The new SEAT Tarraco!
The new SEAT Tarraco!

Caroline drives the new SEAT Tarraco!

In the last few years, SEAT has grown its portfolio of cars with the addition of a new family of SUVs, including the Ateca and last year’s compact Arona. But now it’s the arrival of the Tarraco that looks set to enhance SEAT’s prospects even more. The new SEAT Tarraco is not only the brand’s largest family SUV, available with five or seven seats, but it’s also a new flagship model for the brand.

With pricing starting from €34,700, the SEAT Tarraco enters a significantly crowded market of family SUVs. Yet the Tarraco is certainly one of the most spacious of its ilk so in that way it’s a properly accommodating family car. Five seat models are standard but you can get two extra seats in the rear for an additional €1000, turning your Tarraco into the seven seat family mover of your dreams.

The SEAT Tarraco is available from €34,700 in Ireland
The SEAT Tarraco is available from €34,700 in Ireland

Stylish and practical family SUV

The SEAT Tarraco hides its bulk well in the metal, being creased in all the right places for a classy, discrete presence. However to distinguish the Tarraco, there’s some more elaborate design touches synonymous with the ambitious Spanish brand. There’s drama in the big, upright grille and sharp LED headlights with SEAT’s triangular signature design, as well as a defining light strip along the rear of the car.

SEAT Ireland has launched the Tarraco in two trims, SE and Xcellence, with even SE models getting LED lights and 18” inch alloys. The Xcellence model I had on test (from €39,885) had 20” alloys added as an option but standard kit includes 19” alloys and a special Xcellence styling kit.

Standard equipment is very good across the range with SE models getting 8” touchscreen, 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 electric tailgate, adaptive cruise control, automatic lights and wipers, and park assist.

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

Inside the SEAT Tarraco

The interior of the SEAT Tarraco has a simple and elegant design with a digital instrument panel as standard and 8” touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Quality is some of the best we’ve seen from SEAT to date. There are also some more distinct elements to this cabin like the stylish brushed chrome trim inserts and the digital instrument panel with unique graphics and three different views to choose from.

The cabin feels large and spacious and there is loads of space for second row occupants. There are two optional seats in row three. There is not a lot of legroom back there, but the split fold rear bench in row 2 can be slid forward and back to create more space. The boot is a huge 760 litres with a wide aperture and a powered tailgate is standard on Xcellence trim.

Rear seating in the SEAT Tarraco
Rear seating in the SEAT Tarraco

What are my engine options?

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 is available with a manual gearbox with a power output of 150hp or in automatic DSG 4×4 guise with 190hp.

My test car was a 2.0-litre diesel with 190hp paired with a DSG automatic transmission and four wheel drive. It was a wonderful combination with smooth gearshifts and lots of power, making it an effortless drive whether in town or country. Over a week of driving my fuel consumption averaged at 7.2l/100km, while motor tax is €390 per year for this model.

The SEAT 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.

Boot space in the SEAT Tarraco when the seven seats are in place
Boot space in the SEAT Tarraco when the seven seats are in place

On the road in the SEAT Tarraco

The light controls make it easy work in the urban environment, while the diesel was smooth and refined around town. There is only so much that the Tarraco can do to disguise its size and weight in corners, but it handles with enough agility for this class of vehicle. The refinement and comfort of the car is truly special also and the Tarraco moves through the air with incredible ease.

The SEAT Tarraco is a real triumph for SEAT, showcasing some of the best quality, comfort and refinement the brand has to offer. It’s a spacious and practical vehicle with a versatile interior that should serve family well.

The Tarraco is stylish and well equipped with well proven engines on offer so it can truly command its position in the market as a stylish, quality and desirable SUV. This is such a pleasant car to drive every day, with ride quality and refinement that gives a surprisingly premium feel to the Tarraco. In that way SEAT has really delivered on the premise of a flagship model for their brand and the Tarraco is an aspirational vehicle that will turn heads.

The Tarraco is a real triumph for SEAT!
The Tarraco is a real triumph for SEAT!

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Tarraco 2.0TDI 190hp DSG 4Drive Xcellence (7 Seat)
€51,460 (Range from €34,700)
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo diesel
190 hp
Torque: 400 Nm
8 seconds
Top speed: 209 km/h
Fuel economy:
CO2 emissions: 
Motor tax: 
€390 per year