As with most other SEAT models Fleet News has tested, our long term SEAT Alhambra 1.9TDi PD 115 SE boasts a grand array of standard goodies including climate control, ABS, four airbags, electric windows including rear quarter lights, five removable rear seats and a leather steering wheel – all at an extremely competitive price.
Since there were only four adults and my one-year-old nephew going on the trip, I removed the two rear seats. I had been warned this could be tricky as they are heavy and awkward to lift, but it couldn't have been easier. Once they were removed, the luggage space was cavernous with ample room for a travel cot, buggy and cases.
I could have been dwarfed by the size of the Alhambra but the height adjustable seats rescued me from the 'driverless car' syndrome, providing an excellent all round view – particularly useful when driving on the right in France in a right-hand drive vehicle.
Despite its size, the SEAT is a doddle to drive and handles well, even when negotiating the tightest of parking spots on a cross channel ferry. The 1.9TDI 115bhp direct injection diesel engine provides plenty of power even when the Alhambra is fully laden, making it perfect for motorway cruising. The six-speed gearbox helped achieve maximum economy – in fact the fuel seemed to last forever compared to the thirsty petrol cars I've driven over the last few months.
The only negative comment during the whole trip was that the rear seats could have been a little more comfortable for the adults. I'd recommend an Alhambra to any company car driver with a family. It proved to be the perfect vehicle for my trip and I was sorry to see it go to another one of our team.