Our cars: Seat Alhambra - March 2012
Week ending March 9
Driven this week: 200 miles
Seat Alhambra review
I’m used to driving smaller cars, such as the Audi A1, so you’d think that getting into something as large as the Seat Alhambra would be a bit of a shock.
Not at all. Its driving characteristics belie its large size – it feels like you’re driving a normal saloon car, rather than a seven-seat MPV (and not one with emergency seats in the back, either).
The upright driving position is reassuringly comfortable, too, because not only is it a more natural position to sit in, but you get a good view out. The slick DSG semi-auto gearbox makes long motorway journeys easier as well.
Week ending March 2
Driven this week 500 miles
A weekend away with five friends was planned, so I needed a car that had plenty of space. Our Seat Alhambra was the perfect choice.
People talk about ‘complete’ cars and, for me, the Alhambra is very nearly that. Firstly, when it’s not being used as a load-lugger, it’s as civilised as any saloon car, and can be driven comfortably for miles on end. There’s almost too much power from the 170bhp diesel engine, and it’s hard not to fall in love with that VW-derived DSG gearbox for its sheer smoothness. It’s surprisingly agile in the bends, too.
However, when asked to perform its MPV role, six people with weekend luggage were transported over 100 miles in complete comfort, with plenty of head- and legroom. There was even decent bootspace with the rear-most seats in use.
Remember I said it was ‘very nearly’ complete, though? Well, a mid-thirties mpg figure and some engine noise in the cabin at low speeds sold it short of total perfection.