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In-depth reviews

SEAT Alhambra review - Interior, design and technology

It won't win any beauty prizes, but the Alhambra ‘does what it says on the tin’

If there’s any car that fits the MPV design template perfectly, it’s the Alhambra. Apart from the van-based MPVs, the Alhambra's shape is as van-like as they come, and the car’s overall shape is identical to that of the Volkswagen Sharan, with which it shares a lot of mechanical components and electronic tech.

However, the devil is in the detail, and while the SEAT won’t win any beauty contests, the crisp lines and sharp details add interest to the Alhambra’s shape. Up front, the straight-edged grille and headlights are a familiar SEAT design, and they’re joined by a large lower grille in the bumper that’s flanked by a pair of foglamp housings.

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The slab sides are pretty plain, and unfortunately there’s no hiding the runners for the sliding doors towards the back of the bodywork, but the large glass area is nicely proportioned with the body, while silver roof rails add style, too. At the rear, the huge tail-lights are split across the upright tailgate, while the vast rear glass area gives a good view out the back.

Climb aboard, and the large dashboard features the same logical layout and simple controls as you’ll find across the SEAT range. In fact, it’s identical to the VW Sharan, and build quality is on a par with its main rivals. There’s a bit too much black plastic in the cabin, the optional 6.5-inch touchscreen can be tricky to navigate and it looks pretty ordinary when compared to the distinctive Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer, but everything works well and feels solid.

Leather trim is fitted as standard on SE L models, and you can also specify two-tone finish seats which add a bit of colour to proceedings. It also means the cabin is hard-wearing, plus extensive use of black plastic trim should withstand the rigours of family life.

Sat-Nav, stereo and infotainment

All Alhambra grades come with a 6.5 inch colour touchscreen, controlling an audio system that features a DAB radio, MP3 compatible CD player with USB, Bluetooth, voice recognition and 8 loudspeakers. You also get steering wheel controls for audio.

Optional equipment includes a nav system with rear view camera, which comes with an upgrade to DAB digital radio – all are standard on the SE L and Xcellence models.

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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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