The cur­tain rises on a new Al­ham­bra

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - FEATURES - Keith Ward

THIS lat­est Al­ham­bra, “new from the wheels up”, stands 22 cen­time­tres longer and nine wider than the pre­vi­ous ver­sion, but weighs less. Height is re­duced but head­room is greater, say SEAT, be­cause the seats are set lower.

The pair of rear doors now slide to make en­try and exit eas­ier and safer for the up to five pas­sen­gers in the two rows of seats aft.

All of these seats can fold down neatly and fairly eas­ily, with a tug here and a push there, into a flat, ex­tended lug­gage deck with a mas­sive cargo hold, only 67 cen­time­tres above ground level for easy load­ing.

So they stay on board – a great ad­vance on the old Al­ham­bra, whose rear seats had to be lifted out to make way for large loads.

On most ver­sions, the front pas­sen­ger seat also folds down, al­low­ing long loads of up to nearly three me­tres to be car­ried.

The tow­ing bracket, as an op­tion, can be piv­oted and, when not in use, stored away be­low the rear bumper.

Rear slid­ing doors and the tall tail­gate can be spec­i­fied with one-touch elec­tri­cal op­er­a­tion (£780). The tail­gate rises to more than six feet, so pro­vid­ing stand­ing shel­ter.

The al­ready gen­er­ous stan­dard equip­ment with the mid-range SE trim on our test car in­cluded three-zone cli­mate con­trol, eight-speaker au­dio, cruise con­trol, au­to­matic head­lights and wipers, park­ing sen­sors front and rear, tyre-pres­sure mon­i­tor and self-seal­ing tyres, seven airbags, elec­tric win­dows and heated, fold­ing mir­rors.

We tried the most frugal of the Al­ham­bra’s choice of two diesel and one petrol en­gines, a 140 PS, six-speed man­ual turbo diesel cred­ited with more than 50mpg in of­fi­cial test­ing (our av­er­age was a still-im­pres­sive 48.4 mpg).

All three units sport “green” tech­nol­ogy – stop­start when sta­tion­ary and re­gen­er­a­tive brak­ing on the move – and are badged by SEAT as Eco­mo­tive. This one, pro­duc­ing a lowly 146 g/km in car­bon emis­sions, is fur­ther dubbed E-Eco­mo­tive.

This be­gins to sound like an eco-orgy. But it’s a mea­sure of the all-round re­cent spurt in en­gine tech­nol­ogy that, af­ter all, this big sev­enseater still en­joys ac­cept­able per­for­mance for the ev­ery­day mo­torist.

The Al­ham­bra, in a four- strong range (from £20,370), is man­u­fac­tured in Por­tu­gal along­side its VW Group sib­ling, the new Sha­ran (of­fered in a 17-strong range from £22,980).

The SEAT looks good value.

SEVEN-SEATER: The lat­est Al­han­bra from SEAT.

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