This handsome, seven-seater SUV is a supremely safe drive, making it an ideal option for families.
Follow motoring journalist Tim Barnes-Clay on Instagram @tbarnesclay.
You’re right: this is yet another SUV. O.M.G! How many SUVs can automakers produce? And are we all really demanding them? I just can’t see the appeal. Give me a hatch or an estate – or even a saloon over one of these high-riders any day.
But that’s just me. Clearly, most other motorists prefer these “sport utility vehicles”. That’s what ‘S’, ’U’ and ‘V’ stand for by the way. You should know that, though, right?
Anyway, SEAT has become a bit of a “yoof” oriented brand; therefore, you won’t be perceived as an “old dad” if you drive the Tarraco, under scrutiny here. It’s a good-looking angular affair, with room for up to seven, if you so choose. The third row of seats is great for cramming in a couple of small passengers – but they won’t thank you if you go on a long run. There’s not a lot of legroom – and these extra chairs gobble up much of the 700-litre boot. Still, they’re a handy option to have if you occasionally need to turn the SUV into an out and out “people carrier”.
Fully laden, the SEAT lurches a little if you tackle bends too enthusiastically, but when driving solo, you can be a little bit more rebellious and pretend the Tarraco corners like it’s on rails. The steering weights up well, and there’s enough grunt from the 2.0 TDI Xcellence 4 Drive 190 DSG grade, as tested here. Zero to 62mph takes only eight seconds, and the top speed is 130mph. Of course, if you drive it like you stole it, efficiency plunges like a stone. But take it easy – as you should do if you’re loaded up with kids, and you can expect mid-30s mpg. CO2 emissions are 147g/km.
Five-star safety badge
Fold the pop-up spare row of seats back into the boot floor, and the Tarraco is a spacious enough car with a pleasant interior. Alcantara and cloth fabrics give the five-door SUV a premium edge – as does the onboard tech. Gadgetry includes an infotainment screen, navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, as well as DAB radio.
The only fly in the Tarraco’s ointment is the stiffness of its ride. It’s not a deal-breaker, but I’ve driven more comfortable family cars. Oh, and, at £37,120, the 2.0 TDI Xcellence 4 Drive 190 variant isn’t the cheapest set of wheels. Still, it’s a safe car, especially as it has 4×4 technology. To prove it, the SEAT holds the full five-star safety badge, as awarded by independent crash-test body, Euro NCAP.
Fast Facts – SEAT Tarraco 2.0 TDI Xcellence 4 Drive 190 PS DSG as tested:
- Max speed: 130mph
- 0-60 mph: 8.0 seconds
- Combined mpg: 37.2-38.2
- Engine layout: 1968cc, 4-cylinder turbo diesel
- Max. power (PS): 190
- CO2: 147g/km
- Price: £37,120