• Image Credit: Seat
  • Image Credit: Seat
  • Image Credit: Seat
  • Image Credit: Seat
  • Image Credit: Seat
  • Image Credit: Seat
  • Image Credit: Seat
  • Image Credit: Seat
  • Image Credit: Seat
  • Image Credit: Seat
  • Image Credit: Seat
  • Image Credit: Seat
Minivans may be on the out in North America, replaced as they've largely been by crossovers. In Europe, however, they're still very much the preferred way to move a family around in comfort. The Seat Alhambra is one such entry, and for those unfamiliar, it's essentially the Latin version of the VW Sharan. And since Volkswagen updated its version, Seat has as well.

The original Alhambra was rolled out overseas back in 1996 and was replaced in 2010. And while this latest version may not be a clean-sheet redesign, it does bring with it some welcome updates. For starters, the engines are up to 15 percent more economical. Buyers will be able to choose from four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines ranging up to 181 horsepower, each paired to a dual-clutch transmission that decouples from the engine while coasting.

There's also a host of new convenience and safety systems, including an upgraded infotainment console and collision-avoidance technology. The sheetmetal has been subtly updated as well, with new LED taillaights, a new grille and a fresh array of wheels. None of which is revolutionary, of course, but should come as welcome updates to those in the market for a European family-hauler.
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THE NEW SEAT ALHAMBRA – INTELLIGENT AND INNOVATIVE

- New TDI and TSI engines consume up to 15 per cent less fuel
- New-generation infotainment systems
- New comfort and assistance systems

SEAT is continuing its product offensive with the new generation of its Alhambra. The intelligent and versatile MPV is up to 15 per cent more fuel efficient thanks to its new engines and even more dynamic thanks to increased power output. The Alhambra remains at the very forefront of its class with new comfort and assistance systems, as well as innovative connectivity and infotainment offerings. The New Alhambra will arrive at dealerships this summer, with UK pre-ordering starting at the end of May.

"Alhambra has seen a year of record sales in 2014. Innovation, driving fun, utility and safety are the keywords for the new-generation Alhambra, making it the perfect partner for an active lifestyle," says Jürgen Stackmann, Chairman of the Executive Committee SEAT, S.A. "Its compelling concept combines the very best functionality and state-of-the-art technology with an excellent standard of quality and workmanship. Plus, in true SEAT fashion, it offers incredible value for money."

The line-up of petrol and diesel engines has been completely redeveloped. Each powertrain fulfils the stringent Euro 6 emissions standard. The turbocharged direct-injection units are also up to 15 per cent more fuel efficient. Powered by the 2.0 TDI 150 PS for instance, the New Alhambra's fuel consumption is an impressive 57.6 mpg, with 130 grams of CO2 per km.

In the UK, the 2.0 TDI engines will be offered with 150 PS and 184 PS (torque 380 Nm). A 1.4 TSI petrol engine delivering 150 PS also joins the fold.

"The Alhambra stays at the very forefront with its further improved fuel consumption and emissions figures. With its new technologies, it provides the best possible combination of dynamic driving fun and excellent comfort." says Dr. Matthias Rabe, SEAT Executive Vice President for Research and Development.

All engines can be combined with the DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission, which in its latest generation also boasts a fuel-saving coasting function. As soon as the driver lifts off the accelerator, the Alhambra runs with the engine decoupled.

The new Alhambra comes with a new generation of SEAT Easy Connect infotainment systems. These include high-resolution touchscreen displays and the very latest processors for much faster booting and rapid route calculation, offering a completely new level of connectivity too.

The multi-collision brake system is also standard equipment in the New Alhambra. In the event that the driver can no longer intervene following an accident, it initiates automatic braking to avoid a secondary collision. New to the line-up is the Blind-Spot Sensor, which warns of unseen vehicles when changing lane. Also new in the Alhambra is DCC (Dynamic Chassis Control). The system regulates the damper valves in a matter of milliseconds to adapt the vehicle characteristics to the exact driving situation – whether it's supreme comfort or a sportier drive. The new massage seats also deliver an exceptionally high level of long-distance comfort.

The Alhambra's design has been subtly updated. New rear lights with LED technology display SEAT's distinctive light signature, which underscores its family connections, as do the new brand logo set into the modified front grille and the new wheel designs. The interior comes with new trim colours, the steering wheel design is taken from the SEAT Leon and some of the control elements have been redesigned. The keyless entry and start system is another ease of use feature.

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