Early MPV people carriers were essentially just vans with added windows. We’ve come a long way since then and the current generation of such vehicles are fully fit for purpose.
Take the helm of SEAT’s all-new Alhambra and you’ll be in command of an ideal choice for active and sporty families.
Its styling is dynamic, with an arrow-shaped bonnet, characteristic SEAT family grille, subtle roof spoiler and large light clusters.
It’s a full-size seven-seater that fulfils the needs of family life as well as being a good choice for high mileage business drivers. Amazingly my petrol-driven test car had an engine of just 1.4 litres capacity – but what a tough little brave heart it proved to be, capable of smoothly whisking what is, after all, a big vehicle to 122 mph, cracking the 0-62 mph sprint in just over 10 seconds yet able to return a frugal 45 mpg when driven less gingerly.
The 2.0 litre diesel version does even better, with a 50 mpg combined cycle capability.
All three Alhambra engines come equipped with auto stop/start and brake energy recovery systems. Longer and wider than its predecessor, the Alhambra is spacious, even in the third row seats while large, sliding rear doors – electrically operated in SE Lux spec – give commendable ease of access.
A major focus of SEAT’s development work on the new Alhambra was on an intelligent and highly flexible seating concept. The new EasyFold system allows the second and third rows of seats to be fully retracted into the vehicle floor in just one easy movement. Integrated child seats are an option.
The car comes in three trim levels – S, SE and SE Lux, all three offering a generous range of equipment. An extensive safety package incorporates seven airbags, including a driver’s side knee airbag, as well as tyre pressure monitoring and an ESP stability programme, complete with trailer stabilisation function.
Innovative technologies include the optional bi-xenon headlamps with cornering function an a park assist system that steers the Alhambra into even relatively tight parking spaces.
A three-zone climatronic system, which is standard across the range, guarantees comfortable temperatures, wherever you sit in the vehicle.
With quality finish and prices starting from £22,815 and topping out at £31, 700 and low running costs the Alhambra makes a sensible choice of wheels.
Out on the road, it’s easy to live – handling more like a saloon car than an MPV and providing high levels of comfort for driver and passengers alike. It’s stylish too