Seat has whisked the covers off its rebodied VW Sharan: the new 2010-spec Seat Alhambra. Like its creaking predecessor, it's a seven-seater MPV based on Volkswagen group underpinnings and is bound for a life of family functionality and taxi airport runs.
Sliding doors figure this time round to give the Sharan a dose of car park practicality. A single wheelbase will be offered – at 4850mm it's long enough for seven seats (should you choose the maximum option) but still offer a slug of luggage space out back. That's 22cm longer than the previous Seat Alhambra.So it's practicality galore in the new Alhambra?
It seems so. The sliding doors can be specced with electric operation; the five rear seats fold flat into the floor at the tug of a lever; and you can select your boot size from 885 litres in five-seater trim to an echoing 2297 litres with both rows of rear seats stowed. You can even order built-in child seats.Looks a bit like a Sharan with a blindfold!
The Alhambra is naturally mostly Sharan, with just a few lighting, grille and badging accessories to distinguish the Spanish MPV from its German brethren. It's hardly been a problem on previous badge-engineered cars and while the new 2010 Alhambra is unlikely to set pulses racing around these parts, it's certainly a neat enough design.
A slew of different engines is available this time round. A 148bhp TSI petrol engine serves petrol lovers while derv fans can pick a TDI engine in 138bhp or 168bhp outputs. All feature stop-start.
The most economical 2.0 TDI averages 51mpg and emits 143g/km of CO2 – not bad for such a big car.Seat Alhambra: the 2010 options fetish
It's a new-era VW Group product, so naturally toys galore are available: DSG twin-clutch transmissions, panoramic glass sunroofs, gizmos to park the car itself and three-zone climate control.
The new Alhambra will be built in Portugal and goes on UK sale in autumn 2010.