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 Sharan (like the first model, the new car is produced at the same factory 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 181bhp 2.0 TDI FR Line model, complete with six-speed DSG gearbox. Two other engines are available – a 148bhp version of the same common-rail 2.0-litre turbodiesel, tuned for economy over performance (likely to be the volume seller) and a 148bhp 1.4 TSI petrol motor. 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

  • MX-5 RF 2.0 160
    First Drive
    17 January 2017
    The distinctive 'retractable fastback' roadster promises typical MX-5 dynamics coupled with better refinement. It achieves the former, but the latter isn't quite there yet
  • Hyundai i30 1.4 T-GDi Premium
    First Drive
    17 January 2017
    Facing increasingly formidable opposition, the Hyundai i30 has been overhauled for 2017. The result is a recognisably mixed bag
  • 2016 Infiniti Q50 Country Road
    First Drive
    12 January 2017
    Infiniti’s premium mid-sized saloon packs a serious punch, but lacks the dynamic prowess of European rivals
  • Nissan Micra Tekna IG-T
    First Drive
    10 January 2017
    Not quite a class-leading return to form, but a more stylish and tech-savvy kind of Micra than we’ve ever known – and an encouraging one to drive
  • Infiniti Q60 2.0t Premium Tech
    First Drive
    9 January 2017
    Infiniti’s entry-level mid-sized coupé has the looks to do well, but little of the substance to go with them