After three months and 1,600 miles the Alhambra is on its way back to Seat. Its place on the Fleet News long-term fleet will be taken by Seat’s newest launch, the Ateca, so watch this space.
During my time with the Alhambra I have grown to appreciate its usefulness and its practical design but I haven’t become attached to the people carrier.
The powered, sliding rear doors and tailgate are a worthwhile £1,020 optional extra, making tight car parking spaces much more manageable in such a big car (4,854mm long x 1,904mm wide, almost the same as a Volkswagen Transporter). The doors can be operated from the key fob, the doors themselves or from the cabin. You can even open the sliding side doors and the tailgate from the dashboard. Just be sure you have enough clearance behind the car before pushing the boot release button.
The 2.0-litre engine gives an enjoyable performance with a good turn of speed for overtaking. It is quiet and refined at motorway speeds and the car as a whole is a pleasant and comfortable place to be, even on long journeys. Ample legroom for all and separate climate controls for rear passengers make travelling in the back more comfortable. There are also plenty of storage compartments including under the seats and in the floor, although it’s worth noting that the roof storage in our Alhambra is a £130 optional extra.
Aside from the disappointing fuel economy I have mentioned in previous reviews (around 38-40mpg) there have only been minor niggles.
After reversing, the rear view camera remains active for a long period, more often than not needing to be turned off and the parking sensors occasionally spring into life when there is nothing close to the car. You can also drive off with the sliding doors open without getting an audible warning, which I found surprising. But these are small niggles in an otherwise well-built and reliable car.