SEAT Alhambra 2.0TDI 150PS review
This is the third generation of SEAT’s version of the Volkswagen Sharan sharing much with its Volkswagen Group cousin except for price with a P11D value pegged at just under £1,000 cheaper than the German marque’s MPV.
And it’s the value offering of the SEAT that is the real story although, that said, there is a raft of standard features to enjoy on the Spanish people carrier above and beyond the expected UK best seller’s 2.0-litre TDI powered model.
Exterior changes have been limited to a subtle face-lift but the interior is noticeably improved and offers company car drivers who mix a hectic family life with pop-up presentation carrying potential for the working week.
What is it?
A spacious seven-seat people carrier with versatile passenger and luggage accommodation greatly enhanced with easy access via the powered sliding side doors.
- Smart looking car enhanced by LED rear lights, classy new front grille, black gloss B-pillars and new alloy wheel designs.
- Revised interior features new materials, moulding and upholstery including the option of Alcantara with heated front seats at £750 extra.
- Addition of ‘premium’ like adaptive chassis control offering Normal, Comfort and Sport settings to alter drive to suit speed and road conditions.
- Technology suite includes full MirrorLink connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to cover all smartphones plugged in by USB. Also SEAT CONNECTApp allows hook-up with wearable smart watches or bracelets and enables biometric tracking, picture viewer, My Gesture control and Voice Reply converts speech into written texts and emails.
- The 2.0 TDI 150PS tested boasts fuel economy of a claimed 56.5mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 130g/km, the BIK tax rating for such a large vehicle is only 24%.
- Married to a slick manual six-speed gearbox, the Alhambra manages decent performance of 126mph top speed and a 0-62mph in 10.2 seconds.
- A decent array of advanced driver assist systems include: multi-collision brake where if the driver doesn’t respond to an accident, it initiates automatic braking to avoid a secondary collision; Blind-Spot Sensor; Parking Assist function warns drivers of vehicles approaching from the side when reversing out of a parking spot; plus Park Steering Assist.
- Naturally, interior accommodation and versatility is impressive with space for up to seven people and all seats in the second row can be equipped with integrated children seats. Second and third row can be folded away completely to create a load volume of up to 2,430 litres.
- Despite the adaptive chassis control, the big MPV is still no ‘driver’s’ car and gives little reward for trying to hustle it round bends at pace. But then again, your passengers wouldn’t be overly pleased either
- Very little to distinguish itself from its bigger brand cousin, the VW Sharan and its £1,000 P11D saving on the Sharan will soon be lost versus the German’s high residual value estimates.
Verdict on the SEAT Alhambra 2.0TDI 150PS
A worthy contender in the MPV market but it’s hard to see the Spanish company’s version taking many sales away from the VW master brand on this type of vehicle.
The SEAT Alhambra has always played the value card well, but the price differential on this new model needs to be bigger to really make its mark on the forecourts and into the small fleets of small businesses and SME firms. So worth holding on until the discounts start being applied and see what the contract hire leasing deals are like.
The Low Down on the SEAT Alhambra 2.0TDI 150PS…
|Doors and body style||5 door MPV|
|Engine/gearbox:||2.0-litre 4-cyl turbocharged petrol/6-speed manual|
…and what it costs
|Monthly business rental (ex VAT)||From £xxx (3yrs/30,000 miles)|
|Road tax (VED)||£0|
|Company Car Tax Bands 2015/16 to 2017/18||24%, 23%, 25%|
|Benefit in kind 2015/16 to 2017/18||£6,413, £6,146, £6,680|
|Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (20%)||£1,061/£88|
|Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (40%)||£2,122/£177|
|Annual/monthly company car tax (20%)||£1,283/£107|
|Annual/monthly company car tax (40%)||£2,565/£214|
|Figures correct at time of posting||13.07.2015|
|For latest figures||Use our company car tax calculator|