herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Seat Alhambra is so large and clever it'll take the garden shed and its contents

Seat Alhambra
Seat Alhambra

The SEAT Alhambra has shed-loads of space - literally.

Yes, just last week I managed to fit an 8ft x 6ft Barna shed complete with a folded apex roof into the rear and still had room left over for the contents.

Hard to believe, I know, but as you can see by the picture, it is indeed possible.

That's down to some very clever engineering from the Spanish car giant.

Built on the same platform as the VW Sharan, the Alhambra sits at almost 3 metres long and 2 metres wide - hence its astounding load-lugging capacity.

In full seven-seater mode the boot is capable of taking 267 litres (or about a weekly shop), but drop seats in row two and there's an impressive 1,167 litres.

Go for the Full Monty, sink all the pews and there is a cavernous 2,297 litres. For that extra push the passenger seat even folds down to accommodate awkwardly long objects like a telegraph pole.

A clever system which ensures all the seats fold flat, a low loading lip at the rear coupled with sliding doors with massive apertures on both sides made loading and unloading anything from the aforementioned cargo to a clatter of kids a doddle.

But there is much more to this MPV than mere space.

It pretty much is the whole package when it comes to a family bus - ticking all the right boxes for comfort, practicality, driveability and, above all, economy.

While it doesn't quite match the S-Max on the drive front, the Alhambra won't be beaten on practicality.

All seven seats can be independently adjusted - sliding back and forth and tilting up and forward to access the last row.

Seats six and seven are a little snug but certainly better than many rivals that only offer room for small children.

The cabin is roomy, comfortable and has oceans of storage space and cubby holes including a very smart sliding rail/net combo for securing loose items in the boot.

It comes loaded with spec including 17-inch alloys, cruise control, climate control, fog lamps with cornering function, Bluetooth, hill hold, tyre pressure alert, privacy glass, parking sensors, roof rails and touchscreen multi-media display.

Thanks to stop/start technology (as standard) the 2.0l diesel generates a decent 140bhp while returning a very frugal 50mpg (5.7l/100km) and road tax of €390.

The slightly higher tax attracted by the DSG automatic gearbox will be well worth the extra outlay as the comfort is sublime.

The only gripe I have is the absence of a spare wheel, which in a family car like this is a bit a of a boo-boo.

Prices for the SEAT Alhambra start at €38,995.

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