The Tarraco is the third and largest addition to Seat’s SUV range.
Based on the same platform as the Skoda Kodiaq and VW Tiguan Allspace, and sharing much the same engine line-up, it’s a spacious beast with seven seats as standard.
Prices start at around £28,000 and the most expensive models with four-wheel drive, twin-clutch DSG gearbox and top spec Xcellence trim nudge just past the £40,000 mark (details in the fact box opposite are for the all-bells-and-whistles First Edition model with 190bhp diesel engine and DSG).
Seat launched the Tarraco in the south of England last week, with a range of petrol and diesel versions along with manual and seven-speed DSG automatic transmissions.
Seats have always enjoyed sportier looks than sister vehicles from VW and Skoda, and the Tarraco is no exception.
It’s a handsome, sharply styled car that – while sharing a similar silhouette to the Kodiaq – has some smart details and a slightly more youthful vibe.
Very few SUVs are true seven-seaters and that’s true of the Tarraco. The rearmost seats are fine for kids up to teenage years, but full-size adults will start complaining on longer journeys.
In five-seat configuration there’s an enormous 700 litres – more than in a bigger Range Rover or BMW X5.
I drove the 150 and 190bhp diesel versions and the 190bhp petrol. Despite the current angst over diesels, they’re the engines to go for, pulling so much more willingly from lower revs that even the lower-powered unit feels more than strong enough.
Inside, there’s a touchscreen infotainment system and a digital instrument cluster, which lends the car a more premium feel. Below knee level the materials feel cheaper, but that’s where muddy boots splatter and hard plastic is easier to wipe clean.
A high driving position gives a great view of the road and suspension is excellent across most surfaces. Steering is sharp and handling is surprisingly good, with a more agile feel than the Kodiaq. DSG transmission is the one to go for but manual buyers aren’t short changed either, with a light, smooth-changing six-speed box.
Entry level models are front-wheel drive but spend a bit more and you get an intelligent four-wheel drive system that delivers extra grip when it’s needed.