Given the ungainly appearance of some previous large Seats, the clean, understated looks of the Alhambra should be well received in the class, even if it differs little from the new Volkswagen Sharan.

The balanced, if bland, looks are a particular achievement given that the Alhambra incorporates large sliding doors into its body. In practice, they 
are more practical than traditional doors. Access is easier in tight spaces and there is a very wide aperture to allow parents to seat small children unhindered, or for passengers to seat themselves in the third row. 

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Road test editor
The retractable tow hook is really excellent

The Alhambra has expanded in almost every direction compared with its aging but likeable predecessor. At 4.85m long and 1.9m wide, it has grown by 22cm and 9cm respectively, although the lower roof (by 1cm) and successful exterior design mean that the perceived mass isn’t as significant as the measurements suggest. 

The trapezoidal grille on the Alhambra’s nose is in keeping with the current Seat design language and it works well here. This and the defined creases above the large foglight housing almost live up to Seat’s claims of ‘sporty’ looks. Almost. 

The A-pillars have been designed to improve airflow, while the gutter profile diverts air to the side windows, reducing wind flutter and helping to keep the door mirrors clear.

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Given the car’s shape and size, the Alhambra has an impressive drag coefficient of just 0.29. This has been achieved with the help of small touches such as lower sills that are designed to reduce the air drag created by the rear wheels. All models in the line-up get a large roof spoiler - another addition intended to improve aerodynamics.

The Alhambra’s rear-end styling looks slightly awkward because of the deep tailgate, but it’s a worthwhile compromise for the convenient, low load height the design brings with it.

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