February 20, 2019

2019 SEAT Tarraco First Drive Review

Caroline drives SEAT's new seven seat SUV!

The new SEAT Tarraco has just arrived in Ireland
The new SEAT Tarraco has just arrived in Ireland

The SEAT Tarraco has just arrived in Ireland and is an exciting new large SUV for the brand, slotting in above the compact SEAT Arona and mid-size Ateca to complete SEAT’s family of SUVs. Caroline drove the new SEAT Tarraco at the Irish press launch in Dublin.

Styling

The SEAT Tarraco is a stylish new entrant into the large SUV class with a prominent grille giving presence and character and a full width light signature at the rear with dynamic indicators. SEAT Ireland has really tried to ensure that ‘base’ models will look well so even the entry SE model gets 18” alloys and LED headlights with SEAT’s triangular signature design.

Interior

The interior of the Tarraco has a simple and elegant design with a digital instrument panel as standard and 8” touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. All the controls fall easily to hand and there is a good commanding driving position. There are a mixture of materials used and the quality is very acceptable with our Xcellence test model featuring some stylish brushed chrome trim inserts.

Practicality

The Tarraco is available as a five or seven seat SUV. The boot is a huge 760 litres with a wide aperture and powered tailgate as standard on Xcellence trim. There is loads of space for second row occupants and you can let the rear seats down from a release in the boot. The two seats in row three are more compact, but the split fold rear bench in row 2 can be slid forward and back to create more space.

The interior of the SEAT Tarraco
The interior of the SEAT Tarraco

Engines

The new SEAT Tarraco is available in Ireland with a 1.5-litre TSI turbo petrol (150hp), a 2.0-litre TSI turbo petrol (190hp) and a 2.0-litre TDI diesel. The 2.0-litre TDI can be specced with a manual gearbox with a power output of 150hp or in automatic DSG 4×4 guise with 190hp.

On the road

The Tarraco is built on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB-A long wheelbase architecture but SEAT say that they have tweaked it to make it more like a SEAT, with a bit of sportiness and flair to the driving experience. We will have to wait for a longer test drive to fully put that sporty pitch to the test. But we did take the 2.0-litre 150hp manual diesel for a quick drive around Dublin suburbia at the Tarraco launch. The light controls make it easy work in the urban environment, while the diesel was smooth and refined around town.

Equipment

At launch in Ireland the new SEAT Tarraco will be available in SE and Xcellence trim with a sporty FR to follow at a later date.

Standard equipment is very good across the range with SE models getting 18” alloys, 8” touchscreen, LED headlights and rear lights, cruise control, digital instrument panel, SEAT drive profile, tri zone climate control, keyless start, front assist, city emergency braking, lane keep assist and rear view camera.

Xcellence models add 19” alloys, electric tailgate, adaptive cruise control, automatic lights and wipers, park assist, and a special Xcellence styling kit.

The SEAT Tarraco goes on sale in Ireland priced from €34,700
The SEAT Tarraco goes on sale in Ireland priced from €34,700

Pricing

The new SEAT Tarraco goes on sale in Ireland priced from €34,700 for the SE and €39,885 for the Xcellence. Seven seat models are available for a premium of €1000.

Rivals

SEAT Ireland list the Peugeot 5008, Hyundai Santa Fe and Nissan X-Trail as key rivals.

Verdict

The new SEAT Tarraco is a brand new model entering a busy segment of large five and seven seat SUVs. However the Tarraco is very well specced from entry into the range with some well proven petrol and diesel engines at its disposal. It’s a smooth, fuss free drive and a stylish newcomer that I look forward to bringing you a full road test of later in the spring.

Caroline Kidd

The SEAT Tarraco is a stylish new entrant to the seven seat SUV segment
The SEAT Tarraco is a stylish new entrant to the seven seat SUV segment!