Seat has a new flagship vehicle, the Tarraco. It's a large seven-seater SUV, what else? The previous flagship for me, the Leon, is the epitome of chic Spanish looks merging sexy with crisp, sharp lines.
In estate form it looks even better. The Tarraco completes the SUV range for Seat with the Ateca and the endearing Arona which is deservedly doing well sales-wise.
Seat should be trendsetters when it comes to looks and the Tarraco fails to build on this reputation. It is not divisive but maybe it should be to imbue it with a modicum of individuality. There are similarities to a lot of cars on sale and the opportunity to land a bullesye has been missed I fear. The rear lights and cross-body brake light is the standout design feature and up front there is a huge grille which seems obligatory these days.
I drove the top of the range 2.0l diesel version with a DSG gearbox and 4WD. It's a favourite combination with the right amount of power, 190hp, delivered by a detection-free gearchange. It's airy too and quiet - both hugely desirable. The interior isn't, again, divisive enough with Seat playing it safe. Equipment wise Seat packed the car with every possible feature from its standard and options arsenal. LED lights, tri-zone climate control and keyless are standard as is the selectable digital driver's display with a snazzy 8 inch central infotainment system. Safety isn't forgotten either with lane keeping assist and city braking and front assist, again standard. The Tarraco is unquestionably the best packaged car Seat offers.
You can get a 5 seater Tarraco as well that delivers an enormous cargo area. With 7 seats it is significantly reduced but so are all other 7 seaters. What's handy, when in 7 seat mode, is the ability to slide the second row of seats forwards creating more space for the third row passengers.
It’s accomplished on the road and confidence inspiring for its size. It'll lean a bit but not overly and easily absorbs the worst road defects our councils fail to fix. I’d go so far as to say it’s refined.
Most of us in Ireland could satisfy our motoring needs with a regular estate car. But needs are trumped by desire and it’s an SUV buyers want. This being so, I wish that Seat had applied a lot more of their Spanish style, sexiness and magic to this SUV.
Under the Hood
Model Tested - Seat Tarraco 2.0TDI DSG 4Drive Xcellence (7 Seat)
Engine - Diesel, 190hp; 400 Nm
0-100km/hr - 8.0s
Top Speed - 209 km/h
Combined Cycle 7.6l/100 km
Model Tested - €59,014
Prices from - €34,700