Auto Express awards: Best used MPV: SEAT Alhambra Mk2

"Sometimes you can't beat a traditional MPV to carry your family around in. The SEAT Alhambra is our favourite used option

If you’re looking to accommodate a growing family, few cars do it better than an MPV. And used buyers will find it hard to see past the cavernous SEAT Alhambra. A facelift earlier this year means that values of older models have started to slide, making the spacious seven-seater even more attractive and affordable.

You certainly get a lot for your money with the Alhambra. Its upright and boxy body isn’t the last word in style, but it houses an interior that’s vast, neatly designed and packed with upmarket appeal.

Access to the cabin is straightforward, thanks to the huge sliding side doors, and these are powered on flagship SE Lux versions. Once inside, you’ll find plenty of standard kit, with all models getting air-con, Bluetooth connectivity and parking sensors. The interior is also robustly built from decent materials, and is well up to the demands of a busy family life.

The middle row is made up of three individual seats that slide, recline and fold, while the two seats in the rear can be lowered into the boot floor in one easy movement. Crucially, when they’re in place there’s enough space for adults to sit comfortably.

With all seven seats raised, the SEAT’s boot will still swallow a handy 267 litres of luggage, while folding the two rear rows flat results in a van-like 2,297 litres.

Yet there’s nothing utilitarian about the way the Alhambra drives. Pick of the engines is the proven 2.0 TDI diesel, which offers a fine mix of performance and economy, and should be reliable. The steering is direct and well weighted, while decent grip and body control allow you to hustle the Alhambra through a series of corners with the confidence of a smaller hatch.

It’s not the most glamorous car, but for value, space, quality and driver appeal, the SEAT takes some beating."