Best car

Seat Alhambra: best full-size MPV

Andrew Frankel reviews the Seat Alhambra – today's answer to the now discontinued Renault Espace – the iconic people carrier of the 90s

Seat Alhambra S 2.0 TDI CR

This model from £25,340

Downsizing has meant that full-sized MPVs are no longer as popular as they once were. The Renault Espace, the car that invented the sector nearly 30 years ago, isn’t even on sale anymore. But for some, nothing less than the full fat, real deal will do, and the Seat Alhambra is among the best you can buy.

It’s essentially a VW Sharan but for much less money. The interior is vast and, unlike small seven-seaters, actually provides luggage space behind the third row. It is, of course, brimming with safety equipment. So far, so obvious. Less predictable is the fact that, while it may look like a van and has the capacity to carry van-like amounts of clobber with all the seats folded, it doesn’t drive like one. The Alhambra achieves levels of ride comfort and refinement you’d be happy to discover in a saloon for this money.


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  • Engine: 1968cc, 140bhp
  • Top speed: 120mph
  • 0-60mph acceleration: 10.9sec


  • Claimed economy: 50.4mpg
  • Insurance Group: 18 (1=low, 50=high)

RAC Drive Verdict

5 / 5
3 / 5
5 / 5
2 / 5