SEAT Alhambra

About SEAT

SEAT is the only company that designs, develops, manufactures and markets cars in Spain. A member of the Volkswagen Group, the multinational has its headquarters in Martorell (Barcelona), exporting 81% of its vehicles, and is present in over 80 countries through a network of 1,700 dealerships. In 2016, SEAT obtained an operating profit of 143 million euros, the highest in the history of the brand, and achieved worldwide sales of nearly 410,000 vehicles.

SEAT Group employs more than 14,500 professionals at its three production centres – Barcelona, El Prat de Llobregat and Martorell, where it manufactures the highly successful Ibiza and Leon. Additionally, the company produces the Ateca and the Toledo in the Czech Republic, the Alhambra in Portugal and the Mii in Slovakia. 

The multinational has a Technical Centre, which operates as a knowledge hub that brings together 1,000 engineers who are focussed on developing innovation for Spain’s largest industrial investor in R&D. SEAT already features the latest connectivity technology in its vehicle range and is currently engaged in the company’s global digitalisation process to promote the mobility of the future.

SEAT was founded on 9 May 1950 with production of its first vehicle, the 1400, beginning in 1953.  The 600 model, launched in 1957, is the car credited with putting Spain on wheels.  So successful was it that sales hit one million by 1968.  Volkswagen bought 51% of the company’s shares in 1986, taking a 99.9% share in 1990.

 

INTRODUCTION

The modern MPV for an active life

  • Progressive bodyshell concept with sliding doors and seven seats
  • TDI and TSI engines boast dynamic character and outstanding efficiency

The latest Alhambra fits into the SEAT line-up as the ideal choice for active and sporty families.  This full size, seven-seat MPV offers plenty of space for leisure, business and hobbies, fulfilling the expectations of family life, as well as the demands of high-mileage business drivers.

Slotting into the Barcelona-based brand’s range above the recent Ateca SUV, Alhambra combines flexible functionality with sporting character in true SEAT fashion. Its sophisticated running gear and extensive hi-tech equipment come together with a choice of three engines that combine powerful performance with exceptional efficiency.

The most frugal version, the 2.0 TDI with 150 PS and manual transmission, wrings an exceptional 56.5 miles out of a single gallon of fuel on the official combined cycle, while emitting just 130 g/km of CO2 to put itself among the class leaders in the segment.  As a result, this Alhambra bears the SEAT logo for extremely low-emission models – Ecomotive. Of course all the other Alhambra variants also boast impressive fuel economy, and all are equipped with the Auto Stop/Start and Brake Energy Recovery systems as part of the SEAT efficiency package. 

In fact, overall, the latest Alhambra, which debuted in 2015, is up to 15% more efficient than its predecessor.

The Alhambra has the perfect format for a versatile MPV.  At 4.85 metres, it is 22 centimetres longer than its predecessor.  It has also gained an additional nine centimetres in width, taking it to 1.90 metres.  These dimensions deliver an exceptionally generous amount of room, with ample space in the third row for adults.

The long, sliding rear doors – which are also available with electric operation in SE Lux - offer easy access to all rear seats.  The luggage compartment is also more than generous measuring 2,297 litres, almost 2.3 cubic metres, when the second and third rows of seats are folded.

One focus of SEAT’s development work on this car was on the intelligent and highly flexible seating concept.  With the new EasyFold system the second- and third-row seats can be retracted into the vehicle floor in just one movement.  Integrated child seats are available as an option.  The driver’s seating position combines great visibility with excellent ergonomics.

Even at a glance, the crisp design makes the engaging dynamics of the SEAT Alhambra clearly evident.  Broad, taut proportions, clear lines and distinctive wheel arches create a vehicle with a powerful presence.  With the arrow-shaped bonnet, the characteristic SEAT grille and the commanding front skirt also sporting the arrow design, this large MPV sends a clear signal that it is part of the brand’s family.  A subtle roof spoiler, the downward sweep of the hatch and large light clusters dominate the rear of the vehicle.  An electrically actuated rear hatch is available as an option.

SEAT offers a wide range of innovative technologies on the Alhambra – some as optional extras.  They include the optional bi-xenon headlamps with cornering function.  Also new is Park Assist that steers the Alhambra into even relatively tight spaces – both parallel and perpendicular to the road.  The driver’s active participation during these manoeuvres is still, of course, required.  A three-zone climatronic system – standard across the range – guarantees comfortable cabin temperatures regardless of seating position while High Beam Assist automatically regulates the use of full beam. Further, an extensive safety package incorporates seven airbags, including a driver-side knee airbag, child locks on the rear doors and ESC stability system complete with trailer stabilisation function and tyre pressure monitoring.

The Alhambra is available in the UK in five trim levels: S; SE, CONNECT, SE Lux and FR-Line. CONNECT and FR-Line arrived in the line-up from 2016, adding further technology and sport touches.  

The car is manufactured at the company’s plant in Palmela, Portugal, and, as ever, value remains a key component of this SEAT, so not only is the new Alhambra extremely cost effective to maintain, its purchase price is also highly competitive. 

At-a-glance

  • SEAT Alhambra is one of the most desirable, practical and attractive full-size MPVs on the market
  • Improvements for Alhambra from autumn 2015 see new look with LED rear lights, modified front grille, glossy B-pillar and new wheel designs
  • Bulk of changes appear inside with new upholsteries, steering wheels, instrument binnacle and interior mouldings
  • Raft of changes for 2015 onwards includes:

/ Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) with choice of three modes: Normal, Comfort and Sport

/ Full Link, SEAT’s innovative three-in-one seamless smartphone connectivity system (offering Mirror Link, Android Auto and Apple Car Play)

/ Touchscreen infotainment system as standard. Two available: Media System Plus and

   Navigation System

/ Multi-Collision Braking System and Tiredness Recognition System as standard

/ Three new paint colours: Romance Red, Urano Grey and Moonstone Silver

  • Engines are now state-of-the-art 2.0 TDI with 150 PS or 184 PS (10 PS and 7 PS greater than previously), plus a potent 1.4 TSI petrol with 150 PS. Every one is EU6 compliant, while the diesels feature DPF technology and consume up to 15% less fuel than the previous version, with up to 56.5 mpg achievable on the official combined cycle. Emissions as low as 130g/km (S 2.0 TDI 150 Ecomotive)
  • Transmission options include six-speed manual or six-speed DSG with sequential manual function, Sport mode and steering wheel-mounted shift paddles
  • Range line-up of five trim levels: S, SE, CONNECT, SE Lux and FR-Line
  • Elegant exterior styling includes SEAT trademark Arrow Design nose
  • Practical sliding rear doors, with optional electric actuation
  • Dimensions: length 4.85m, height 1.72m, width 1.9m, internal load length 1.3m (third row seats folded), up to 2.1m (both rear seats folded). Boot space 267-2,297 litres
  • Extensive roster of standard equipment on all models includes: 16-inch alloy wheels,  Bluetooth, three zone climate control, alloy wheels, one-touch electric windows all round; twin halogen headlamps with electric range adjustment, height and reach adjustable multi-function steering wheel; SEAT System AM/FM radio/CD player with eight speakers; AUX-in connection; ABS; ESC + EBA; seven airbags with front seat passenger airbag deactivation; remote central locking with deadlocks; alarm and electronic engine immobiliser
  • Myriad of options (depending on model) include; rear side airbags; Bi-xenon headlights with AFS; programmable interior heating and leather seats with heating and 12-way electrical adjustment for driver and front seat passenger. New from 2015 are Keyless Go & Enter, multi-function camera with blind spot monitoring including Lane Assist and Road Sign Recognition, Navigation System with Rear View Camera and Driver’s seat with massage function, integrated child seats
  • Expected best-selling versions in UK SE 2.0 TDI 150 and SE Lux 2.0 TDI 150
  • Chief rivals include Ford Galaxy and S-Max, Peugeot 5008 and Vauxhall Zafira
  • Current generation launched in UK November 2010
  • Unveiled at Barcelona Motor Show in May 2015, New Alhambra launched in UK showrooms 18 September 2015

EXTERIOR DESIGN

Dynamic and powerful

  • Arrow Design at the front clearly indicates SEAT style and character
  • Sporty looks stem from high waist line and well-balanced silhouette
  • Trademark styling includes Ibiza-style side mirrors on the door panels

The Alhambra has the perfect MPV format.  At 4.85 metres, it is appreciably longer than its predecessor – by a full 22 centimetres, in fact.  Its width is up by nine centimetres to 1.90 metres, making it a best in this vehicle segment.  Height, on the other hand, has been slightly reduced – by one centimetre – to 1.72 metres.  The new proportions create a line that is powerful, sporty and dynamic.

SEAT’s former Head of Design Luc Donckerwolke and his team faced the challenge of taking the MPV concept, with its voluminous space, and cladding it in an emotional, engaging design.  A glance at the new Alhambra shows that the team fulfilled its task flawlessly.  This is clearly a true SEAT, with sporty and powerful lines.  Calm, refined surfaces shape its modern and youthful appearance.  The tight and precisely parallel shut lines convey its technical precision while fine, almost imperceptible, creases beneath the edges add emphasis to the exterior lines.  The proportions harmonize perfectly – bringing enormous tension to the design with a minimum of lines.

For 2016, the latest model boasts new LED rear lights, modified front grille, glossy B-pillar and a suite of new alloy wheel designs.

Arrow Design

The characteristic motif at the front of the Alhambra is the ‘Arrow Design’ – a theme typical of the expressive SEAT design language.  The trapezoidal radiator grille is framed with subtle chrome trim and bears a large SEAT logo.  Its finely contoured black bars emphasise the vertical.  Together with the distinctive, V-shaped contours of the bonnet and the low headlamps, the grille forms SEAT’s trademark ‘arrow’.

The powerful bumper design is dominated by large, three-dimensional air inlets with clearly defined edges.  In the SE version, fog lamps are located in the outer air intakes.  Together with the twin halogen headlights they come with an additional static cornering light function – illuminating junctions at speeds of up to 32 mph.

The SE, SE Lux and FR-Line versions come with an optional bi-xenon variant which delivers dipped and full beam from mercury-free gas-discharge lamps. It includes Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS).  AFS, which is reserved for the bi-xenon headlamps only, incorporates dynamic cornering light and static cornering light.  Meanwhile, High Beam Assist is also available with the standard H7 halogen lights.  Using a sensor mounted on the base of the rear view mirror, it recognises other vehicles and built-up areas from their illumination and automatically switches between main and dipped beam.

Subtle contours

A distinctive design element of the Alhambra is its side profile, with its steeply angled D-pillar and homogenous panel surfaces.  The flanks feature subtle contours, providing perfect functional and visual integration for the large sliding doors.

A powerfully formed horizontal character line runs above the sill, setting an accent along the flank to match the strongly defined, large wheel arches.  LED indicator repeaters are incorporated into the wing mirrors.

The side windows are comparatively large to give the car a low ‘waist line’, conveying a feeling of lightness, and offering passengers an expansive view.  The Alhambra SE and SE Lux also profer chrome trim around the windows for an even more upmarket touch.  Black roof rails, which are optional on the S, come in a smart chrome finish on SE and above.

The rear of the Alhambra is clearly structured.  It’s distinguished by the large spoiler on the edge of the roof incorporating the third brake light.  The registration plate is mounted beneath the large SEAT logo and the ‘Alhambra’ lettering, and set into a recess in the downward sweep of the rear hatch.

The large rear lights are a variation on the geometry of those at the front of the car.  They are split into two, with the outer segment on each side integrated into the D-pillar and the inner in the hatch.  The light cluster narrows as it runs towards the centre of the vehicle. The internal components have a horizontal structure, their lines adopting a wave form and generating a distinctive image by night.

INTERIOR CONCEPT

Winning the space race

  • Generous accommodation for up to seven adults, plus luggage
  • Exceptional quality throughout, with superior materials and craftsmanship
  • Luxurious options such as electrically adjustable front seats

The latest Alhambra is an amply proportioned full-size MPV – offering plenty of space for up to seven adults and their luggage.  Its seating concept is all-new, and provides for a choice of between two and seven seats.  When the second and third row seats are not required, they can be stowed in the vehicle floor with an easy-to-use folding mechanism.

Significant input from potential future customers was incorporated into the development of the new Alhambra’s seating and door concept.  Children between the ages of six and 14 – and their parents – were given access to prototypes, with their comments repeatedly providing inspiration for improvements and modifications.

Passengers in the second row sit a little higher than the driver and front seat passenger – almost as they would in a cinema.  The large side windows offer them an unobstructed view.  In this second row SEAT supplies a three-seat module as standard.  The second-row seats can be slid front to back by up to 160 millimetres, while the angle of the backrests can be adjusted in fine steps.

The seats offer markedly longer squabs and a higher comfort level than in the preceding model, while seat height and headroom have been increased, too.  To protect passengers from the sun, Alhambra SE and above offer integrated manual blinds as standard.

EasyFold seating system

In its predecessor it was necessary to remove the second- and third-row seats in order to accommodate large loads, but in the new Alhambra, they can remain on board thanks to the new EasyFold system.  Folding the seats away is simple, dealt with in one easy movement.

One pull on the handle located on the side of the backrest is all it takes to fold it forward onto the seat cushion – the compact package then sinks forward into the footwell.  Helpfully, the headrests remain in situ.  When the seats are upright but not in use, the headrests can be pushed all the way down so that they don’t obstruct visibility in the rear-view mirror.  Once more, in SE and above, the rear-view mirror is auto-dimming.

Moving back to the third row the two individual seats are, again, mounted a little higher than the second row.  Access to this row has, likewise, been significantly improved.  The sliding doors (power operated from SE Lux) open wide and the outer seats on the second row can be moved well forward with a slide and tilt function.

The Alhambra’s long wheelbase of 2.92 metres – eight centimetres more than on the preceding model – is best-in-class and makes for ample knee room, even in the third row.  The angle of the backrests can be adjusted in two stages.  Pneumatic struts help with folding the third-row seats, and when folded the seat cushion and backrest lay flat on the load surface.

Regardless of whether one or both seat rows are stowed, the load surface is always flat. With only the third-row seats folded the load surface, finished in high quality carpet, is 1.3 metres long.  When loaded to the height of the luggage compartment cover with just the third row seats down the Alhambra offers 658 litres of luggage space.

Thanks to an easy-to-use optional divider net that can be fixed at a variety of different points, the Alhambra can also be loaded right up to the ceiling. This takes the volume up to 1,167 litres (third row seats folded).

However, if the three individual second-row seats are also stowed, the continuous, unbroken load surface increases to 2.10 metres, measured to the front seat backrests.  In this format there’s a maximum of 2,297 litres of load space to play with (loaded to ceiling).  On S and SE versions the front passenger seat can also be folded flat to accommodate objects up to 2.95 metres long.

Convenience is key

Convenience is key to the Alhambra’s appeal and one very handy feature – standard on SE Lux and FR-Line cars – is the electric tailgate.  It’s activated either via a switch on the on the centre console, via two buttons on the hatch itself – one is for opening and the other for closing – or by using a button on the key fob.

 

Similar to the electric sliding doors, the electric rear hatch also comes with an anti-trap device.  When the hatch is fully open, the standing height available beneath it is 1.85 metres (just over six feet) – which is more than enough for most individuals.  The load height of the Alhambra is conveniently low at just 67 centimetres, with no load lip and access to the load area being completely level.

 

Standard features in the luggage compartment include a 12-volt socket, securing eyelets, bag hooks, a retractable and removable cover and stowage bins in the side walls.  As an option, SEAT offers its all-new cargo package.  This handy feature consists of movable telescopic rails anchored to points along the upper edge of the side walls, and a net stretched between them like a hammock.

 

Alhambra customers who own caravans or horse trailers will appreciate the pivoting tow hook.  Released electrically via a button in the luggage compartment, the hook can be pivoted out by hand and locked into place.  Versions powered by the TDI engines can tow up to 2.2 tonnes.

MODEL LINE-UP AND EQUIPMENT

Quality, safety, luxury and style

As befits what is the largest and most luxurious SEAT, all Alhambras offer an especially generous level of standard equipment.  The range is also easy to understand with use of the now-familiar S, SE and SE Lux designations. Plus, for Model Year 2016, two further trim levels, CONNECT and FR-Line, focusing on sporty looks and technology. The entry-level S gets the line-up off to an impressive start:

 

S

 

Exterior

  • Body coloured bumpers and door handles
  • Body coloured door mirrors with integrated LED indicators
  • Chrome front grille frame
  • Electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • LED taillights with LED rear plate light
  • Sliding rear doors
  • Twin halogen headlights with electric range adjustment
  • 16” ‘Izaros’ alloy wheels
  • Self-sealing tyres
Interior
  • Three-zone climate control
  • Height and reach adjustable steering column
  • Front and rear electric windows
  • Driver and passenger airbags
  • Front passenger airbag deactivation
  • Front side airbags
  • Curtain airbags for all three rows
  • Driver’s knee airbag
  • Seatbelt reminders for all seats (visual and acoustic)
  • Remote central locking with deadlocks
  • Electric child lock for rear side doors operated from driver’s seat
  • Five individual fold-flat rear seats
  • Five rear seat Isofix anchoring and top tethering points
  • Height adjustable driver and passenger seats
  • Five height adjustable rear head restraints
  • Dashboard storage compartment
  • Illuminated, lockable and refrigerated glove compartment
  • Two front cup holders and two third row cup holders
  • Storage compartments/bottle holders in all four doors
  • Boot hooks
  • Retractable, removable, luggage compartment cover
  • 12V power supply in front centre console and boot

Functional and mechanical equipment

  • Media System Plus (6.5-inch colour touchscreen, MP3 compatible CD player with USB/aux-in port, FM/AM radio, Bluetooth audio streaming, eight speakers and voice recognition
  • Trip computer and high resolution multi-function display
  • Electronic engine immobiliser
  • ESC with Emergency Brake Assist
  • Front and rear parking sensors with Optical Parking System
  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring
  • Power assisted steering
  • Volumetric alarm with back-up horn and tow-away protection
  • Electronic handbrake
  • Hill Hold Control
  • Stop/Start
  • Brake Energy Recovery
  • ABS
  • Steering wheel-mounted shift paddles (DSG only)
  • Tiredness Recognition System
  • Multi-Collision Brake System

 

Alhambra SE 

The SE takes the features of the S and adds, or replaces with, the following:

 

  • Chrome side window trims
  • Dark tinted rear windows (from B pillar back)
  • Chrome finish roof rails
  • Lidded storage compartment in second row floor
  • Storage box under driver and front passenger seat
  • Integrated sun blinds in rear doors
  • Two front seatback tray tables
  • Pockets on front seat backrests
  • Front fog lamps with cornering function
  • Light sensors (for automatic lights)
  • Rain sensors (for automatic wipers)
  • Coming Home headlight function
  • High Beam Assist
  • Reversing ‘kerb’ function on passenger door mirror
  • Auto-dimming rear view mirror
  • Cruise control
  • Third 12v socket in armrest storage box
  • 17” ‘Kiroa’ alloy wheels with 225/50 R17 self-sealing tyres
  • Chrome interior dashboard detailing
  • Three-spoke leather steering wheel and gearknob

 

Alhambra SE Lux

Those seeking the ultimate in SEAT luxury and style should look no further.  This trim level delivers the most comprehensively specified Alhambra the Spaniards have ever offered in the UK.  Bristling with standard equipment, it adds the following over what SE buyers enjoy:

 

  • Powered sliding rear doors
  • Power-operated tailgate
  • Panoramic glass sunroof with electrically operated front pane (slide and tilt)
  • Electrically operated sunshade
  • Headlight washer system
  • Heated front washer nozzles
  • ‘Sports style’ comfort front seats
  • 12-way electrically adjustable front seats
  • Heated front seats
  • Black leather upholstery
  • 17” ‘Kosta’ alloy wheels with 225/50 R17 self-sealing tyres
  • SEAT Media System v2.1 which includes:
  • Satnav with dynamic route guidance
  • Five-inch colour touch screen
  • DAB radio tuner
  • SD card slot
  • Rear view camera

 

Alhambra optional equipment (where not standard fit)

 

¤      Metallic paint (all models)
  •      Custom Palette paint colour (all models)
  •      Lifestyle Pack (S) – includes front fog lamps with cornering function and chrome interior

     dashboard detailing

  •      Storage Pack (S) – includes covered storage compartment on dashboard, box under driver’s seat,

     sunglasses box, folding front rear seatback tables

  •      Dark tinted rear windows (S)
  •      Cruise control (S)
  •      Folding towbar with electric release (all models)
  •      Up to two second row integrated child seats (all models)
  •      Rear side airbags (all models)
  •      Rear axle height regulation (not available with Panorama Pack ) (S, SE)
  •      Cargo Pack (includes multi-position net partition, boot management system and cargo net)
  •      Winter Pack (S, SE) – includes heated front seats, headlight washers and heated windscreen

     washer nozzles

  •      Leather Seat Pack (SE) – includes sports-style comfort front seats, 12-way electrically adjustable

     front seats and Winter Pack

  •      Heated windscreen (SE, SE Lux – requires Winter or Leather Pack) – not available with petrol

     engines or programmable interior heating

  •      Programmable interior heating (SE, SE Lux) – not available with heated windscreen
  •      Bi-xenon headlights with AFS including headlight washers, automatic range adjustment and

     daytime running lights (SE, SE Lux)

  •      Rear view camera and display (SE) – includes 6.5” colour touch-screen display, integrated six-disc

     CD changer and SD card slot

  •       Technology Pack (SE) – includes SEAT Media System and bi-xenon headlights
  •       Park Assist  

 

ENGINES

Latest common rail technology

  • Two potent diesel engines, plus one exceptional petrol
  • State-of-the-art common rail and DPF technology in diesels
  • All-turbo range complies with EU5 emissions legislation

 

The SEAT Alhambra comes to market with three state-of-the-art four-cylinder engines – two TDI diesels and a TSI petrol unit.  They generate between 140 PS and 170 PS, and produce up to 350 Nm of torque.  All three combine direct injection technology with turbocharging – an interaction which produces both sporty power and groundbreaking efficiency.

 

The engines in the new Alhambra are significantly more powerful, yet up to 16% more fuel efficient, than the comparable engines in the preceding model.  The 2.0 TDI with 140 PS consumes just one gallon of diesel for every 50.4 miles it covers on the EU combined cycle.  That equates to CO2 emissions of 146 g/km – a best-in-class stat’ among full-size MPVs.

 

Both TDI units are equipped with an SCR catalytic converter (Selective Catalytic Reduction). This sophisticated technology places them amid the cleanest diesels in the world, significantly reducing their NOx emissions.

 

The three engines come as standard with both Stop/Start and Brake Energy Recovery – both of which feature in SEAT’s selection of Ecomotive technologies.  As an option, SEAT can mate each of the engines to a six-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG) that changes gear extremely quickly and smoothly.

 

Stop/Start and Brake Energy Recovery

 

Quite simply, the Stop/Start system turns off the engine when the car is at a standstill, the gear lever is in neutral and the driver is depressing the brake pedal.  When the clutch is released an upgraded starter motor restarts the engine quietly, smoothly and, above all, quickly.

 

The system, which can be deactivated by the driver at any time, also works perfectly in combination with the DSG transmission.  In this case, the driver only has to depress the brake pedal and, after a short period of the car being stationary, the engine stops.  Releasing the brake restarts the engine.

 

The system makes a real contribution to improved economy and emissions reduction and SEAT’s engineers have calculated that the feature cuts fuel consumption by up to four per cent on the combined cycle.

 

Brake Energy Recovery, the second newsworthy efficiency system in the Alhambra, recovers energy during braking and coasting using intelligent voltage regulation for the alternator.  This energy is stored temporarily in the battery and, when the MPV accelerates, it flows back into the vehicle’s electrical system.  This relieves the load on the alternator, which can frequently be operated on low voltage.  The power required from the engine in order to run it thus decreases, and fuel consumption is reduced. 

 

Aside from these two features, of course, many other components in the new Alhambra have been optimised for efficiency.  The fuel pump, for instance, draws only as much energy as it requires for any given operating mode.  This improved energy management delivers further consumption benefits.

 

Refined TDI engines

 

Both four-cylinder turbodiesel units in the new Alhambra have a displacement of 1,968 cc.  These common-rail four-valve engines are hi-tech power plants – powerful, advanced and boasting groundbreaking efficiency.

 

Compared with the outgoing engines, these two 2.0 TDI units have been significantly developed in many areas.  Their weight is down very significantly – by more than 150 kg in fact – with major savings coming from the newly optimised cylinder head.  As before, the crankcase is made of cast iron.

 

The toothed belt driving the two camshafts and ancillary equipment is narrower, meaning that it now runs more quietly and smoothly.  The water pump requires less energy, the oil pump is pressure regulated and the sealing rings on the crankshaft have been optimised for low friction.

 

The entry-level TDI generates 140 PS and develops its maximum torque of 320 Nm at 1,750 rpm.  When mated to a manual gearbox it accelerates this full-size MPV from 0 to 62 mph in a sprightly 10.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 120 mph.  Its average fuel consumption sets an impressive new benchmark, too – recording 50.4 mpg on the combined cycle – with CO2 equivalent of 146 g/km.  With a tank capacity of 15 gallons, the Alhambra therefore has a range of around 750 miles.

 

The 170 PS TDI is a potent powerplant.  At just 1,750 rpm it produces its maximum torque of 350 Nm – enough to pull the Alhambra from rest to 62 mph in a sporty 9.5 seconds.  The car’s top speed is 130 mph.  Yet despite this sporty performance the fuel consumption is still frugal.  When mated to a manual gearbox provisional data shows this engine averages 48.7 mpg on the combined cycle, while CO2 emissions stand at 152 g/km.

 

Potent TSI technology

 

The 1.4 TSI engine offered in the new Alhambra is a perfect example of the philosophy of downsizing – forced induction with a turbocharger or supercharger as a replacement for displacement.  The compact four-cylinder unit achieves power and torque figures that, a few years ago, were the reserve of naturally aspirated six-cylinders, while using far less petrol.

 

In manual form the 1.4 TSI, with its 150 PS, is good for 39.2 mpg on the combined cycle and emits just 167 g/km of CO2.  Its torque peak of 240 Nm is available all the way between 1,500 and 4,000 rpm and it can sprint to 62 mph from rest in just 10.7 seconds before then charging on to a top speed, where legal, of 122 mph.

 

The secret of substantial power from low displacement is dual forced induction – the ‘twincharger’ principle.  In the lower rev range, induction is handled by a supercharger driven mechanically by the engine and producing more than 1.0 bar of relative charge pressure.  It is positioned upstream of the exhaust-driven turbocharger.  At 1,500 rpm the turbo also begins to kick in.

 

 

CHASSIS

As agile as any SEAT

 

  • Sophisticated all-round multi-link suspension technology
  • Electromechanical power assisted steering
  • ESP with trailer stabilisation as standard

 

Another clear strength of the new SEAT Alhambra is its sporty running gear.  This capacious MPV offers impressively agile handling, refined stability and excellent body roll characteristics.  Its steering is responsive and smooth while the standard-fit ESP stability system ensures uncompromising safety.

 

Suspension and steering

The front axle of the Alhambra features a classic MacPherson strut arrangement with lower wishbones and spring struts.  The control arm, swivel bearing and subframe are made from aluminium – which reduces unsprung mass.  The track measures 1.57 metres, which is a full four centimetres more than the preceding model.

 

The steering is a rack and pinion design and its power assistance varies with road speed.  It delivers precise and firm feedback, displays excellent directional stability and is designed to take road imperfections in its stride.  Because the electromechanical drive draws no energy during straight line driving, it improves the Alhambra’s fuel consumption.

 

The electromechanical steering makes a crucial contribution to safety, too.  Working together with the ESP stability system it helps the driver to countersteer and brake on road surfaces that are slippery by either reducing or increasing its power assistance to the appropriate degree.

 

At the rear of the Alhambra is a four-link axle construction connected to an aluminium subframe.  Here, the track measures 1.62 metres – up nine centimetres on the previous car. 

 

Sophisticated rear axle geometry clearly separates the handling of longitudinal and lateral forces.  The longitudinal links deal with the drive and braking forces, with their relatively soft mountings ensuring good body roll comfort.  Meanwhile the three lateral links per wheel – the spring arm, the upper control arm and the track rod – are fixed directly to the subframe and thus channel lateral forces directly into the bodyshell.  All links are made from high-strength steel.  Finally, the coil springs and dampers are mounted separately, allowing development engineers a great deal of freedom in their set-up.

 

Wheels and brakes

In S spec, the new Alhambra features 6.5 J x 16 wheels clad in 205/60 rubber.  The rims are produced using the flow-form process, which makes them particularly lightweight.  SE and SE Lux versions feature 7J x 17 alloys with 225/50 low profile tyres.

 

Regardless of wheel choice all Alhambra tyres have new characteristics.  New technology, developed by Continental and trademarked as ContiSeal, sees a protective coating on the inner side of the tread seal holes caused by nails, screws or similar foreign objects, meaning the vehicle can be driven on with caution.  A tyre monitoring display that warns of pressure loss is also fitted as standard.

 

The brakes on the new Alhambra feature large ventilated discs.  The front discs measure 312 millimetres in diameter (314 millimetres with the DSG transmission), while the rear callipers grip 282 millimetre diameter discs.

 

The front brakes are subject to particularly high loads and have been engineered from scratch, with the focus on short braking distances and high thermal load capacity.  For the first time in a SEAT, an electromechanical parking brake acts on the rear axle.

 

The new SEAT Alhambra comes as standard with a state-of-the-art ESP stability system that includes a trailer stability feature.  So, if a towed trailer starts to break out or fishtail, the wheels of the Alhambra are braked in a counteracting rhythm.  The system incorporates a Hill Start Assistant that helps the driver to pull away both up and downhill.  Finally, as an extra safety measure, the Alhambra’s hazard lights are automatically activated under emergency braking.

SAFETY

 

Important firsts for flagship model

 

  • First SEAT in UK with driver’s side knee airbag as standard
  • Impressive child safety with Isofix anchoring points and Top Tether
  • Extensive pedestrian protection measures
  • Euro NCAP crash test 5-star rating (2010)

 

Alongside the 13% proportion of hot-formed sheet steel in the Alhambra’s bodyshell, a significant amount of this new SEAT’s metal structure is made from high-strength steel. This material gives the full-size MPV very robust crash characteristics whether in a frontal, side or rear end collision, or in a rollover situation.

 

In the event of a front end impact, the structures in the crumple zone in front of the passenger cell absorb a large proportion of the impact energy.  The bumper cross member, made from hot-formed steel, also transfers the energy from an offset collision into both longitudinal members.  To protect passengers’ feet and legs, the cross member in the footwell area is also made from hot-formed material.

 

The centre tunnel and the sills channel forces to other areas of the bodyshell.  In parallel with the floorpan, the sidewall frame in the engine bay and the door frames form additional force distribution channels in the passenger cell.  The hot-formed roof pillar, which extends well into the roof frame, further improves the stability of the safety cell.

 

In the event of a side impact, forces are channelled primarily via the sill and B-pillar – which are also made from hot-formed steel.  The seat cross member located between the sill and the centre tunnel supports the B-pillar, directing forces into the tunnel.  Diagonally mounted impact beams in all four doors distribute a proportion of the forces into the surrounding bodyshell.

 

The new Alhambra also offers its passengers the best possible protection in the event of a rear end collision, where large rear longitudinal beams play the leading role.

 

Pedestrian protection

SEAT’s new MPV also exceeds all legislative requirements when it comes to pedestrian protection.  A crumple zone above the engine is designed to protect any pedestrian involved in a collision with the car resulting in his head hitting the bonnet.

 

The wings are attached over compliant elements and there are also deformation zones around the windscreen crossmember.  Foam behind the bumper crossmember cushions impact with a pedestrian’s legs.  In low speed impacts – such as car park collisions – major damage is avoided because the technical components at the front and rear are well protected.

 

In the event of a more serious the bodyshell functions in a precisely defined way, working with the restraint systems on board the Alhambra.  These include seven airbags – driver and front seat passenger airbags, two side airbags in the first row, two head airbags between the A and D-pillars that deploy like curtains and a knee airbag for the driver that deploys beneath the steering column.  Head restraints on the front seats are designed specifically to minimise the risk of whiplash in the event of a rear end collision.

 

Sensors signal collisions early and reliably – acting in fractions of a second.  These include a very early response front sensor close to the bonnet catch, further sensors close to the airbag control unit located in the front tunnel area and acceleration sensors for side collisions integrated into the B and C-pillars.

 

All seats on board the Alhambra are equipped with three-point automatic belts, with belt tensioners and belt force limiters up front.  A further standard feature in the full-size SEAT MPV is the Seat Belt Reminder system (SBR) that monitors the belt catches on the front seats.  If a seatbelt remains unfastened and the Alhambra is already in motion, it issues a visual and acoustic warning to the driver.  This system is optionally available on all seats, in which case the driver sees in the multifunction display whether the rear seat passengers are belted in.

 

The seats in the second and third rows can be fitted with Isofix and additional Top Tether child seat anchors.  Also available for the second row are one or two integrated child seats suitable for children weighing around 15 kg and over.  The passenger airbag can be switched off to enable use of a rearward facing infant seat in the front.

 

TECHNOLOGY

 

State-of-the-art features from the luxury class

 

  • Bi-xenon headlight system with daytime running lights and AFS
  • Satellite navigation with SD HC card slot
  • Debut of practical and clever Park Assist function 

 

SEAT offers a wide range of standard and optional hi-tech features in the new Alhambra – from the three-zone automatic climate control, through the infotainment systems to the innovative Park Assist.  They bring true luxury to the full-size MPV segment, underscoring this car’s character as a refined long-distance tourer.

 

A typical example is the three-zone automatic climate control that manages cabin temperature in three separate zones – for driver, front seat passenger and rear passengers – which has been redeveloped from scratch.  Every seat, including those in the third row, has an individual air supply.  The new three-zone automatic climate control shows all key information in the display of the optional radio and navigation systems.

 

If a setting is changed manually, it briefly shows a pop-up window containing information on the new status.  The system even incorporates data from sensors monitoring the position of the sun and humidity levels.  By comparing air and window temperatures it can recognise when the windscreen is likely to fog up, only switching on the compressor when it is actually necessary.

 

Hi-tech parking assistance

 

SEAT offers the new Alhambra with a range of optional assistance systems for manoeuvring and parking.  The base – although not basic – works with ultrasonic sensors front and rear to inform the driver of the proximity of obstacles via acoustic signals.  This includes a visual aid, too, in the form of graphics displayed in the monitor.

 

Move up the technological food chain again and a second version incorporates a rear view camera on the back of the vehicle.  The monitor displays its images as soon as the driver engages reverse gear.  Superimposed guidelines simplify manoeuvring, while the graphic display can be switched on for additional assistance if required.

 

The top version in the new SEAT Alhambra is one of the most powerful and intelligent park assistance systems in the world – Park Assist.  It works with 12 ultrasonic sensors, each with a range of 4.5 metres, which scan potential parking spaces at the side of the road and measure them in two dimensions.  The driver activates the system with the touch of a button and with the indicator.  To recognise parallel parking spaces, the Alhambra’s speed cannot exceed 25 mph while for perpendicular parking spaces the maximum speed is 12 mph.

 

If a space is large enough, the Park Assist takes over the steering when reversing into the spot.  The driver is left simply to operate the accelerator, clutch and brake, assisted by visual and acoustic signals. 

 

Park Assist manoeuvres the Alhambra into parking spaces that are either parallel or perpendicular to the road.  For parallel parking, the space need only be 1.1 metres longer than the vehicle – the system steers forwards and backwards in several movements as required.  It provides the same assistance for exiting the space.  Park Assist also manages parallel parking on bends, on kerbs and between trees and other obstacles.

 

Audio, navigation and sound systems

 

Today’s Alhambra comes with a choice of two audio and one navigation system.  Standard equipment for the full-size MPV is the SEAT Sound System 2.0, which includes a single CD drive and eight speakers.  It also features an AUX-in jack and dual tuner – one tuner receives the programme, while the other searches for stations in the background.  The system can also play MP3 files.

 

The cost-effective navigation system comes as part of the SEAT Media System 2.1.  It incorporates a five-inch touchscreen, CD player, an SD card slot and a dual tuner.  The navigation data for Western Europe is pre-installed and the available map images include a 3D view.  Destination entry – like menu navigation – is incredibly easy and logical.

 

An additional top-of-the-range feature is SEAT’s optional high-end sound system. Developed specifically for the Alhambra, the SEAT Sound System v3.0 delivers excellent sound quality that’s clear, smooth and transparent.  One more option on board the new SEAT Alhambra is the media-in jack with USB adapter cable for easy connection of external players.  An iPod connector is also available as an alternative – it fully incorporates the operation and display of the device into the vehicle’s sound system.

 

SEAT offers an up-to-date solution for easy telephone use.  A Bluetooth interface connects mobile phones to the GSM/UMTS antenna in the Alhambra, as long as they are equipped with a Hands Free Profile or SIM Access Profile.  Conversations are transmitted via the vehicle’s audio system.

 

 

 

BODY

Innovation, safety and style

 

  • Debut of practical sliding rear doors with manual or electric operation
  • Exceptionally low Cd figure of just 0.299
  • Improved functionality, reduced weight 

 

The new Alhambra has been created from scratch and, taking this natural opportunity to innovate and enhance its features, one of the key improvements is the door concept.

 

Instead of conventional hinged doors, the new full-size MPV from SEAT comes with two sliding rear doors.  In top-of-the-range SE Lux spec these are available with electric operation.  The bodyshell is not only exceptionally aerodynamic but also stiff, safe and relatively light.

 

Sliding doors

 

The new SEAT Alhambra comes as standard with two sliding rear doors.  The doors are especially easy and quiet to open and close.  Compared with conventional hinged doors, the sliding versions make access significantly easier in tight parking spaces or garages.  On opening, there is no danger of the door accidentally touching a neighbouring vehicle or nearby wall.

 

The wide opening sliding doors offer generous room for access into the second- and third-row seats.  Each door runs on three tracks, located in the sill area, the side panel above the wheel arch and in the roof frame.  The upper track is built into a separate box that protects it from the environment.  Both sliding doors come as standard with electric windows.

 

In SE Lux, these doors are supplied with electric operation as standard.  They are triggered using either two buttons in the centre console, buttons in the B-pillar or via the door handles.  The electric sliding doors can also be operated by remote control and, as an extra safety measure, they cannot be opened while the fuel cap is open.

 

Even the degree to which the electric sliding doors open is individually programmable. Opening and closing can be interrupted at any time – a self-locking drive system holds the door firmly in place, even when parked on a steep incline. 

 

Electric power assistance securely closes the doors – even in extreme cold.  Electric child locks come as standard, with their controls located conveniently beside the driver’s seat.

 

In the interests of safety, SEAT has equipped the Alhambra with a sophisticated anti-trap feature.  This is a computing function included as part of the control mechanism – it compares the relationship between the electricity drawn by the drive motor with its speed.  Should one of the doors encounter an obstruction while closing, it stops immediately and re-opens. 

 

Similarly, if an obstacle is detected during opening, the door immediately stops moving.  An acoustic warning signal sounds when the door is closing.

Aerodynamics and acoustics

The exceptional efficiency and economy of the new Alhambra is the result of extensive technical innovation and development.

One particular success is the car’s remarkable aerodynamic performance.  This large MPV boasts a Cd figure of only 0.299 – a record in its segment and an improvement of five percent over its predecessor, which was already extremely good.

SEAT’s aerodynamic experts started air flow calculations at a very early stage in the development process, the results of which fed directly into the design of the model. Engineers and designers embarked on a highly complex process of refinement encompassing a wide range of details.

On the A-pillars, for example, an optimised gutter profile diverts air flow from the windscreen onto the side windows with minimal losses.  This also keeps wind noise down and helps to keep the wing mirrors clear when driving in the rain.  The mirrors, and their connection to the body, were similarly developed.

Aerodynamic considerations also played a role in the design of the car’s sills.  They improve the air flow around the rear wheels, which reduces the wheels’ wind resistance. At the rear of the roof, a large spoiler ensures that the air flow separates from the vehicle cleanly and with minimal turbulence. 

Small aerodynamic spoilers and large panels on the vehicle’s underbody are also designed to ensure that air flows smoothly along the underside of the vehicle, while at the same time effectively cooling the driveline components and brakes.  These make a particular contribution to the Alhambra’s Cd performance as the underside of a vehicle generates a significant proportion of its overall drag.

Capacious, yet light

The bodyshell of the new SEAT Alhambra is based on state-of-the-art technology, and this high-end engineering also manifests itself in its weight.  The body structure weighs less than 400 kilograms.  Although the new Alhambra is considerably larger, stiffer and safer – and incorporates two large sliding doors – it weighs less than its predecessor.

COCKPIT

Elegant and functional

  • Logical, functional and intuitive layout
  • Practicality and beauty combine in cabin design
  • Ample, handy storage throughout the cabin

The instrument panel in the SEAT Alhambra sits in a cockpit that is divided horizontally, expressing the sporting elegance that marks out the new Alhambra.  SEAT’s engineers and designers have, of course, dedicated themselves to the tiniest of details.

Quality and design


The selection and application of materials on board the new Alhambra have been calculated to create an impression of real quality and luxurious refinement.  The surfaces of the instrument panel are padded using the slush moulding technique and finished in a fine leather texture.  Discreet, chrome-look frames trim the air vents and most of the switch units.

 

The decorative trim in the instrument panel and front doors gleam in one of a variety of surface finishes, depending on equipment level.  All controls and buttons – illuminated in classic SEAT red at night – turn and click with exacting accuracy, precisely defined travel and quiet, rich tones.

 

The centre console

 

The instrument panel comprises an upper and a lower segment, separated by a trim element.  The cockpit takes the form of a flowing wave with the centre console stretched a little further forward emphasising its sporty, ergonomic character.  All operating fields are higher and more ergonomically positioned than on the preceding model.

 

The upper section of the centre console is home to the audio, video and navigation systems available in the new Alhambra.  The navigation system and the top-of-the-range audio system both feature a touchscreen display.

 

Beneath the monitor, the large hazard light switch is located on the trim element, while above the monitor is a storage bin that’s lidded on SE and SE Lux variants.

The air conditioning control unit is in the centre zone of the instrument panel.  Beneath it is a double row of switches; home to controls for functions such as the optional electric sliding doors and rear hatch.  A second storage bin completes the centre console.

The electromechanical parking brake is located on the tunnel in its familiar place between the front seats, and is actuated via a convenient button.  The new brake both saves space in the cabin and enhances comfort and safety.  An Auto Hold function helps when pulling away, especially on inclines.  It works by continuing to hold the vehicle after the foot brake has been released until such time as enough torque has been applied to move the car.

Beneath the elegantly sweeping arc of the Alhambra dashboard hood are the two large instrument dials – speedometer and rev counter.  With their white lettering on a black background and red pointers, they are clear and easy to read.  The fuel and coolant temperature gauges are integrated into the large dials.

In the centre of the instrument binnacle is the multifunction display, which presents key information and functions.  The display can be controlled via the three-spoke multifunction steering wheel – the associated switches are located on the upper spokes and are easy and intuitive to use.  The steering column is adjustable for height and reach as standard.

 

First-row seats

 

The driver’s seat is, obviously, a key element in the balanced ergonomic concept – even long distance driving is relaxed and refined in the new Alhambra.  SEAT’s full-size MPV offers comfortable seats that provide excellent support.  As in the preceding model, driver and front seat passenger have a pleasantly upright seating position, but this time somewhat sportier and set lower down to the road.  Despite a modest reduction in the vehicle’s height, headroom is actually up by 16 millimetres.

 

The driver’s seat is height adjustable as standard, with an electric lumbar support available in SE spec.  In SE Lux versions the seats are heated, leather-clad and feature 12-way electric adjustment.  Seat heating is also available for S and SE customers via the optional Winter Pack.

 

Storage facilities

 

Today’s Alhambra has obviously been designed for a life on the go – the active character of this full-size MPV includes a wide range of storage facilities.  Compartments and cubbies of various sizes and shapes can be found in the door panels, ceiling console, beneath the front seats, in front of the second-row seats and in the luggage compartment.  The cabin also incorporates two 12v sockets.

 

The large stowage bin on top of the dashboard has a volume of 3.2 litres.  The centre arm rest between the front seats is standard across the model line-up and can be adjusted for tilt and longitudinal position; it also contains a storage bin.  The front doors incorporate holders for 1.5-litre bottles, while the sliding doors have space for one-litre bottles.  Two cup holders in the front and two in the second seat row complete the storage facilities for drinks on board the Alhambra.

 

 

OWNERSHIP

 

Insurance groups/BIK/VED bandings

 

As well as being priced so as to make it one of the best value large MPVs on the market, the Alhambra continues to be a joy on the financial front throughout ownership, thanks to low repair costs, innovative safety features and robust security.

 

Version

Group rating (1-50)

BIK %

VED Band

S 1.4 TSI 150

18E

27

F

S 2.0 TDI 150 Ecomotive

19E

26

D

S 2.0 TDI 150 DSG-auto

19E

27

E

SE 1.4 TSI 150

19E

27

G

SE 2.0 TDI 150

19E

26

E

SE 2.0 TDI DSG-auto

19E

27

E

CONNECT 2.0 TDI 150 Ecomotive

19E

26

E

CONNECT 2.0 TDI 150 DSG-auto

19E

27

E

SE Lux 2.0 TDI 150 Ecomotive

20E

26

E

SE Lux 2.0 TDI 150 DSG-auto

20E

27

E

SE Lux 2.0 TDI 184

23E

27

E

SE Lux 2.0 TDI 184 DSG-auto

23E

27

E

FR-Line 2.0 TDI 150 Ecomotive

20E

26

E

FR-Line 2.0 TDI 150 DSG-auto

20E

27

E

FR-Line 2.0 TDI 184

23E

27

E

FR-Line 2.0 TDI 184 DSG-auto

23E

27

E

 

Warranties and servicing

The warranty package offered with Alhambra includes:

  • Three-year/60,000-mile warranty (comprises two-year manufacturer’s warranty with unlimited mileage plus a further one-year Dealer Warranty limited to 60,000 miles)
  • 12-year anti-perforation warranty – the Alhambra has a fully-galvanised steel body
  • Three-year paintwork warranty against manufacturing defects
  • Two-year SEAT Assistance roadside assistance package valid in 33 countries throughout Europe and bordering countries
Servicing and It’s Fixed!

All Alhambra models have the same servicing requirements.  A major service is required only at 20,000-mile intervals with an oil change every 10,000 miles.  Alhambras which travel less than 10,000 miles a year require an inspection service, which includes oil change, every 12 months.

In 2012, SEAT introduced its It’s Fixed! servicing scheme, which provides a transparent, easy-to-book and, most importantly, cost-effective way for all SEAT drivers to have their cars serviced – and by fully trained SEAT technicians using only genuine SEAT parts.

Thanks to It’s Fixed!, a minor service (every 10,000 miles/one year) is just £159, a first-year service £179, a second-year service £239, and a major service (20,000 miles/two years) £269, including VAT and labour. An online booking facility makes it incredibly convenient, and it’s open to all SEAT cars from one- to fifteen years old.

Documents Add all files

Available Information