Seat Alhambra Ecomotive: driven

  • CO2 cut and economy improved
  • Over £2000 cheaper than rivals
  • From £18,940
Price: £18,940
On Sale: Now
You’ll like: Proper room for seven; lots of kit
You won’t: Lacks practicality; distinctly dull dynamically

Seat’s Alhambra was launched way back in 1996, when Take That split up and the Spice Girls took their place. Yet 13 years on, the Alhambra’s still going strong.

By way of a celebration, Seat has given it the Ecomotive treatment – that means various aerodynamic, suspension, engine and gearbox tweaks to bring CO2 down to a very reasonable 159g/km, and average economy up to an equally pleasing 47.1mpg.

As seven-seat MPVs go, the Alhambra’s a bit old hat. Sure, there’s decent room for seven people (unlike many more modern compact MPVs) the quality’s good and there’s a decent amount of kit on board, but the Seat’s seats don’t do anything especially clever. You can fold them up and take them out, but they’re awkward and heavy.

The Alhambra doesn’t feel 13 years old on the road, but the ride is a little bit lumpy and the old-school diesel engine is a bit gravel-voiced.

That said, it’s good value (and over £2000 cheaper than a very similar VW Sharan Bluemotion), you’re getting lots of space and your fuel (and company car tax) bills should be low. SF

Our verdict

Buyer’s file
Engine size 1.9
Price £18,940
Powe 138bhp
0-60mph 11.9secs
Top speed 121mph
Economy 47.1mpg
CO2 g/km/tax 159/22%
Insurance group 12
Airbags 6
Doors 5
Seats 7
Colours 7
Likely discount
We’d look for at least 10% off
Or try a
Citroën C4 Grand Picasso 1.6HDi
VW Sharan Bluemotion

Free car valuations