Under the skin the Seat Alhambra is essentially the same car as the Volkswagen Sharan, but it costs less to buy. No wonder What Car? made the Alhambra its MPV of the Year 2011.
There’s lots of room inside for up to seven passengers. The middle row of seats can be slid forward on runners, so those in the third row can still enjoy reasonable legroom.
With all seven seats upright there’s enough luggage space for a quick supermarket run, although if seven of you are on holiday you’ll need a roof box. With the rear seats folded away there’s plenty of luggage room. That scored brownie points with our practicality judge, as did the healthy 100kg noseweight limit.
It’s not just the Alhambra’s space that makes it a comfortable family car. The suspension does a fine job of soaking up bumpy roads, and even at motorway speeds the cabin is hushed.
As a tow car, however, we have the same reservations about the Alhambra as the Sharan. The 2.0-litre diesel pulls cleanly from low revs but is short of poke for towing. The brakes felt mushy, and needed 12 metres to stop car and caravan from 30mph. However, the Sharan is stable, needing steering corrections only in a stiff breeze.