Photo: Pravda, Martin Domček SEAT Alhambra FR Line 1.4 TSI (2022) The Alhambra is a large car with an almost three-meter wheelbase, which is a sign of a really above-standard interior. Why do we write about the “swan song” at the Alhambra? For a simple reason – this extremely practical family car (MPV), which has been on the market since 1996 and has sold about half a million units so far, is definitely coming to an end. Production is subdued and will stop completely in a few weeks. The last pieces are available in Slovakia, diesel ones are no longer among them. In its entire life, this model has lived only two generations, which, however, did not detract from its popularity at all. This is evidenced by the countless titles of “MPV of the Year” that this model has won in many countries. It sold best in the second half of the past decade, when its annual sales reached a level of over 30,000 units. The end of this model began to be talked about almost exactly two years ago – in the spring of 2020. But now it is a sad reality, the Alhambra is just selling out globally and there is a successor in the world. At its end, of course, may be the ongoing SUV mania. Just for fun: globally, almost every second car sold last year was an SUV. The popularity of the sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment has been steadily increasing practically since the early 1990s. According to Statista, their total number has increased approximately sixfold in the past decade (or until 2019). Photo: Pravda, Martin Domček SEAT Alhambra FR Line 1.4 TSI (2022) Although the appearance of the instrument panel has changed time, it is absolutely flawless in terms of processing and quality of materials used. In 2020, almost 30 million SUVs were sold worldwide, despite the coronary crisis. In 2021, it was even about 5 million more. And Slovakia is no exception. According to the statistics of the Association of the Automotive Industry, there was every second new registered SUV or crossover car in Slovakia in the first three months of this year. It was this category that literally “wiped out” MPVs such as the Alhambra. The only brand that has recently had the courage to launch a new family 7-seater MPV – and at a very attractive price – is Dacia with its Jogger model. We recently had the opportunity to try it, here you can find his test: Read more Test: Dacia Jogger for seven – ‘stepped’ on bestseller In the context of the above, it is probably not surprising that the successor to the Alhambra is in the SEAT SUV. It is called Tarraco and is also available in a seven-seater version. Of course, it doesn’t offer as generous interior space as the Alhambra, but it’s definitely an interesting model. We have already left it as well, and with an excellent two-liter diesel and a powered front axle, it has joined our club of “thousands”, ie cars on which we have managed to make a thousand and more kilometers per tank. And with excellent consumption at the limit of 6 liters. However, we will bring you the Tarrac test only during the summer, when it will be more up-to-date, or it will also be possible to buy it in Slovakia. So far, it is one of the cars hard hit by the lack of components and its production is significantly behind schedule. Really big car But back to the tested Alhambre. We got this for the very last test in the sportier FR Line equipment and with a petrol engine with a capacity of 1.4 liters and an output of 110 kW (150 hp), supplemented by a 6-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic transmission. FR Line equipment means that the tested car had a 7-seater design, large 18-inch wheels, keyless controls, electrically operated sliding doors and also a fifth folding door, black leather seat cover from Alcantara, navigation, automatic air conditioning and strong safety equipment. Photo: Pravda, Martin Domček SEAT Alhambra FR Line 1.4 TSI (2022) Sliding doors and large MPVs are extremely practical. Of course, this also affected the price. It is relatively higher and is one of the few things we could blame for this car. The price of the tested piece, which you can also see in the photos, attacked the limit of 45,000 euros, which is really not enough. In reality, however, its basic price with the same engine and manual in action is already at the level of 36,000. However, for the reasons mentioned above, you probably won’t find him new for her. In terms of size, the Alhambra is a fairly large car. It measures almost 4.9 meters in length, is more than 1.9 meters wide and, above all, offers a very decent, almost three-meter (2,919 mm) wheelbase. And that would also belong to a 7-seater car. The result is a really large luggage compartment, which has up to 955 liters in a 5-seater configuration, and even with a 7-seater you still have three hundred liters available for luggage. What the Alhambra did not have time to get are LED lights, it has only significantly weaker bi-xenons in front and it also lacks, for example, a digital instrument panel in front of the driver. However, it has one great thing – sliding side doors, which are really practical, especially when parking. The space in the cabin is huge. In the second row, for example, you can safely install three child seats next to each other, which is something that many cars cannot boast of. Not to mention that you can also have them integrated there (in the photos, for example, it is a seat in the back with a specific headrest – you can lift the seat up there and the car seat is ready). Sitting in the third row is not “rich”, but children will be taken well and adults can be shorter distances. In addition, the seats in the second row can be moved, so that even when fully occupied, some space compromise can be found with seven people. The cabin is also well made, soft plastics are used and visually it looks valuable at first glance. Higher consumption, weaker dynamics The truth is that the tested engine with a volume of only 1.4 liters and an output of 110 kW (with another engine you will not even get a new Alhambra) with this not only large, but also relatively heavier car weighing more than 1.8 tons bother. Feel it in terms of both dynamics and consumption. For example, we drove more than half of the almost 1,000-kilometer kilometers around the districts, about a quarter below the highway and a quarter around the city, all at the prescribed speeds. Photo: Pravda, Martin Domček SEAT Alhambra FR Line 1.4 TSI (2022) The second row is also literally royal. There is also an integrated car seat. Even with this relatively economical setting, however, consumption climbed just over the 8-liter limit, and if you drove it more in the city or was fully loaded, it would probably be able to attack a two-digit number. In addition to the higher price of the tested version, consumption is the second thing we would be able to blame for this particular car. On the other hand – you have a 70-liter tank at your disposal, so you don’t have to go to the pump so often. At one time, this car also had powerful two-liter diesel under the hood, but such an engine is already missing from the old model. Unfortunately. However, travel comfort and soundproofing are a completely different thing. Even on the large 18-inch wheels, the car can handle larger unevenness, the passages in them feel only slightly and the cab remains quiet when driving at the highway limit. Photo: Pravda, Martin Domček SEAT Alhambra FR Line 1.4 TSI (2022) Essentially perpendicular fifth doors help maximize trunk volume. It has 955 liters in the five-seater version. From our point of view, the Alhambra was one of the most successful large-scale family cars, designed for up to 7 people. Its strong point was the high-standard interior space, sliding side doors and a huge suitcase. If you are looking for this type of car, you will definitely stop at the Alhambre, especially with a two-liter diesel.
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