Things are going well at Seat. In 2018 it was the UK’s fastest-growing car manufacturer. It’s a relatively recent entrant to the crossover and SUV sector with its Ateca and Arona (both of which have sold like hotcakes) but now there’s a larger seven-seat option – the Tarraco.
It takes advantage of the Volkswagen Group’s renowned parts sharing, meaning that underneath it’s essentially a Skoda Kodiaq and Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace.
There are three genuine sets of seats, and while this isn’t the only seven-seater in Seat’s range – the ancient Alhambra people carrier is also impeccable at its ability to lug seven adults and their luggage – buyers now have another option from the brand.
Engine choices are plentiful on the Tarraco. For starters, there’s the option between a 148bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine or an 187bhp 2.0-litre petrol unit, alongside a 2.0-litre diesel engine producing either 148bhp or 187bhp.
We got behind the wheel of the more powerful diesel, which sends its grunt to all four wheels via a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission, which presents some decent performance figures for a car of this size. The 0-60mph sprint takes 7.8 seconds, with an eventual top speed of 130mph.
Ride and handling
Out of all the more ‘normal’ brands under the Volkswagen umbrella – Skoda, Audi and VW – it’s Seat that’s usually seen as the sportier out of the quartet. Which juxtaposes with the usual aim of a seven-seater, which is spacious comfort.
Seat has dialled things back with the Taracco, though, which means that the steering is fairly light around town, which is good for low speed manoeuvres. The DSG gearbox is also good once at a pace but can feel sluggish at lower speeds.
Our main gripe is with the ride quality, which has something to do with the 20-inch alloy wheels fitted to our test car. They certainly look excellent, but it’s at the expense of comfort, and it just feels a bit firm for a family-oriented SUV. Smaller 18-inch alloy wheels help to better the situation.
Interior and equipment
Step into the Taracco and you could be mistaken for sitting in any model from Skoda or Volkswagen. No bad thing, as the VW Group’s models are notoriously well-built and use plenty of high-quality materials. Seat has also added some chrome accents to add some flair, while a big touchscreen is a big bonus.
It also ticks the spaciousness of boxes – the first two rows offering plenty of room, and while the third row might feel a bit tight for taller adults, it’s more than up to the job of transporting children, which is really what they’re meant for. The boot is also generously sized.
Four trim levels are offered on the Taracco – SE, SE Technology, Xcellence and Xcellence Lux. And Seat thinks each has all you could want from them, meaning that the options list is nearly non-existent.
Entry-level SE features 17-inch alloys, a digital cockpit, three-zone climate control, with SE Tech adding 18-inch rims and satellite navigation. Making the jump to Xcellence gets you Alcantara sports seats, 19-inch alloy wheels, park assist, adaptive cruise control and an electric tailgate.
While sitting at the top of the Taracco range is the Xcellence Lux, which brings huge 20-inch alloy wheels, heated leather seats and an electric driver’s seat. The equipment levels truly are impressive.
Prices start from £28,335 for the Taracco, with range-topping models not costing too much money – the Xcellence Lux version costing from £32,150. These models are well-priced considering the interior quality, spaciousness and equipment levels, but our 2.0-litre diesel offering is rather pricey at £38,055.
The 2.0-litre diesel isn’t overly efficient, but it’s no worse than the equivalent from a rival manufacturer, with this engine returning up to 38.2mpg, with CO2 emissions of 147g/km.
The Seat Tarraco is a car that’s certainly worth considering if you’re in the market for a seven-seat SUV, with the model excelling when it comes to spaciousness and standard equipment levels.
The 20-inch alloy wheels are something we would consider avoiding but sticking with lesser (and more affordable) trim levels easily helps to improve this and makes the Seat a great all-rounder.