I have been thinking about a DB9 - no room for the kids! I have had a Seat Alhambra for five years now (this is the second), and as one of my collegues described it, it's a beast, big powerful and fun to drive, but unfortunately still gets kids and their mates in when they want a cheap taxi.
On the positive side, it's too expensive to add 17-year-olds on to the insurance so they can't borrow it, but insurance is reasonable for me.
It can be a van when I need one (I have 19-year old muscle to carry the seats out for me) it's a great all-round useful car/taxi/van. If I don't get my DB9, I'll probably get another Alhambra.
I have just traded in my Alhambra for an Altea as our children have either flown the nest or no longer travel with us.
This was my second Alhambra and in 40,000 miles the only problem was with the air conditioning, which was fixed under warranty. During the 4 years I owned it we made frequent trips from where we live in Hampshire to Leeds, Norfolk and Hertfordshire and the car was just ideal: roomy, comfortable, quiet, excellent sound system, good cruising ability and reasonably economical for such a big car.
With the seats out it became an excellent load carrier although I have to say that now I am older, the seats are heavy to lift out and lift back in. Overall, though, it has to be one of the best cars I have owned in 35 years of car ownership.
I have had many different cars from base models to executive models. I usually only keep a car for around two years - the first time I got into my Alhambra it was like sitting on Concorde's flight deck, with all those dials and switches!
Then I realised how much space there was from the driving seat to the windscreen. I found it a little nerve-wracking at first, but after an hour or so, I began to feel relaxed and safe knowing that there are plenty of airbags all around.
For a 1.9 TDI it is smooth and responsive on acceleration, and it is also one of the most economical diesels I've owned. It is also an excellent workhorse - we recently bought a 24-foot caravan, and my wife thought it would be underpowered, but it towed with ease. I didn't even feel the weight of it (apart from when setting off).
The only faults I can report are wind whistling through the gap of the driver's side wing mirror, the passenger top glovebox can't make up its mind whether to stay open or closed, and the headrests in the rear obscure vision when reversing.
The last thing to mention is that I bought a towbar with a bypass wiring kit, hoping for the convenience of not having to have to Scotchlok into the existing loom. Unfortunately, due to the excessive heat we have just had this summer, the relay system decided to melt, causing the fuses in the circuit board to blow. Otherwise, the car is perfect.
I bought this car pre-registered with less than 2000 miles for much less than list price.
The car is excellent quality, performs its function (shifting lots of kids/family members about without any stress). The car is a little underpowered compared to the car it replaced, but it isn't a performance car, so what do you want?
It does have a great driving position that lets you drive hundreds of miles without a sore back. It also has great visibility and a good level of equipment.
I've had no trouble and the servicing and insurance costs have been surprisingly cheap for a big vehicle.
I'd recommend this to anyone wanting a people carrier who isn't expecting sports car performance.
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