SEAT Alhambra

FR-Line 2.0 TDi

SEAT Alhambra, front action
SEAT Alhambra, door open
SEAT Alhambra, side static
SEAT Alhambra, rear action
SEAT Alhambra, boot
SEAT Alhambra, interior
SEAT Alhambra, interior
SEAT Alhambra, third row seats
SEAT Alhambra, second row seats

SOME years ago the MPV - or people mover - was the 'wow factor'on wheels.

They sold like hot cakes and were the perfect answer to family transport.

But trends changed and the SUV, compact SUV and lifestyle estate carved their slices from the MPV's popularity - so you might be forgiven for thinking that the people mover may have taken a back seat in terms of mass appeal.

Understandable really because one or two of the early ones did have the driving habits of an angry minibus but these days the MPV is going strong with some vibrant choices out there that prove that this concept is still going paces.

One such is the SEAT Alhambra, a product of the Spanish arm of the giant Volkswagen Audi Group which means that there is a massive bonus in terms of quality of construction, design and materials.

Alhambra is not a new name in MPVs from SEAT but in its latest form, it is refined to a high degree to give a bang up to date take on what the customer wants from a vehicle of this type.

The model I drove, the FR-line 2.0 TDI 184ps with a six-speed DSG-auto transmission is at the upper end of the Alhambra range and gives an insight on just what a modern MPV should be.

For instance, its top speed capability of 134mph and 0-62mph dash of 8.9 seconds is enough to satisfy anyone who wants that bit more out of their people mover without resorting to out and out sporty choices.

It offers a super-smooth drive with surprisingly agile handling for a people mover and proved an ideal choice for both town driving and long distance trips.

The FR-Line trim is the top option for Alhambra and the black Alcantara upholstery certainly enhanced what is a very well specified car as standard.

Apart from a number of other trim features the FR Line treatment offers 18-inch alloy wheels which certainly make this model stand out from the crowd.

Wide sliding rear doors make easy access into the rear and it possible lower rows two and three flat into the floor, leaving a van-like load space.

FAST FACTS

SEAT Alhambra FR-Line 2.0 TDi

Price: £36,130

Mechanical: 184ps, 1,968cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 134mph

0-62mph: 8.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 53.3

Insurance Group: 23

C02 emissions: 139g/km

Bik rating: 27%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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