What's the used Seat Alhambra MPV like?
It’s fair to say the Seat Alhambra has been one of the Spanish firm’s big success stories, consistently selling well over a long career that can be traced all the way back to 1996.
This is the second-generation version and, like the first, it shares a lot of its underpinnings with the near-identical but more expensive Volkswagen Sharan. The Alhambra wason sale from 2011 to 2020, and in that time it proved itself a large and capacious MPV that’s decent to drive with room for seven, as well as a wonderfully practical interior and boot.
On the equipment front, there were originally five trim levels to choose from: S, SE, Connect, SE Lux and FR Line, later whittled down to just SE, SE L and Xcellence. Entry-level Alhambras come with 16in alloy wheels, heated door mirrors, sliding rear doors and parking sensors, while inside there is three-zone climate control, electric windows all round and a 6.5in touchscreen infotainment system complete with Bluetooth streaming.
Upgrading to SE got you a few more luxuries, including 17in alloy wheels, tinted rear windows, front foglights, cruise control and automatic wipers and lights, while Connect models gained features such as sill plates, blue cloth upholstery, run-flat tyres and smartphone integration.
SE Lux trim adorns the seven-seater with electrically opening rear doors and tailgate, a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, heated front sports seats, sports suspension, sat-nav, a DAB radio and a reversing camera. FR Line gains sporty details including bigger alloy wheels, an aggressive bodykit, FR decals and Alcantara upholstery. On later models, the top-spec trims were replaced by Style Advanced and Xcellence.
On the road, the Alhambra belies its size. Even the 1.4 petrol's performance is more than sufficient and is the smoothest and most refined option. The 2.0 TDI 150 has more low-down grunt and is reasonably refined, while the 2.0 TDI 184 is positively swift, easily able to haul around a fully loaded Alhambra.
Make no mistake, the Alhambra is an MPV, and a large one at that. But within that class, it’s one of the best to drive. The steering is eager, there’s plenty of grip and the handling is safe, secure and, if not downright fun, at least much better than you’d expect.