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SEAT Alhambra (2010 - )

Last updated 27 January 2017

 
4

What's good

Sliding side doors as standard.

Very spacious with a good quality interior.

Frugal and low CO2 TDI engines.

Sister car to the new Volkswagen Sharan but better value.

5-Star Euro NCAP rating: 96% Adult Protection; 80% Child Protection; 46% Pedestrian Protection; 71% Safety Assist. (96% is an excellent score in the most important category.)

What to watch out for

Potential problems with 1.4 TSI petrol engine.

RHD Alhambra leaves a triangular smear patch on the windscreen where the LH and RH wipers don't meet.

16-7-2012: Diesel DPFs require Adblue and some dealers charge an unreasonable amount for this. Can be obtained from around 25% of fuel service stations much more cheaply. (Normally £16 for 10 litres.)

8-9-2012: Engine of 33k mile 2010 (less than 3 years old) Sharan 2.0 TDI (same as Alhambra) became noisy. Swarf found in engine oil. Engine replaced under warranty.

28-12-2013: Complaint that Alhambra 2.0 TDI 140 ran out of Adblue on a long journey and that instructions for replenishing it were far from clear.

22-10-2014: Dual Mass Flywheel of 2010/60 reg SEAT Alhambra 2.0 TDI failed at 35k miles. SEAT dealer blamed Tunit ECU reprogramming for having increased the torque that the DMF had to absorb.

8-10-2016: Complaint of water ingress to December 2012 SEAT Alhambra fitted with a sunroof. Turned out that the sunroof drain pipes has become blocked with debris from a tree that the car had been parked under. Warning here is that if you regularly park an Alhambra with a sunroof under a tree you need to regularly get the sunroof drain pipes cleared with an airline.

21-1-2017: Report from Switzerland of AdBlue heater of 2012 VW Sharan (same as Alhambra) EA189 2.0TDI 140 4motion failing at 47,000 kilometres and costing £700 to replace. VW Switzerland refused to contribute, but gave a £250 voucher for future servicing. Further investigation revealed that this has been a big problem in the USA. According to 'The Truth About Cars': "Owners of some Volkswagen TDI models are experiencing premature selective catalyst reduction (SCR) failures because of AdBlue heaters that, in some cases, aren’t lasting more than 50,000 miles. According to a source who spoke to TTAC under the condition of anonymity, many Volkswagen TDI owners are arriving at dealerships after seeing check engine lights for failing AdBlue (diesel emissions fluid) heaters. Those heaters, explained the source, fail “based more on time than mileage” and cost over $1,000 to replace. The cost of the parts and labor is a slap to the face for many TDI owners, as SCR systems in those cars are not scrubbing the required amount of NOx from diesel exhaust even when the AdBlue heaters are operating properly. The AdBlue heater in question is covered under warranty for up to 36,000 miles or 3 years, whichever comes first. However, many of the failures are happening just outside of that warranty window, at around 50,000 miles or 4 years of ownership. With the increased focus on Volkswagen’s diesel emissions, many have taken to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s complaints website to explain their issues and voice their displeasure with how Volkswagen is handling the issue."

27-1-2017: Report of problems with AdBlue sustem of migh mileage (127,000 mile) 2014 SEAT Alhambra. Adblue warning light coming on regularly. Each time a warning said fill before 600 miles owner filled it. Even though it was completely full he got an orange warning light which he believed is the one before the red when the car will not start. So he took my car to a SEAT franchise where they initially said he needed a new pump system.With labour that was going to cost £2,500. However they carried out more diagnostic tests and sent the details to SEAT technical department. As a result they told owner it was his fault (despite warning light) because he filled the system too regularly and the Adblue has crystallised meaning that the car needs to have a new NOx sensor fitted at a total cost of £1,350. This work has now been carried out. At no time would SEAT's customer care department allow him to speak with anyone in its technical department. The SEAT dealer did not seem to know anything about the AdBlue system.

Recalls

7-5-2012: SEAT Alhambra. Seems to be a TSB over the electrics of the Alhambra's Sharan sister, a fault in which is holding up the production of looms for towbars.

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Owners' Reviews

4

Very practical and feels solid but the 2.0TDi engine is noisy

On 2 November 2014
4

Almost flawless.

On 22 August 2011
5

So much better than the old one, and that was brilliant too!

On 24 March 2011
 

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