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In-depth reviews

SEAT Alhambra review

The seven-seat SEAT Alhambra offers strong value, sliding doors and lots of space

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£30,600 to £38,455
  • Spacious interior
  • Versatile seating
  • Sliding side doors
  • Bland looks
  • Firm ride
  • Limited engines

The SEAT Alhambra is mechanically identical and just as practical as the Volkswagen Sharan but it's better value for money. It's a well equipped, well built people carrier that has won the Auto Express MPV of the Year award three times.  

As well as being impressively efficient, this MPV shines when it comes to practicality; the large dimensions mean there’s plenty of legroom, flexible seating and a decent boot that all work together to keep the family happy. But the SEAT Alhambra isn’t just about practicality – it also drives remarkably well without any of the compromise you’d expect from a seven-seater. The extras take driving the SEAT Alhambra to the next level, too, such as the Park Assist system that will reverse park into parallel spaces or bays for you.

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The SEAT Alhambra is a vast 7-seater that's for sale in the MPV class. Until recently it was the biggest car that SEAT sold, but with the 7 seat Tarraco is on the books since 2018, you now have choice of two SEATs that offer big interior and boot space.

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In terms of dimensions, the Alhambra is still slightly larger than the Tarraco, and it's one of the bigger MPVs for sale, too. It's the same size as the VW Sharan, because they're basically the same car, and the Ford Galaxy is a similar size. Elsewhere, other rivals for the Alhambra include the Galaxy's sister car, the Ford S-MAX, while the Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer and Renault Grand Scenic offer good space inside.

Best 7-seaters to buy now

One unique feature that the Alhambra and Sharan duo have over these rivals is sliding side doors. If these are a necessity, then your only other option has to be a van-based MPV. However, cars like the Citroen SpaceTourer and Peugeot Traveller are very car-like in how they drive and for cabin quality.

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Back to the Alhambra, as the MPV has been around in Mk2 guise since 2010, it's getting on a bit, and as a result doesn't have SEAT's latest engine tech on board. There's either a 1.4 TSI petrol or a 2.0 TDI diesel in two power outputs, and while the 1.4 TSI has the same output as the lower powered diesel, we'd recommend the latter every time, especially if you're going to be carrying passengers frequently.

A six-speed manual gearbox is the only choice on the 1.4 TSI, but the 2.0 TDI has an optional six-speed auto with the 150PS version, while the 177PS engine comes with the auto box as standard. All cars are front-wheel drive.

Trim levels run through SE, SE L and Xcellence, although all cars are pretty well equipped. And with prices starting from around £30,000 and topping out at around £38,500, the Alhambra offers a lot of space for the money. Sure, it's not as glamorous as an SUV, but if outright carrying capacity is what you're after, then the Alhambra is a sure winner.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.4 TSI SE [EZ] 150 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £30,600

Most Economical

  • Name
    2.0 TDI Ecomotive SE [EZ] 150 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £32,315

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0 TDI Xcellence [EZ] 177 5dr DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £38,455
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