search
date/time
Lancashire Times
A Voice of the North
frontpagebusinessartscarslifestylefamilytravelsportsscitechnaturefictionwhatson
Andy Harris
Motoring and Property Editor
@ytimesmotoring
8:01 AM 14th March 2021
cars

Take Your SEAT – Tarraco Has Plenty To Choose From

For the growing family, a multi-seat SUV must still rank as the most suitable transport. I can recall happy days out with a gaggle of children in our family people carrier. And then there was the period when my youngest son was captain of our local junior football team, so our car became the muddy team bus.

What is it?

SEAT has amongst its extensive range of cars the Tarraco, a sharp looking family holdall with seating for up to seven. Available with an large range of petrol and diesel engines, prices start at a competitive £29,140 on the road. There is a choice of manual or automatic gearboxes and top models can be specified with all-wheel drive.

My test car for the week was an FR Sport model, powered by a 150PS petrol engine and mated to a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission.

Fast Facts

SEAT Tarraco FR Sport TSi
Price £36,455 on the road
150PS 1.5-litre petrol engine
7-speed DSG gearbox
0-62mph in 9.5 seconds
Top speed 124mph
Emissions 170g/km CO2
Economy 34.9 to 37.7mpg
BIK 37%
Insurance group 20E

The Drive

The Tarraco is an easy car to live with. A commanding driving position is always a good place to start, as are comfortable heated seats. Performance from the feisty petrol engine is fair, aided by the rapid and smooth shifting DSG gearbox. I found selecting the ‘sport’ setting worked best once free from the confines of the urban environment.

The engine can get rather vocal when worked hard, which I imagine will be more common if travelling fully loaded. My week was spent just one up.

The onboard computer read a little over 30mpg for the 450 mixed miles covered – a reasonable result. Pick the 2.0-litre diesel engine and add at least 10mpg to my figures.

Like so many cars, the Tarraco is quite firmly sprung, most noticeable at low speeds and when hitting the plethora of potholes now littering our roads.

The pay off is better handling than one might expect. However, in a car designed to transport many, I believe a cossetting ride should take preference here.

Some wintery weather saw a few traction issues pulling away from rest and I would be inclined to specify some all-season tyres. They generally improve ride quality too.

High speed cruising was a relaxed affair, with little wind or road noise to spoil the proceedings. The adaptive cruise control was enjoyed, the lane departure system not! As is the case with so many of these systems it gets confused when the white lanes are faded or altered in motorway roadwork sections.

The Interior

I have already mentioned the comfortable front seats and those in the middle seemed fine too, with head and legroom aplenty. They can be reclined and slid forward if the two rear perches are in use. The latter are best suited for children, with access for adults a little challenging perhaps.

With all seats folded, an easy task, there is ample space for the longest loads. I can report my large mountain bike fitted in quite easily without having to remove the front wheel.

The equipment count is high, so there’s leather on the seats, a large touchscreen for media and navigation functions and a glass panoramic roof amongst others. There is no need to look at the options list, apart from to select a paint colour.

The Rivals

Sister company Skoda has the excellent Kodiaq in its arsenal. With seven seats, the range opener is a couple of thousand pounds less than its SEAT equivalent. A similar range of engines and transmissions are available. It feels a tad smaller too, but there’s not much in it.

Volkswagen offer the Tiguan Allspace. Prices are a little higher and this is reflected in slightly more premium feel to the interior and for some the VW badge carries a certain cachet.

If carrying a full complement of larger passengers is the main aim, the look no further at Ford’s duo. S-Max offers a sporty drive, whilst the Galaxy will carry seven adults.

Peugeot offers the rather stylish 5008, and from memory this offers a rather comfortable ride for all on board and fellow French brand Citroen offers the Grand C4 SpaceTourer.

Verdict

Assuming you are not running the Tarraco as a company car, with BIK implications, then I would be inclined to (and I whisper it) choose a diesel engine. The power delivery suits this type of car rather well and there are clear economy gains to be had.

I would eschew the FR Sport trim too and buy a simple SE model, as all Tarraco models are very well equipped.

Practical, stylish and with tried and tested VW Group mechanicals, a Tarraco might just be the ideal family transportation for you and your little treasures.