A couple of weeks ago SEAT Ireland got in touch with me and asked would I be interested in reviewing a brand new SEAT Alhambra for a month. Obviously I thought long and hard about this offer. Not really. A brand new 7 seater and the opportunity for a months respite from my horrible tank, of course I agreed.
I was probably most excited about not having to get into my own car for a month and didn’t give much thought to the car I would be driving. This all changed when I saw the car.
I picked it up a couple of days ago from Cranley Cars on the Naas Road. I have to compliment them. I have been buying cars since I was 19 and have been in many many garages and have had a full range of experiences with the most common one being ignored when I first walked into a garage and being left waiting around. Cranley Cars offered the exact opposite experience to when I last visited a garage last year to collect a car. As soon as I walked in the door a salesperson greeted me and asked could he help and then the manager, Derek Hamilton , came out to meet me. There was no hanging around, I was brought immediately out to the car. Derek gave me a run through of the car and its features and gave me his card should I have further questions. Information overload is never a good thing nor is being flung a set of keys and being left to it. The information and detail I received and the customer service were just perfect.
Then I left the garage and drove. Amazing. In the ten minutes it took me to drive from the garage to my house, I fell in love and there is a lot to love with the SEAT Alhambra. I am going to write a full review after I have driven it for a month but let me tell you briefly some of my favourite things.
It is deceptively big. It looks and feels like a regular sized car. Inside is positively spacious. All six of us fit very comfortably and my large two-part buggy fits easily into the boot with space remaining with all seven seats up.
- The leather seats. The HEATED leather seats and the fact that all seven seats are full adult sized seats.
- The integrated booster seats. I love the peace of mind integrated boosters bring as you know the seats are always 100% accurately fitted plus they save a lot of space.
- The sliding back doors.
- The panoramic sunroof.
- The parking sensors.
- The ease at which the seats go up and down. Loading children into this car is easy.
- The option that all the back seats can be put down flat and the car can be transformed into a mini van. Ikea is calling so I can fully test this configuration.
- The 7 airbags and the fact that the car has a 5 star Euro NCAP rating.
It ticks every box for the features I would look for in a family car but the thing I most like, nay love, about the car is how it drives. I have been driving a number of 7 seaters, mom wagon style cars over the last number of years and my enthusiasm for driving as waned as each year has passed. I don’t enjoy driving anymore, it has become another mundane day-to-day task. This last week has reminded me of how excited I was when I got my first car and I would spend hours just aimlessly driving around just for the sake of driving.
The SEAT Alhambra is an absolute pleasure to drive. It has a two litre diesel engine but feels positively nippy. The steering wheel is small, there is no feeling of driving a bus which is how any other 7 seaters I have driven have always felt like. It is a dream to park, you could nearly park with your eyes closed ( I wont actually test this) and in just a few days it has brought back my enthusiasm for driving.
It’s a pretty goddamn good-looking car too. Four complete strangers have asked for my opinion on it over the last week, twice in the supermarket car park, where all good random conversations take place and have asked would I recommend it. After just a couple of days, yes I fully would recommend. So far I have only done my usual driving – school runs, shopping etc but I am looking forward to some day trips over the Easter holidays and I will review fully after the month is up and I have to close down the blog, get a new identity and steal the car because its going to be hard to give back…………..Only joking SEAT Ireland. Kind of.
You can download the full brochure for the SEAT Alhambra here and have a full look at all this car offers. There is lots of information including pricing, the huge range of accessories, information on performance and the technology of the car on the SEAT Ireland website.
Disclaimer : SEAT Ireland offered me the use of a SEAT Alhambra for one month for review purposes. All opinions, as always, are my own.