What is it?
Just for a moment, ignore the fact that this is a VW Sharan clone. The new Seat Alhambra is a very welcome replacement to the likeable but antique current model, and it comes to the UK market with three engine options – a 2.0 turbodiesel in 138 and 168bhp tune, and the entry-level 148bhp 1.4 twincharged petrol motor that we’re testing here. All are available with DSG autos, but our car comes with a six-speed manual.
What’s it like?
Step inside and you get a driving position that feels closer to hatchback than van and dynamics that live up to that impression, too. It drives exactly like a big hatchback, or to be precise it drives like a 4.85-metre long VW Golf.
Which is no bad thing. The steering is accurate and well weighted, if a little short on sensation; body roll is restrained and even driven with gusto it feels composed.
The 1.4 TSI and manual ’box proves to be a sweet powertrain, too. It won’t sell in big numbers, but given its lower list price, more pliant ride quality and excellent engine refinement it could make the better option over the diesel if the primary task is a short daily school run.