDI CR Style Advanced.
Depreciation is a large factor with the Alhambra, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Seat Alhambra is the perfect car for family buyers who need space for more than five people. It offers seven full-sized seats, that are comfortable no matter how long the journey is, or how lanky the passengers are. It’s also fuel-efficient, stylish, and good to drive. If you’re looking for a practical seven-seater MPV, the Alhambra should be right at the top of your wish list.
Buying a used Seat Alhambra online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Seat Alhambra for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Alhambra. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Seat Alhambra online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Seat? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Seat Alhambra, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Alhambra, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Seat to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.