Whilst probably not the most common MPV on the road, the Seat Alhambra really should be. I really can't see why you would buy any other MPV after having one of these for a few months. For the school run it's great - it will seat up to seven (not including roof rack) in comfort (although getting into the back seats can be a bit of a challenge for the infirm or elderly). With the back two seats taken out and the luggage cover installed, it becomes a good sized five seater, with huge boot space for shopping, pushchairs, sports kit, uncle tom cobley and all. If you really need to short some gear you can remove the second row of seats as well to allow you to resemble an aircraft carrier storage deck ! Performance from the 1.8T 20v Engine (150bhp) is prompt (it gives a few people a surprise) but not sports-car like. The sports suspension decreases the roll in corners but lets face facts, this isn't intended to be a sports-car. You can however bomb along quite nicely in it and make good progress in comfort. Equipment levels are very good with "luxury" items on the SE spec you would be hard pushed to find on others (or would be cost options) such as:- Climate Control, Heated Windscreen, Autodimming rear view mirror, Trip computer, Headlamp wash, Alloy wheels, Sports Suspension, Driver and Front passenger central armrest, rotating front seats (manual only), Electric rear quater vents (as well as full electric windows front and rear) and Tinted Windows for the rear windows (those behind the driver's). The automatic has a Tiptronic function so you can go easy or play with the gears yourself. Spare is a full-size alloy, securely fastened under the rear of the car. Two power outlets in the boot (why two?) provide power for any coolboxes etc. you take with you... Trim levels are good, with the interior looking more akin to an Audi than what you might expect. Storage cupboards and cubbyhol
es abound, plus pop-out drinks holders, ashtrays etc. Two handy storage bins on the top of the dash are well-fitted in and useful for gloves, pens, sweets, change etc. without filling the glove box up! Weaknesses? Odd things like the owner's manual doesn't seem to conveniently fit anywhere - its too big for the glovebox and most storage bins, so it usually ends up in one of the door pockets. Also an option for a sunroof would be nice and a few other options (e.g. SatNav for finding your way). Fuel economy on the 20VT isn't that clever (around 20MPG round town) and the fuel tank seems to empty remarkably quickly, plus it has one of those annoying non-linear fuel gauges (you know - full for ages then suddenly empty!), the 1.9TDi (PD) is a much more economical beast, although it loses some performance compared with the 20VT. Unfortunately I have not tried the 2.8V6 Sport model yet, but imagine that is more fun still, but would like to see a 2.8V6 Four wheel drive model in the range for improved poor weather handling. Safety is good with Airbags, ABS, EBD etc. But with quite a heavy body and a reasonable engine it is fairly easy to spin the front wheels in icy or very rainy conditions when making a rapid getaway at junctions etc. Traction Control (which I believe is on the 2.8V6 model would be a useful addition). Overall - easily the best MPV I've driven. Highly recommended.