SEAT Alhambra (2010 – 2020) Review
SEAT Alhambra (2010 – 2020) At A Glance
The SEAT Alhambra was in production from 2010 until 2020, during which time it cemented a reputation for being one of the best seven-seat MPVs you can buy. It shares much in common with the Volkswagen Sharan, but a more affordable price and arguably nicer styling give the Alhambra an edge over its German sibling. Today, although you can’t buy a new SEAT Alhambra, there are plenty to choose from on the used car market. Take a closer look – this could make more sense than the seven-seat SUV you were considering.
The SEAT Alhambra is one of the best seven-seat MPVs you can buy. But that’s not enough in 2020. Today’s families prefer the chunky looks, low running costs and high driving position offered by the glut of crossovers and SUVs.
But what if we told you that the SEAT Alhambra is just as cheap to run, offered the same commanding driving position and is infinitely more practical than the majority of SUVs on sale today? Would you be prepared to look beyond the slightly drab styling?
Make no mistake, the SEAT Alhambra is an excellent family car. It shares its platform, running gear and sombre styling with the Volkswagen Sharan and is one of a decreasing number of seven-seat MPVs on sale today. Indeed, the Alhambra was axed from the SEAT range in 2020, with the company hoping you’ll buy the stylish yet less practical Tarraco SUV.
The major difference between the Alhambra and the Tarraco – aside from the styling – lies in the back. While the Tarraco is an excellent ‘5+2’ SUV, the Alhambra is a genuine seven-seater. Not five seats and a couple of cheap seats in the back. Seven seats that are suitable for adults.
It’s even practical with all seven seats in use. There’s enough boot space to rival a small supermini, and the passengers in the third row aren’t pressed against the tailgate. Fold away the rear seats and you’ve got an estate car-conquering 658 litres of luggage space, which extends to 2,297 litres if you convert your Alhambra into a two-seater.
The sliding rear doors, which are electric on all except the base model, provide excellent access to the back. Predictably, there are plenty of storage boxes and pockets throughout the cabin, including hidden boxes below the floor. There are even a pair of cupholders, a storage compartment, air vents and roof-mounted lights in the third row.
So far, so good. You might be wondering if the SEAT Alhambra has any vices. It does, but not as many as you might think. Because it dates back to 2010, the Alhambra doesn’t boast the suite of driver assistance systems and connectivity tech that we take for granted in 2020. The infotainment system is a generation or two behind other units.
As an ownership prospect, it’s not the last word in excitement. Practicality, flexibility and ease of use are the Alhambra’s greatest strengths. That said, because it’s based on a car platform and not a commercial vehicle, it’s actually pretty decent to drive. Exciting, no. Decent, yes.
All models are well-equipped, but we’d recommend one with electric sliding doors. We’d also suggest opting for the 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine, especially if you intend to travel ‘seven-up’ on a regular basis. If you can stretch to a facelift model, introduced in October 2015, even better. You’ll enjoy an improved cabin, enhanced safety equipment, an updated infotainment system and better fuel economy.
You might want to own a SEAT Alhambra, but if you’re a new parent and fancy a car that will see your children through to university, this might be one of the shrewdest purchases you could make.
Looking for a second opinon? Read heycar's SEAT Alhambra review.