First I took charge of Sue Baker’s Arona. Then I swapped that for an Ibiza. This was followed by an Alhambra. And now I appear to have taken custody of a Tarraco. My quest to monopolise the SEAT press fleet continues, although I’m pretty confident that this will be the last time I take a SEAT… for now, at least.
In fairness, jumping from the Alhambra and into the Tarraco makes a great deal of sense. SEAT’s seven-seat MPV is starting to feel outmoded and out of touch, especially alongside the company’s first seven-seat SUV. Place these two next to each other in a showroom and there’s only going to be one winner. That’s the theory, anyway. As I write this, I’ve had the car for a month, amassing a couple of thousand miles in the process, but I’ll save the first impressions for the next update. In the meantime, here’s an introduction to my fourth SEAT long-termer.
The Tarraco is the third SUV in the SEAT range, sitting above the Arona and the Ateca. It uses the same platform as the Skoda Kodiaq and Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace, but despite its Spanish badge, the Tarraco is built in Wolfsburg, Germany. Our test car is powered by the familiar 2.0-litre TDI engine producing 188bhp and mated to a four-wheel-drive system and seven-speed twin-clutch transmission. When new, our Tarraco had a list price of £36,330 in Xcellence trim, though this has since risen to £36,545. It sits close to the top of the range, but standard equipment includes 19-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, a navigation system, front sports seats, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and start, park assist and rear-view camera. The Atlantic Blue metallic paint is a no-cost option, while the stylish brown Alcantara sports seats are standard. Considering there’s not a single option added to the car, the Tarraco is very well equipped.
It certainly looks the part. Although it arrived dirty following some typically inclement weather, the Tarraco’s chisel-edged and sharp styling made the outgoing Alhambra look rather drab. Subjectively, it’s better looking than the Skoda Kodiaq, but there’s not a lot to choose between the Tarraco and the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace. Regardless of your thoughts, there’s no doubt that, from a styling perspective, the Tarraco can hold its own against more expensive premium rivals. The feel-good factor continues inside, too, with the Alcantara seats making a welcome change from the usual leather you find in the majority of top-specification SUVs. The seats aren’t heated, which is a surprise for a car costing £36k, so you’ll have to upgrade to the Xcellence Lux if you fancy a pair of bum-warmers. That said, the Alcantara seats are less prone to temperature changes than leather.
The dashboard is dominated by a large 10.25-inch screen, with the entire cabin looking and feeling a league ahead of the dated Alhambra. As I said at the start, the Tarraco scores highly in terms of showroom appeal and first impressions. There’s also plenty of room in the first two rows of seats, along with a useful 700 litres of space when the third row of chairs are folded down. With the seats up, you’re left with 230 litres of space, although I don’t think we’ll find as much use for the third row as we did in the Alhambra. In common with many seven-seat SUVs, the rearmost items are best reserved for small children and they lack the legroom and comfort of those in the Alhambra. And before you ask, yes, I am missing the sliding doors. Time will tell if I miss anything else.
Date arrived 8th May 2019
Fuel economy 37.2-38.2mpg (combined) 37.7mpg (on test)
I adore the brown Alcantara seats – so stylish.
It’s going to take a while to get used to ‘normal’ rear doors again.