The rise of the SUV and Crossover continues. It's quite ironic really in an age where there is the never ending drive to reduce emissions and countless campaigns by governments to penalise the motorist with higher taxes and congestion charging, we are actually building and buying bigger, heavier and therefore less fuel efficient ( than a smaller vehicle) cars.
Seat’s offering in this segment is the large 7-seat SUV the Tarraco. Seat is owned by the VAG Group and so it's no surprise that the Tarraco shares pretty much everything with the VW Tiguan Allspace and Skoda Kodiaq.
Prices for the new Seat Tarraco start at €38,890.
Has it any street cred?
The Tarraco is an imposing looking machine with clean uncluttered lines. I am testing the new FR version. With tow-tone 20” alloys, roof rails and some attractive light cluster designs it does look very well.
What’s it like inside?
The cabin of the Tarraco FR is one of the most upmarket of the Seat range. Materials are of a high quality and the fit and feel of everything is top notch.
The large roomy cabin will seat five in complete comfort while the last row of seats will only suit two kids. Raising or lowering the rear seats is simple and easy. It's worth noting that with the last row of seats in place (as with most 7-seaters) there is virtually no boot space.
The level of standard equipment on the FR model tested here is superb. Highlights include 19” alloys, one piece sports seats, Digital cockpit, voice control, 9.2 inch Colour touch screen, electric seats with memory function, rear camera, auto dimming mirrors. I could go on its truly comprehensive and a class leader in this respect. I wonder though why there is no wireless charging as in other models?
What’s under the bonnet?
The Tarraco is available with either two or four wheel drive and petrol or diesel power plants. Either a 1.5 TSI 150 bhp petrol and a 2.0 litre 190 bhp or a 2.0 TDI diesel with a choice of 150bhp (as tested here) or 190 bhp power outputs. Standard is a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DSG auto as on this test car.
One gripe I had was that the DSG gearbox even in sport mode never seemed to downshift early enough for a corner leaving me in a higher gear than I needed when exciting the corner.
Performance is good and over my 600km read test it burned 7.2 litres of diesel per 100km. Road tax is €210.00 per year.
Will I enjoy driving it?
Seat markets itself as the more sporting division of the VAG group. The Tarraco sits 20mm lower than its sibling Skoda Kodiaq but at the end of the day its still a 4.7 meter long tall vehicle so while it drives well its not going to set your heart alight.
Handling is surefooted whether on wet or dry roads.
Refinement is another virtue as it proves pretty quiet save for a bit of a diesel growl at lower speeds.
So what is the verdict?
I really like the Seat Tarraco FR. I had it fully loaded with 6 people and luggage and it managed to swallow the lot with ease. Its supremely versatile family transport. I liked driving it too, so overall then a Bulls Eye for Seat with the new Tarraco FR!
The 2021 model year Tarraco is priced from €38,600 the FR model on test here cost €47,365 before options.