Seat’s only MPV is removed from price lists but its Volkswagen counterpart will continue for a short period
27 March 2020

The long-serving Alhambra MPV will go off sale at the end of this month after a decade in showrooms, Seat has confirmed.

The Ford Galaxy rival has been produced at the Volkswagen Group's AutoEuropa plant in Portugal since the first generation was launched in 1995. It was produced alongside the near-identical Volkswagen Sharan for the same period.

The Alhambra remains in production for non-UK markets, although it's likely this is only for the short term. Autocar understands Volkswagen will also continue producing the Sharan for a limited period once production restarts after the coronavirus pandemic. That car will only remain on sale until the end of 2020, however. 

Seat issued a statement on the Alhambra's end of UK sale, saying it is "reviewing the suitability of older models to ensure we’re fit and sustainable for the future." 

'As part of this strategy we’re focusing on new and electric models such as the Seat Leon plug-in hybrid and Cupra Formentor plug-in hybrid crossover coupé and will be removing older vehicles from sale with newer, cleaner models to replace them in the future.”

The large MPV market has long suffered at the hands of SUVs, with a growing number of seven-seat options available including Seat's own Tarraco. However, the space and versatility the Alhambra offered meant there were enough sales from large families, fleets and private hire companies to sustain it until now.

Nearly half a million examples have found homes over the years.

A direct replacement for the Alhambra and Sharan isn't currently on the cards, with the Volkswagen Group looking to novel designs such as the electric Volkswagen ID Buzz to carry the torch for MPVs.

Our Verdict

Seat Alhambra

The Seat Alhambra refined and extremely competent seven seat MPV, but it is short on flair

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Comments
9

27 March 2020
We owned a Sharan for 3years and I can honestly say it was the most comfortable and spacious car we ever owned . SUVs never appear to have the same amount of space inside .

27 March 2020

Small wheels, big windows, non aggressive design. SEAT probably feel embarrassed by the Alhambra these days as it doesn't fit their self image, but it's served many people well.

27 March 2020

I sometimes wonder if the rise in SUV sales isn't overstated by those who have a vested interest in their increased profit margins (manufacturers and car journalists alike). The top 10 best selling cars in Europe for February 2020 (i.e. before corona virus disruptions) featured no SUVs.

27 March 2020
Jeremy wrote:

I sometimes wonder if the rise in SUV sales isn't overstated by those who have a vested interest in their increased profit margins (manufacturers and car journalists alike). The top 10 best selling cars in Europe for February 2020 (i.e. before corona virus disruptions) featured no SUVs.

And in my local area, I don't think there are any SUVs run by taxi drivers, despite us being told how superbly practical they are, easy to load, and apparently ideally suited to poor urban roads with their increased suspension travel.

27 March 2020
Jeremy wrote:

I sometimes wonder if the rise in SUV sales isn't overstated by those who have a vested interest in their increased profit margins (manufacturers and car journalists alike). The top 10 best selling cars in Europe for February 2020 (i.e. before corona virus disruptions) featured no SUVs.

 

Top 10 best sellers in the UK includes Qashquai, Grandland X and Sportage - 3 SUVs. The Europeans are perhaps less status conscious and more sensible than us.

28 March 2020
scrap wrote:

Jeremy wrote:

I sometimes wonder if the rise in SUV sales isn't overstated by those who have a vested interest in their increased profit margins (manufacturers and car journalists alike). The top 10 best selling cars in Europe for February 2020 (i.e. before corona virus disruptions) featured no SUVs.

 

Top 10 best sellers in the UK includes Qashquai, Grandland X and Sportage - 3 SUVs. The Europeans are perhaps less status conscious and more sensible than us.

Perhaps, but I'd prefer a good looking estate to any MPV. The only good one is the stunning Renault Scenic, but I suspect they're not selling.

What I do like about SUVs is that you don't have to negotiate steep parking lots etc. In fact I made a mistake with my sister in laws car the other day, forgetting I was driving a normal car.

27 March 2020

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27 March 2020

Seat has been positioned as a sporty brand for some time.Skoda is more about no nonsense practicality. Surely a big seven seat MPV ought to have been badged as a Skoda? 

28 March 2020
Ad99 wrote:

Seat has been positioned as a sporty brand for some time.Skoda is more about no nonsense practicality. Surely a big seven seat MPV ought to have been badged as a Skoda? 

No, unless it's a Renault Scenic or Espace, seven seat MPVs should be considered a crime against humanity.

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