No, it’s not a posh SUV like the Audi Q7 that plenty of mums and dads will be hankering for as a family car, but if you have three kids and need a seriously practical seven-seater it doesn’t get better than the Seat Alhambra.
Enjoy the Seat Alhambra’s roomy interior
Introduced in 2010, it’s got enough room in those boot-mounted seats that you can routinely carry children back there in comfort, and there’s still enough space in the boot to get a load of shopping bags, a single buggy or a medium-sized dog. With those rearmost seats folded down, it’s got one of the biggest boots of any passenger car, and then you can topple the middle row of seats to basically make it into a van with windows. Great for the tip run or for those moments you get carried away in Ikea.
The boxy shape of the Alhambra and the sliding rear door makes for fantastic access to the middle row of seats, where there are three individual seats all with Isofix fittings so you can even get a row of child seats or booster seats in if you need to.
There are even Isofix fittings in the sixth and seventh seats that fold up from the boot, which is rare and extremely useful.
Under the hood of the Seat Alhambra
There’s a great array of engines, too. Don’t discount the 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol as it’s more than powerful enough to feel confident on the motorway, and it’s quiet and efficient with good tax costs. You can have it with a manual or automatic gearbox, and it’s one of our favourite engines in the Alhambra.
However, the 2.0-litre diesel is also hard to beat and will deliver better economy of close to 50mpg if you drive sedately. So, if you’re doing higher mileage that’s a better bet. It’s available with an automatic or manual gearbox, too, and there isn’t a bad gearbox in the Seat Alhambra so you can be safe that it’s always good to drive.
It feels more like a big hatchback than an MPV, so if you don’t mind the looks, you certainly won’t mind the confident, grippy and smooth way that the Alhambra drives.
From 2015, the Seat Alhambra had a facelift that brought standard autonomous emergency braking – a system that means the car will brake for you if it senses an imminent collision. While all Seat Alhambra models of this generation have done very well in Euro NCAP crash tests and have good safety ratings, it’s worth getting one of these later cars if you can.
Car tech you can expect
Equipment is good on all Alhambra models. Even the most affordable includes 16-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, heated and electrically adjustable wing mirrors, all-round electric windows, three-zone climate control, and Bluetooth hands-free phone connection.
SE adds automatic lights and wipers, 17-inch alloy wheels and cruise control, while top-spec SE Lux brings electronic opening for the rear doors and boot, a panoramic sunroof, sat-nav and heated leather seats.
It’s a great family car – especially if you have a large and young family. It’s worth noting that Thatcham gave the Alhambra great marks for resistance to break-ins and being driven away. If you’re not taken with the styling and prefer something a little boxier that will turn heads while still being reliable and practical, take a look at Skoda’s Yeti.