* This post is not sponsored, meaning all opinions are my own and no one I had paid AYL to share this. *
Last October we teamed up with Lewis Reed to create a series of honest Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) reviews. To learn more about the company, their vehicle adaptions, and the Motability Scheme, check out their introductory post. To read our other Lewis Reed vehicle reviews, simply click the links at the end of this post!
The Seat Alhambra is a truly surprising vehicle, which not only looks like a typical multi-passenger car but has extra sporting appeal. An uncommon combination when looking for a car conversion. With various seating layouts available, all passengers are provided with an enjoyable, time saving and socially integrated experience! Best of all, it is designed to be environmentally conscious by reducing fuel consumption and emissions, whilst also creating smoother dynamic performance. Something that is much appreciated when you are travelling in a wheelchair, as you typically feel every bump and rattle.
This vehicle can comfortably accommodate one wheelchair user and up to five other passengers, including the driver. With two different seating positions that enable optimum comfort and zero compromises, this vehicle is perfect for families. The image below demonstrates some of the available seating arrangements - I preferred option one, which includes two standard seats in the front and two fixed seats in the rear with a space in the middle for my wheelchair. Allowing me to be a part of the conversation and close to my assistance dog, as opposed to being at the back of the vehicle by myself. The rear seats also can slide and tilt forwards to create additional space if required.
As mentioned above, this vehicle perfectly blends the concepts of space, technology, and functionality. The headroom for both rear seat passengers and wheelchair user is exceptional, plus there are large, tinted windows that offer a fantastic eye line once inside - something I rarely get to enjoy due to being so tall! The discreet rear entry system includes a rattle-free TorSpring ramp designed by Lewis Reed, which is lightweight, durable, and easy to use. Better still, it is surrounded by smooth exterior lines so that the ramp is hidden within the bumper. For increased independence and total luxury, you can also opt for electric sliding doors, making it easier for people with reduced hand function to access the back seats/footwells.
Lewis Reed offers a wide range of restraints, powerchair lockdowns and winches to ensure the process of loading and unloading wheelchair users is quick and easy. Securing any wheelchair in place and preventing sudden movement whilst in motion.
This vehicle has many additional key features such as leather upholstery, front and back drink holders and back seat trays that make driving just as enjoyable as passenger riding. Along with an optional panoramic sliding roof and a three-zone, climatronic feature that provides optimum temperature in all seating areas.
Overall, I think the Seat Alhambra is a great choice for wheelchair users who want to ride directly alongside their family. However, it can also be adapted to enable users to drive from their wheelchair, or a four-way seat so they can internally transfer onto the driver’s seat with ease. Making perfect for parents living with a disability who want/need to drive independently during the school run, or young adults seeking the freedom associated with learning to drive.
Felix (my caregiver, partner, and driver) loved the sleek aerodynamic design, as it disguises the adaptations. It can be difficult to accept the fact you can no longer have a ‘normal’ looking car once caring for a loved one with a disability, so the fact you cannot see these conversions is a huge selling point. Plus, the super lightweight steering, integrated navigation, media system, and 6.5-inch touch screen make it perfect for long-distance driving. Whilst the full-sized rear seats ensure everyone, including our assistance dog Fliss was comfortable throughout.
To learn more about Lewis Reed's bespoke vehicle conversions, you can visit their office in Bromborough, call them on 0151 343 5360, fill out their online request form or arrange a home demonstration!