The Seat Alhambra has been a successful model for Seat. The outgoing version sold well over its 14-year lifespan and much of its appeal lay in being a cheaper version of the Volkswagen Sharan.

This latest model is likely to maintain that draw, given that once again it is based on the VW Sharan (like the first model, the new car is produced at the same factory as the Sharan in Palmela, Portugal) but offers a better specification and is substantially cheaper. It also has a range of frugal engines and stop-start as standard.

At the top of the range is a 168bhp 2.0 TDI SE Lux model, complete with six-speed DSG gearbox. Three other engines are available – a 138bhp version of the same common-rail 2.0-litre turbodiesel (likely to be the volume seller), a 148bhp 1.4 TSI petrol motor and a 114bhp 2.0TDI Ecomotive, tuned for economy over performance. All come as standard with a six-speed manual ’box but can be mated to the DSG gearbox. 

In this class, Ford moved the parameters with the Galaxy and S-Max when it proved that a car can be utilitarian without sacrificing desirability and fun. These cars are the benchmark, so now Seat must prove that it can compete.

Top 5 MPVs

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Seat range

Driven this week

  • BMW M240i
    First Drive
    26 October 2016
    More power, more speed, more noise: BMW's revamped and renamed performance coupé is sweeter than ever
  • Volkswagen Up High 1.0 TSI
    First Drive
    26 October 2016
    A new turbocharged three-pot injects some fun into VW's slick city car and makes it a more rounded package
  • 2017 Vauxhall Insignia prototype first drive
    First Drive
    25 October 2016
    We review the next-generation Vauxhall Insignia and find that, while still disguised and giving little away about its appearance, it's encouragingly good to drive
  • 2016 Ford Kuga ST-Line 1.5 Ecoboost 182
    First Drive
    25 October 2016
    The Kuga ST-Line is enjoyable to drive, but this version of the 1.5-litre Ecoboost engine doesn't suit Ford's SUV
  • Car review
    21 October 2016
    Can Seat’s first SUV impress, even with the heavy burden of expectation?