Seat Alhambra

Seat Alhambra 1 lr

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By Tim Saunders

Having children is a great help to a motoring journalist because they invariably discover things about cars that could potentially pass by unnoticed.
This point is highlighted on collecting eldest daughter Harriett (5) from school one Friday afternoon in the Seat Alhambra people mover.
Excitedly she jumps into her seat and no sooner has she done this she pulls up a sun visor on her window. “Can you fix it for me daddy?” This is the first day of driving the vehicle and I certainly wouldn’t have discovered that feature until much nearer the end of the test.
The picnic tables on the back of the front seats also score highly with Harriett and sister Heidi (3), who proceed to pull them up to place their brunch bars upon. Yes, life with my daughters is anything but dull and now that they have a little brother, Henry (4mths) we have all but forgotten what peace and quiet used to be like.
The Alhambra, finished in pure white, is an appealing vehicle to a family like ours because where space is an issue in normal cars it really isn’t in this cavernous beast. There’s a third row of seats in the boot which are easy to push into place as you can see in the video at testdrives.biz should extra seating be needed for friends or relatives.
The van-like sliding rear doors are extremely practical when parking in tight spaces because they take up so little room. However, they are heavy to operate.
Exterior colours are getting snazzier all the time and the wing mirrors and alloy wheels demand a second look as the sun catches them revealing a hint of sparkling dark metallic blue, which is a very neat touch. In fact this snazzy blue continues into the interior.
The Alhambra is an extremely practical vehicle; it’s large enough to be a van with admirable load carrying abilities but it can also be a minibus, seating seven passengers in absolute comfort no matter how long the journey. There is plenty of storage space.
It comes crammed with luxuries including all round electric windows, air conditioning and cruise control. The stalk for the latter is underneath the indicators and over a long journey this can become irksome due to ever-changing motorway speeds, resulting in a numb thumb.
Privacy glass and a luggage cover are neat touches for added peace of mind with regards security. I am a fan of the power folding wing mirrors; on a wider vehicle like this, this function is helpful when the vehicle is parked by the roadside to prevent them being clipped by passing traffic.
The raised driving position is always enjoyable providing a good view of the road ahead. It quickly comes to attention that there are houses that pass you by on the school run when in a smaller vehicle but with extra height it is possible to see over those hedges.
Over time the sat nav becomes easier for us to operate and relatively trustworthy. It stores your destinations so that you don’t have to keep inputting them. Trying to find the postcode function is a bit fiddly, though. Thankfully my wife tends to deal with this for me.
The reversing camera is certainly helpful because the Alhambra is a large vehicle but overall easy to manoeuvre.

Facts at a glance
Seat Alhambra CONNECT 2.0 TDi Ecomotive
Total cost of test vehicle: £31,390
Top speed: 124mph
0-60mph: 10.2secs
Economy: 55.4mpg
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