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First drive: SEAT Tarraco. Image by SEAT.

First drive: SEAT Tarraco
Can the new SEAT Tarraco seven-seat SUV steal the crown from King Kodiaq?


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SEAT Tarraco

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The new SEAT Tarraco enters the large SUV market to compete with the likes of the Peugeot 5008 and Skoda Kodiaq. But how does it compare when it comes to space, practicality, driving dynamics and price? We test drive the top of the range models to find out.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: SEAT Tarraco 2.0 TDI 190 DSG 4Drive Xcellence
Pricing: starts at 28,320
Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel
Transmission: seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, four-wheel drive
Body style: seven-seat SUV
CO2 emissions: 147g/km
Combined economy: 50.4mpg
Top speed: 131mph
0-62mph: 8.0 seconds
Power: 190hp at 3,500-4,000rpm
Torque: 400Nm at 1,750-3,250rpm
Boot space: 230 litres (all seats up), 700 litres (five seats up), 1,775 litres (all rear seats down)

What's this?

This is the all-new, seven-seat SEAT Tarraco. It is the largest model in the Spanish carmaker's SUV range, which also includes the Arona and Ateca. However, whilst it does have seven seats, those two rearmost seats are more for occasional use and are best suited to young children. If you are in need of a proper seven-seat vehicle, SEAT stills offers its Alhambra MPV.

The SEAT Tarraco is built on the Volkswagen Group's MQB-A platform, which is also used by the Audi Q2, SEAT Arona and Ateca, Skoda Karoq and the Volkswagen T-Roc and Tiguan. It also shares this platform with its closest adversary, the Skoda Kodiaq. Other rivals include the Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, Nissan X-Trail and Peugeot 5008.

Engine and transmission options for the Tarraco includ a 1.5 TSI 150, 2.0 TSI 190 DSG 4Drive, 2.0 TDI 150 (with or without DSG 4Drive option) and 2.0 TDI 190 DSG 4Drive.

Trim levels are SE, SE Technology, Xcellence and Xcellence LUX.

The entry-level price is 28,320 for an SE 1.5 TSI Evo 150; SE tech starts at 29,330; Xcellence starts at 30,410; and Xcellence LUX starts at 32,135.

How does it drive?

SEAT says that it has tuned the chassis to make it stand out from the other cars with which it shares the platform. The word 'sporty' was mentioned, a lot, but let's not kid ourselves here: this is a high-sided, seven-seat SUV. Having said that, it does feel a little bit more sorted and tighter on the road than the Kodiaq, no doubt the 20mm lower ride height contributing to that. There's also the option to tighten things up even more by selecting the 'Sport' mode. The other drive modes are Eco, Normal, Off-road and Winter.

In terms of what matters with these vehicles, visibility is good, the steering is accurate and light, which makes manoeuvring in and out of tight spaces less of a chore, the seats and ride quality are comfortable and the car feels sure-footed and capable on most road types and surfaces.


Overall, the SEAT Tarraco does exactly what you want a car to do when you have a gang of kids in the back. It makes easy work of driving a big SUV and it is jam packed with standard safety and connectivity features to help make each journey as secure, stress-free and smooth as possible. However, the same compliments can also be paid to many of its rivals, some of which are a little bit more practical (Kodiaq) and stylish (Peugeot 5008). Not quite a class-leader then, but the Tarraco is a worthy new entrant.

4 4 4 4 4 Exterior Design

4 4 4 4 4 Interior Ambience

4 4 4 4 4 Passenger Space

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Luggage Space

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Safety

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Comfort

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Driving Dynamics

4 4 4 4 4 Powertrain

Melanie May - 23 Nov 2018

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2019 SEAT Tarraco. Image by SEAT.2019 SEAT Tarraco. Image by SEAT.2019 SEAT Tarraco. Image by SEAT.2019 SEAT Tarraco. Image by SEAT.2019 SEAT Tarraco. Image by SEAT.

2019 SEAT Tarraco. Image by SEAT.2019 SEAT Tarraco. Image by SEAT.2019 SEAT Tarraco. Image by SEAT.2019 SEAT Tarraco. Image by SEAT.2019 SEAT Tarraco. Image by SEAT.


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