Our cars: Seat Alhambra - May
The idea of running a Seat Alhambra popped into my head last year, while I was photographing the MPV for our Car of the Year Awards.
With its seven seats the Alhambra would more than manage the demands my wife, two kids (and their friends!) and I could place on it. It would also be a useful companion for the day job, thanks to the vast load space when all the seats are folded down.
So I put in an order and picked up my car last month from Tia Erskine at Spur Garage, Hampton Court (020 8941 9848). I’d opted for the top-of-the-range SE Lux trim, which came with more-or-less everything. Automatic lights and wipers, sat-nav, Bluetooth and cruise control will make life on the road much more bearable, while the rear-view camera should make parking easier, too.
I also added the Cargo Pack (which brings a cargo net and boot partition), a heated windscreen, integrated child seats (not necessary for my two boys, but good for when younger family members are visiting) and Boal Brown metallic paint. The colour might not be to everyone’s taste, but I like how it stands out from the other, less interesting hues.
I'm most happy with the electric sliding doors, which mean I don’t have to worry about passengers unwittingly opening doors on to other people's cars. It’s just a shame the Alhambra doesn’t come with a digital radio.
The many motorway miles I cover driving up and down the country to photo shoots meant a diesel engine was the only option for me. Seat offers two with the Alhambra; I went for the more powerful 168bhp 2.0-litre diesel with the £1260 DSG semi-auto gearbox to help make the miles pass more easily. Getting the auto was an easy decision because it’s almost as frugal as the manual car and is in the same tax band.
So far, the Seat’s everything I wanted it to be: spacious, comfortable and versatile. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the boot’s capabilities, too: with the rearmost seats down the boot holds an impressive 658 litres. Even with all seven seats up it holds 267 litres, which is similar in size to most superminis’. No doubt it’ll be in demand for many colleagues’ holidays.
List price £31,700
Target Price £29,811
Extras DSG £1260; custom palette metallic paint (Boal Brown) £635; heated windscreen £445; integrated child seats £340; Cargo Pack £210
Test fuel economy 37.1mpg
Official fuel economy 47.9mpg
CO2/tax liability 154g/km/23%