SEAT Tarraco

Xcellence 1.5 TSI

EVO

SEAT Tarraco, dynamic
SEAT Tarraco, front
SEAT Tarraco, front, action
SEAT Tarraco, nose, action
SEAT Tarraco, front, static
SEAT Tarraco, rear
SEAT Tarraco, rear, action
SEAT Tarraco, side, action
SEAT Tarraco, interior
SEAT Tarraco, interior, rear

SEAT has been thinking big - and the result is a magnificent seven-seat SUV.

Tarraco - the ancient moniker for the Spanish city of Taragona - is the name of this giant and when you open the powered bootlid of the Xcellence model you understand the appeal it is going to have for families.

I found the rear two seats in place and, while they lack nothing in comfort to sit in, it is clear from the head and legroom available they are most suitable for the smallest of your ankle-biters as adults would need to be double-jointed to use them.

Even with all the chairs in place there is still a surprising amount of room left with the 230-litres putting the boot space in supermini territory.

If, like me, you only need a five-seater most of the time, then the rear row folds flat smoothly at the flip of a lever opening up a welcome 700 litres which easily swallowed all my golf gear without turning a hair.

When more space is needed the rest of the seats also fold flat leaving a cave-like 1,775 litres to play with.

When asked initially by pals how much it cost to buy I guessed at around £40,000 - but in fact it is far more keenly priced with the 16-model line-up starting at £28,230 for the 1.5-litre 150ps turbo petrol version in SE trim.

It is only when you finally arrive at the range-topping four-wheel drive, seven-speed DSG automatic transmission model powered by a 2.0-litre oil burner with 190ps under your right foot that you get close to my original estimate.

A decent price-tag doesn't mean the equipment cupboard is bare lower down the order though as even the most basic model comes with an eight-inch central touchscreen providing access to the many delights on offer while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allow your smartphone to join the party.

SEAT also fits its digital cockpit which includes a 10.25-inch multi-mode instrument panel which looks snazzy while safety systems such as lane departure warning and emergency braking make an appearance. Rear parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers plus metallic paint and LED headlights complete an impressive opening gambit.

By the time you reach the £30,640 Xcellence front-wheel drive model on show here, SEAT has added dual-zone climate control to maintain a pleasant atmosphere in the cabin as well as sat nav and a rear camera which is a useful aid when it comes to slotting the Tarraco in to those tighter city centre parking spots.

The 1.5-litre power unit does a good job of shifting what is a bulky 1.8 tonne motor allowing it to hit 62mph from a standing start in 9.7 seconds on its way to a top speed of 125mph with the aid of a nimble six-speed manual gearbox.

You won't notice much in the way of noise while this is happening as the cabin is well insulated. What you will notice is the comfortable ride and decent handling characteristics plus the lack of body roll.

It is reasonably fuel efficient for a large SUV with economy maxing out at 36.7mpg while emissions come in at 152g/km.

All models have a multi-mode drive selector allowing the car to be placed in Eco, Normal or Sport mode as well as an individual setting.

FAST FACTS

SEAT Tarraco Xcellence 1.5 TSI EVO

Price:£30,640

Mechanical:150ps, 1,498cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:125mph

0-62mph:9.7 seconds

Combined MPG:36.7

Insurance Group:19

C02 emissions:152g/km

Bik rating:34%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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