The new SEAT Alhambra has pulled off another honour, being named Best MPV in the 2016 Tow Car Awards. It’s a first title for the latest generation of the seven-seat Alhambra, introduced this spring, sustaining its impressive reputation for being the best all-round proposition on the market – a status reflected in more than a dozen independent award titles in recent years.
Speaking for the judges, David Motton, Tow Car Editor of Practical Caravan magazine, declared: The SEAT Alhambra is a very good MPV and a very capable tow car. With its combination of a high kerb weight, powerful engine and an extremely flexible cabin, it is a worthy winner.
“As a tow car, stability is its stand-out feature. It’s reassuring at 60mph and untroubled at 70mph. Data we gathered from the AL-KO Active Trailer Control system backed up the impression of our drivers, this really is a very secure town car.”
The model tested for the award was the £35,190 2.0 TDI 184PS SE Lux with DSG dual-clutch transmission, a version which delivers a perfect all-round package of performance, comfort, safety and quality.
It has a top towing capacity of 2.2 tonnes, while its latest-generation TDI engine musters 380 Nm of torque, all the way from 1,750 to 3,000 rpm, giving strong and smooth performance and working with the hassle-free DSG gearbox to deliver the kind of relaxing drive that’s perfect for a long-distance trip, even when fully laden. Superb efficiency is reflected in official combined cycle fuel consumption of 53.3 mpg, with carbon dioxide emissions a modest 139 g/km, even though the powertrain has muscle enough to shift the Alhambra from rest to 62 mph in less than nine seconds.
The journey between caravan-hitch to caravan-pitch is made safe, comfortable and convenient in the high specification SE Lux, which includes family holiday-friendly features such as power-operated rear side doors and tailgate, chrome-finished roof rails, underfloor storage, rear seatback tables and a panoramic roof with opening front section. Satellite navigation with dynamic route guidance is included in the Media System Plus infotainment package, together with Bluetooth, DAB and integrated voice control. Up front the leather-upholstered sports-style seats are 12-way power-adjustable and the triple-zone climate control. Automatic headlight and windscreen wiper operation, reversing camera, triple-zone climate control and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror are featured, together with an impressive array of active and passive safety systems, including High Beam Assist, and SEAT’s Multi-Collision Braking and Tiredness Recognition systems.
Steve Catlin, SEAT UK’s Head of Sales Operations, said: “The Tow Car Award is a great accolade for the latest Alhambra and recognition for the way we’ve continued developing it to give customers the best possible all-round package. Not only does it have all the strength and stability required for effortless towing, it’s also ideally equipped to cater for families on the move and designed with the sporting flair that defines our brand.”
The Tow Car Awards, now in their tenth year, are organised and presented by Practical Caravan, What Car? and the Camping and Caravanning Club magazine.
SEAT is the only company in its sector with the full-range capacity to design, develop, manufacture and market cars in Spain. A member of the Volkswagen Group, the multinational has its headquarters in Martorell (Barcelona), exporting more than 80% of its vehicles, and is present in 75 countries. In 2014, SEAT’s invoicing totalled almost 7.5 billion euros, the highest figure it its history, with worldwide sales of 390,500 units.
SEAT Group employs 14,000 professionals at its three production centres – Barcelona, El Prat de Llobregat and Martorell, where it manufactures the highly successful Ibiza and Leon, amongst other models. Additionally, the company produces the Alhambra in Palmela (Portugal), the Mii in Bratislava (Slovakia) and the Toledo in Mladá Boleslav (Czech Republic).
The Spanish multinational also has a Technical Centre, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2015. This ‘knowledge hub’, bringing together 900 engineers, aims to be the driving force behind innovation for the number one industrial investor in R&D in Spain. In line with its declared commitment to environmental protection, SEAT undertakes and bases its core activity on sustainability, namely reduction of CO2 emissions, energy efficiency, as well as recycling and re-use of resources.
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