Looking at the Seat Alhambra and the achievements it has celebrated in its short history.
The Alhambra was always going to make an impression ever since its launch in 1996, its name saw to that. The Seat model took its name from one of the most famous architectural and historical monuments on mainland Spain, with the hope being that the car could equal or emulate its namesake’s prominence in the car world.
Constructed as a seven seated MPV and shown off as a concept vehicle for the 1995 Geneva Salon International d’Auto motor show, the Seat Alhambra gave Seat and its parent company Volkswagen a voice in the MPV car market. The car benefited from an agreement with American firm Ford to share some of the technonology after both found they were losing ground to their Japanese competitors.
For 14 years the first generation Seat Alhambra remained largely unchanged with only a few tweaks every so often, however Seat did see it fit to launch an environmentally friendly model to tie in with the Alhambra’s marketing campaign. Called the Seat Alhambra Ecomotive, the two litre turbo charged diesel engine offered a respectable 159g/km in CO2 emissions.
In April 2010 it was announced that Seat were to release a second generation of Alhambra, with the first of that range rolling off the production line six months later in October 2010.
The new model is 22cm longer and 9cm wider than the original Seat Alhambra and has sliding doors so that passengers can access the middle set of seats in the car. Since its roll out from the manufacturing line in its Palmela base on the Portuguese coast, the new Seat Alhambra has picked up a clutch of awards including ‘Best MPV on the market’, ‘Best MPV 2011′ and ‘MPV of the year’ for 2011 from a diverse range of motoring magazines.
As would be expected from a car which is marketed as being passenger friendly, the Seat Alhambra scores well in the Euro NCAP road safety tests which are held in Belgium. Receiving five stars overall the test broke down the results for the Alhambra with the car offering 96% safety for adults, 80% safety for children but only 46% for pedestrian safety.
As a whole the vehicle is a popular model and since its launch in 1996 has seen more than a quarter of a million cars rolled off the production line, justifying Seat and Volkswagen’s ambitions to produce a good quality MPV in a competitive market.