Seat Alhambra MPV (96 - 11) Owner reviews

No longer on sale

I've had the worst car experience with my Alhambra than any of the many previous cars I've owned I did thorough research before deciding which family car to buy and the Alhambra won Whatcar guide best MPV of the year award a couple of times and seemed to have a load of good new features and was advertised as fairly fuel efficient for the size of the car (although in real life is not even close to the fuel efficiency as stated in the brochures). I purchased a near new Alhambra Lux model (2 year old) with 7,000 miles on the clock. Fast forward just over a year, we've now had: (1) a new engine (after a Christmas Day engine meltdown and quality time on the hard shoulder of the M25 with 3 kids and Granny in the car); (2) a full new air-conditioning system (pipes, compressor, the lot); (3) petrol door lock failed so couldn't refuel and was stranded 60 miles from home with car load of kids; (4) seat belt replaced as it jammed and could no longer be used. Luckily, all of the above was replaced/fixed under warranty as all were caused by defective components or components that failed which shouldn't have but now the warranty has expired and the car's still giving us a hard time (who'd have thought!). The latest problem (aside from needing a new expensive Stop/Start battery) is one of the electric sliding doors has stopped working!

Nick Lovass, February 24th 2015

TDI CR SE Lux [170] 5dr DSG

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality1/5
  • Average MPG30 mpg

I've had the worst car experience with my Alhambra than any of the many previous cars I've owned I did thorough research before deciding which family car to buy and the Alhambra won Whatcar guide best MPV of the year award a couple of times and seemed to have a load of good new features and was advertised as fairly fuel efficient for the size of the car (although in real life is not even close to the fuel efficiency as stated in the brochures). I purchased a near new Alhambra Lux model (2 year old) with 7,000 miles on the clock. Fast forward just over a year, we've now had: (1) a new engine (after a Christmas Day engine meltdown and quality time on the hard shoulder of the M25 with 3 kids and Granny in the car); (2) a full new air-conditioning system (pipes, compressor, the lot); (3) petrol door lock failed so couldn't refuel and was stranded 60 miles from home with car load of kids; (4) seat belt replaced as it jammed and could no longer be used. Luckily, all of the above was replaced/fixed under warranty as all were caused by defective components or components that failed which shouldn't have but now the warranty has expired and the car's still giving us a hard time (who'd have thought!). The latest problem (aside from needing a new expensive Stop/Start battery) is one of the electric sliding doors has stopped working!

Nick Lovass, February 24th 2015

TDI CR SE Lux [170] 5dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality1/5
  • Average MPG30 mpg

This car has been in my family since new (2001) and has been so reliable. Now, at 140,000 miles my parents have bought a new one and I've adopted it. It's such a pleasure to drive. Ok, it's no sports car, but it's very comfortable, you get an excellent view on the motorway and it drinks surprisingly little fuel considering its size. The luggage capacity is also excellent. With 5 adults in the car for 8 days driving down about 2 hours past Bordeaux, we were all comfortable and didn't have to be particularly careful about what we packed - and I still had a clear view out of the rear window! An all purpose car, ready for whatever you throw at it.

Peter Vaughan, Hampshire, June 17th 2014

TDi PD SE 7 Seat 5dr Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG43.5 mpg

I love this car. My husband and I have always had Honda cars but alas, when we realised we needed an extra seat for a new baby we were stuck with the choice available. So, we shortlisted down to Peugeot 5008, Hyundai Santa Fe and the Alhambra. Typical really that the most expensive was the best and preferable option! However, we are not disappointed at all. The drive is quiet and smooth - I have never had a diesel and I am amazed at the quietness of the car and also the oomph when you need it – the DSG box is brilliant. We went for the SE Lux 170 DSG and very glad we paid the extra - who wants light grey cloth seats with children anyway. This car screams quality and comfort. It is not too big to park at all - takes some getting used to but that was the width really as I had a Honda estate before and both cars are about the same length. We can get our three huge car seats (2 x Britax duo plus and 1 x maxi cosi cabriofix with isofix platform) all across the back seat - huge amounts of room. When we need to give someone a lift we just move one seat to the rear - there are 5 isofix points – two in the very rear and three along the middle row – and the seats are huge. The equipment you get in the vehicle is beyond extensive – a serious amount of buttons. The winning point for me is the quality (the Peugeot was just plastic and sluggish) the space (huge boot) and the economy – we went from getting 290 miles from a tank in our Honda to 640+ in the Alhambra

Laura Chambers, Herts, September 17th 2013

TDI CR SE Lux [170] 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG48.7 mpg

I love this car. My husband and I have always had Honda cars but alas, when we realised we needed an extra seat for a new baby we were stuck with the choice available. So, we shortlisted down to Peugeot 5008, Hyundai Santa Fe and the Alhambra. Typical really that the most expensive was the best and preferable option! However, we are not disappointed at all. The drive is quiet and smooth - I have never had a diesel and I am amazed at the quietness of the car and also the oomph when you need it – the DSG box is brilliant. We went for the SE Lux 170 DSG and very glad we paid the extra - who wants light grey cloth seats with children anyway. This car screams quality and comfort. It is not too big to park at all - takes some getting used to but that was the width really as I had a Honda estate before and both cars are about the same length. We can get our three huge car seats (2 x Britax duo plus and 1 x maxi cosi cabriofix with isofix platform) all across the back seat - huge amounts of room. When we need to give someone a lift we just move one seat to the rear - there are 5 isofix points – two in the very rear and three along the middle row – and the seats are huge. The equipment you get in the vehicle is beyond extensive – a serious amount of buttons. The winning point for me is the quality (the Peugeot was just plastic and sluggish) the space (huge boot) and the economy – we went from getting 290 miles from a tank in our Honda to 640+ in the Alhambra

Laura Chambers, Herts, September 17th 2013

TDI CR SE Lux [170] 5dr DSG

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG48.7 mpg

our alhambra is a petrol 52 reg with 120k on the clock. it is a great family car for big families and school runs etc. by folding up one back seat, we can fit in 2 small crates for our dogs. a bigger dog would have to sit by the passengers feet. there is good leg room in all seats. not much room for a big load of shopping unless it is put under the passengers feet or the back seats are folded away but luckily tesco deliver...lol. to drive - the car is nippy and very easy to drive, feels light and secure on the road. steering is very light. seats fold up easily when required making the car much more flexible than a standard car. fairly average on the fuel for a 2 ltr car. great family runaround for less than a Β£1k. we are delighted with it and highly recommend it as a mpv.

julia lewis, Select..., April 25th 2013

TDI CR Ecomotive S 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

An update to my previous review. Seat customer services were excellent and the issues with the car have been addressed. On the up, I did a stint of autoroute driving with the curise control set at 130 km/h which allowed me to rest my right foot and get a sense of how the car performed at speed for a prolonged period. After turning down the radio, I was expecting to hear a lot of wind and engine noise but this was missing from the cabin which was pleasant surpirse. The drivers seat was comfortable with a good view of the road and I didn't suffer from any backache which is normally the case in my other car. I had to brake quickly when a car pulled out in front of me and the brakes slowed the car down without causing me any concern. After bliping the throttle I was quickly back up to cruising speed. For an MPV and me now being a daddy driver, i.e. No longer addicted to spinning wheels, holding the gears and taking fast corners, the performace of the car was very good. At the end of the journey, the fuel consumption was 40 mpg, which is a lot different to the urban consumption I have exoerienced previously on the urban runs and this was also good surprise. I have purchased a jack from Seat and I will obtain a spare wheel that I will put in the car when going for long summer trips across Europe. So all in all, I am happy with the car and looking forward to some more long trips and trouble free motoring. In conclusion, I will revise my previous score up.

Joseph Rowley, February 4th 2013

TDI CR Ecomotive S 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG34 mpg

The car was new from November 2012 and has covered 900 miles. Living in France meant that I was able to specify the 4x4 so as you may expect the handling is sure footed and the recent snowy roads haven't impeaded progress. The interior design is standard VW fare, ergonomic and pleasant but given that it is supposed to be an MPV, more easy access storage in the front cabin for all the kids stuff would be nice. The glove box is aptly named and the sunglasses storage will only accomodate a kids pair. On the plus side the rear seats move independantly and the fold flat front passenger seat is very useful for transporting large loads. Now for the gripes! This new family car spews exhaust fumes into the cabin. After 2 months the root cause was found to be a faulty seal between the diesel particulate filter and the engine manifold. We are now waiting for the part to arrive. Oddly, SEAT is aware of the fault but waits for you to report it instead of correcting it at the assembly plant or doing a recall, so if you smell fumes go straight to the dealer, open the bonnet and point at the metal box on the left behind the engine next to the fire wall. I opted for the winter pack with heated front windscreen and this worked well until we had a few nights of -7 degree temps, then 5 horizontal hairline cracks (5-10cm) appeared as if by magic. Also note that you don't get a spare, jack or tyre iron instead you have to rely on self sealing tyres, so be warned! Fuel consumption is 28 mpg overall

Joseph Rowley, January 24th 2013

TDI CR Ecomotive SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG28 mpg

Have had this for about a year, and have towed a caravan both in this country and abroad. A great vehicle, both solo, and in towing when there is never any feel of the tail wagging the dog. Capable up hills when towing, although have to use the gears a bit more than the previous old model Alhambra despite the same power. This one noticeably more frugal on fuel, and this being my 4th Alhambra, the 'goodies' fitted on the new model took some getting used to, but now would not be without.To correct previous review re 'Adblue' the warning of low level comes up over a 1000 miles before its needed, and its quite easy to do it yourself. 8 bottles bought for about Β£40 from any VW/Seat/Audi workshop will fill the tank- full instructions in the handbook. Agree however that it should be included in annual service- mine lasted about 11000 miles including heavy use during towing.

John Brook, DERBYSHIRE, August 23rd 2012

TDI CR Ecomotive SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG40 mpg

I've had this car since September 2011 (company lease) and have covered 23500 miles since then. It averages 42mpg, not the 48-50 the car computer tells me. It is comfortable and spacious for my family and when alone. A good load lugger especially useful for daughters at uni. It has towed my caravan well and had power to spare. A very useful option is the rear view camera along with powered doors. The side doors are quite heavy without it. My main gripe is the AdBlue additive that is required by this engine. It has had to be topped up once and now needs doing again. This has to be done by a dealer, so means going into the garage. Why it is not part of the service schedule I'm not sure. I shall now get it done each time it is serviced. Overall a good car and suits my needs.

Robin Charles Elwyn, Oxon, August 7th 2012

TDI CR Ecomotive SE 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG42 mpg

Update to original review. Had the car for a year 14,000 miles. Very impressed overall. It's no sportscar, but a great family car. Very quiet on the road - almost limo like. Couple of bits of trim have come away, but nothing serious and they are VW parts - will have it fixed when it eventually has first service. SE is a nice trim package with everything you really need - at a reasonable price. Like all new cars doesn't get the MPG it's supposed to, but it's still good for a big car.

Iain Ansell, February 29th 2012

TDI CR Ecomotive S 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG43 mpg

Owned this from new for 3 months. Overall very happy. Practicality could be a tad better. We replaced our 10 year old Galaxy with this. It's a lovely car to look at (for a MPV) and the interior is well made. No rattles & shakes. The seats are comfortable and supportive. The electric adjustment is great. We are a family of six and there's room for everyone. However not as much as our old Galaxy. It's close but the rear most seats are tighter for leg room. It's ok, just not great. The folding seats are superb. No need to lift out heavy chairs. It's quick and simple. They do take up space when folder down however the boot space is still pretty huge. Petrol lawn mower? No problem! Storage isn't ideal. The pockets in the back of the front seats won't fit a normal size road map. The dash box is ok as is the glove box. The under seat pull out boxes are ok although not huge. It's the door storage which is a let down. 2L drinks bottle will go in plus a some stuff but not a lot. Not a deal breaker. Engine pulls really well, cruises on the motorway and is fast enough for most people. We get around 40-45 mpg depending on the run. As expected. The electronic handbrake needs learning although auto-hold really helps. All the toys are present and correct. Cruise works well, climate control is welcome and electric most things. Not cheap but value compared to the competition. Time will tell on servicing costs.

P Andrew, February 27th 2012

TDI CR Ecomotive S 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG41 mpg

One gripe. My right foot gets cold in winter,hot air does not reach it, perhaps because its designed as a Left hand drive and converted for UK use as the passengers feet remain warm !

Michael Wilkinson, Shropshire, October 3rd 2011

TSI S 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG39 mpg

I bought 52 reg with 45000 on clock with full history inc cambelt change from a good dealer on ebay.I drove back 250miles and averaged 50+ mpg!I am planning to use as taxi and will update in a few months how its doing on running costs,reliabilty,etc.This is my 1st 7 seater and am enjoying driving it and all the extras on this model are very useful.So far steering is light and easy to handle,car stays true to the road,controls are all accessible,gearbox is sweet to use esp.being 6 speed,kids love it and their friends!giving easy access in and out of car,plenty of room for allsorts and seat combinations and so far so good.I also think this model looks very good even dare i say sporty and i chose this make after many weeks looking at reviews comparing vw sharon,galaxy,trajet,zafira and other similar mpv's.

kamlesh patel, middx, February 2nd 2009

TDi PD SE 7 Seat 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG47 mpg

I have owned this alhambra for nearly 6 months now. we find it an excellent all round car from going to the tip to pulling our caravan on hoilday, with good quality seats, plastics and a very good engine (130 1.9TD) which does anything from 40/45mpg, co2 of only 173km/g for the size of car we think is good. We had before this a 1.9TD galaxy getting on a bit and had for 3 and half years with not one problem. We like the look of the grand picasso and a dealer had 15 in stock wanting to shift them and offered one to us at a px value which we jumped at, lucky it was, as it was so rubbish to drive. Down the motorway it would not stay stiaght (even after tracking was done twice) and it bounced so much it was funny (we still laugh now when we see one). A month later got money back by px for a quality alhambra, what a difference.

andy shackleton, December 21st 2008

TDi PD Stylance 7 Seat [130 PS] 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG43 mpg

I have a 2000 X-reg and have owned it from new. We have now done some 120,000 miles together, all over the UK and Europe. We have had some recent problems which have now resulted in a new turbo, mass air-flow meter and water sensor, but after almost 8 years of problem-free motoring, you have to expect things will start to go wrong. I also have to say that it now drives like a new car again following this work. Other costs have been minimal. I get around 28-30,000 miles from a set of tyres (might just be my driving!) and have only had one set of brake pads in this time as well, although they are due for replacement shortly. I had to have a new back section of the exhaust last October for its MoT but at seven years old, I can acccept that. I do have another niggle to sort with the electric windows, but to me the car is worth spending the money on. It still looks good and I don't think I could find another car that I love driving so much. It handles really well, its sports suspension is still great and, believe me, I drive it! I would recommend it to anyone looking for something in the large MPV bracket.

Noreen Ayling, West Sussex, May 19th 2008

TDi PD SE 7 Seat 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have owned this car for eight years from new. It's an excellent family car but 90bhp is underpowered. Things that have gone wrong are the accelerator pedal module, which failed at 46,000 miles, and the air-flow sensor at 60,000 miles. Other than that, it's just been brake pads every 30,000 miles and tyres. The speaker grills in the doors are poorly constructed and all broken. Apart from these few faults, the car has been great. If you buy one, go for the 115bhp version!

Steve Watson, Co. Wicklow, April 17th 2008

TDi S 7 seat 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Had this car since 2003 now done 90000 miles and absolutely no problems, except front electric window once dropped. Get 40 mpg and its very comfortable to drive, especially over long distances like from bottom of France. Love all of the extras like heated seats, sports suspension and cruise control which others make you pay for. Am selling it now and choosing between another Alhambra or an S Max.

Matthew Last, Cambridgeshire, October 28th 2007

TDi PD SE 7 Seat 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I just picked up my third Alhambra, an ex-demonstrator. I started with the 90bhp TDI about eight years ago, then swapped it for a 115bhp version five years ago, and still see my original one being driven as a taxi locally. I tow a moderate-size caravan, which the 115bhp handled with ease - the 90bhp struggled a bit on long hills. I'm looking forward to testing the 140bhp in a few days' time, having got 2000 miles on the clock. The car is full of goodies, is very easy to drive, and comfortable on long runs. I agree with a previous review that at 40,000 miles things may start to fail - I had the air-conditioning renewed at 35,000 miles, and some steering bits needed earlier renewal. However, I only do about 8000 miles a year, so it's not a major problem. Overall, it's an excellent MPV.

John Brook, DERBYSHIRE, September 17th 2007

TDi PD Stylance 7 Seat 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I am now at the end of my second 3 year lease of an Alhambra. The car is a fantastic combination of car, people carrier and van, although removing the seats can be awkward and heavy. My first Y reg I drove from new. By the time I had hit 40,000 miles things started to fail - rear springs broke, and the air conditioning failed (results in the on board trip computer reverting to kilometres). Despite small annoyances I stayed with the Alhambra second time around and have an 04 reg. No problems until around 40k miles the air con failed .About 50k front rotors needed replacing and rear side lights were filling up with Last heartache was at 60k mile and the turbo blew, which totally immobilises you in the middle of nowhere. Overall I have been happy with the function of the car, and if their design was less dated than it is now, then I may have considered a third Alhambra. However, when buying used be very wary of high mileage vehicles unless you see service history showing work carried out on air conditioning and timing belts renewed – if no evidence then stay clear or get a better price as neither of these repairs are cheap. Ford has now given Galaxy its own design, and I have been told a β€œnew look” Alhambra is in the plan, therefore new current models are dated, and loosing their price competitiveness. As a versatile work horse, comfortable people carrier, and part time work horse this vehicle is in a class of its own, but buying used just be very cautious of high milers

Lex Jarvie, Aberdeenshire, September 1st 2007

TDi PD SE 7 Seat [130 PS] 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg