Seat Alhambra TSI

Price £22,330
Top speed 122 mph 0-60mph 10.7 seconds
Consumption 39.2 mpg
CO2 emissions 167g/km
Best for Magnificent seating for seven
Also worth considering? Ford Galaxy, Ford S-Max, Volkswagen Sharan

Volkswagen isn't just VW. It's Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley and more than half a dozen other automotive brands as well. What's the point of bringing them all together under one roof? It's all to do with something called platform-sharing; produce as many outwardly different models as possible that are as similar as possible under the skin, and you can reap enormous economies of scale.

In such a system, it stands to reason that the value brands – in this context that's Skoda and Seat – will give you access to all that shared technology at the best price. But while Skoda quickly found its niche under VW ownership, Seat initially found it harder to develop its own clear identity – perhaps because the Spanish company didn't really have much of a design tradition of its own to draw upon for inspiration, as it had previously produced models licensed from Fiat.

More recently, though, Seat has started to hit its stride. The current Golf-sized Leon and smaller Ibiza are stylish numbers that look good enough to fit right in on the streets of the company's achingly cool home city, Barcelona, and now there is another strong addition to Seat's range, the second-generation Alhambra people carrier. This is a close sister to the new VW Sharan, which means that Seat has had less scope to do its own distinctive thing as far as its looks are concerned, but there are few other causes for complaint.

The Alhambra's best feature is its very roomy seven-person cabin, and in particular the third row of seats, which, unusually, is comfortable and easily accessible for adults, rather than being a mere token affair. Big sliding rear side doors will be a boon for families as well.

There are three engine options; smooth 2.0-litre diesels with a choice of 140 or 170 horsepower, and an interesting 1.4-litre petrol, badged TSI, which uses a turbocharger and a mechanically driven supercharger – a set-up known as "twincharging" – to produce 150 horsepower. Don't worry about whether such a small engine is up to the job; it is.

Overall, the Alhambra is easily good enough to mix it with Ford's S-Max and Galaxy, which have so far been considered the top MPVs in this size bracket; drivers are perhaps slightly better served by the Fords, passengers get a better deal in the Seat. Which leaves just one other question; Sharan or Alhambra? Keener pricing and a richer equipment list just give the Seat the edge.

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

    £13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

    £18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

    Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

    £20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
    Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

    Flesh in Venice

    Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
    Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

    Juventus vs Real Madrid

    Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
    Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

    Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

    Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power