There’s little to criticise the Seat Alhambra for, other than its blandness. It certainly isn’t in any way unpleasant to drive or spend time in. More comfortable front seats should be a priority for the facelift, but the ride comfort and superb refinement make it very Golf-like to drive – the simplicity of its controls will appeal to many, even if the interior style comes across as a little dull. You can’t criticise the quality, though.

More than that, in places it does it better than any of its rivals. Its flexible seating system is as good as, if not better than, any other on the market. The seats are easy to fold, there’s above average space in all of them and access to the back is better than that in a Ford S-Max or Galaxy thanks to the wide-opening sliding doors.

Matt Prior

Road test editor
For the facelift Seat should give the driver’s seat more lateral support and make it feel more fun to drive

Every Alhambra model represents very competitive value – the S model is well equipped for an entry-level car with alloys, Bluetooth and parking sensors standard. Top-spec SE Lux models come luxuriously appointed. 

It is a thoroughly modern, near faultlessly capable MPV then. But it has been proved that a car can carry many people in comfort and yet also offer an involving drive. Most, if not all, buyers won’t care that this Seat doesn’t manage that.

But we do, and so the Alhambra falls just short of the Ford S-Max’s all-round appeal.

Top 5 MPVs

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Seat range

Driven this week

  • 2016 Hyundai I30 1.4 Turbo prototype
    First Drive
    30 August 2016
    We get early access to the third-generation Hyundai i30 1.4 Turbo. Does this prototype show promise?
  • Citroën C4 Grand Picasso
    First Drive
    26 August 2016
    The Citroën Grand C4 Picasso gets tweaked styling, improved tech and new personalisation options to keep it ahead of rivals
  • Car review
    26 August 2016
    Wolfsburg celebrates the GTI’s 40th with its most extreme version yet
  • Kia Optima Sportwagon
    First Drive
    25 August 2016
    New Kia estate looks the part, has good space and handles tidily, but its engine's flexibility and refinement let it down
  •  Kia Optima PHEV
    First Drive
    25 August 2016
    Plug-in hybrid Optima is a practical, tax-efficient PHEV that undercuts rivals and fulfils its main remit well, but keen drivers need not apply