SEAT's excellent

family SUV

SEAT Tarraco, front
SEAT Tarraco, front
SEAT Tarraco, front
SEAT Tarraco, front
SEAT Tarraco, front
SEAT Tarraco, rear
SEAT Tarraco, rear
SEAT Tarraco, rear
SEAT Tarraco, interior

BEFORE coronavirus descended to stop the world, I almost killed two different people on the same day.

They were both dicing with death not from the virus but because they were almost invisible. One was dressed all in black riding a skateboard down the middle of a poorly lit road with a 40 mile an hour limit and the other was similarly dressed on an unlit push bike and rode right out in front of me from a footpath.

Both of these idiots are looking for an early grave with today's normal levels of traffic and they can thank their lucky stars that my reactions are still sharp.

Of course, they should be pulled up and their bikes/skateboards confiscated by the police, but thanks to the cuts we have all had to face, there are not too many boys in blue out there any more.

The thin blue line has got thinner and thinner and this government's answer is to recruit more officers - but only enough to replace the numbers that have been cut.

The fool on the bike should be on his knees thanking the superb brakes of the SEAT Tarraco I was driving which, with a swerve, enabled me to miss him by inches.

The Tarraco is SEAT's range topping model and I drove the 1.5-litre petrol turbo, which is probably the best selling engine.

Although four wheel drive (4WD) is available with the larger petrol and diesel engines, this one sends drive just to the front wheels.

But apart from this meaning a lack of off-road prowess, it's an almost perfect tall family estate that drives brilliantly.

SEAT claims to be the sporting arm of the massive VW stable and when it comes to the Tarraco - it's spot on. While the large seven seat body blunts the engine's power a little, the handling and road-holding give huge safety and the feel of a smaller car.

The road-holding is wonderful on dry roads, with tremendous grip and very good balance, which is marvellous for such a tall car.

Of course, the excellent VW group power steering adds to the overall feel of tautness and precision and the car was a great companion when I had to do a long haul down to Cornwall and back over a couple of days.

It feels solid and safe and a slightly unsettled pattern to the ride in town improves dramatically at speed - even over rougher surfaces.

There is some bump-thump from the large wheels and tyres over bigger imperfections, but that's par for most SUVs and refinement is otherwise excellent.

Safety is top notch too, with a five star rating thanks to standard lane departure warning,seven airbags and active front headrests to reduce whiplash in accidents.

Front assist warns if you get too close to the car in front and applies the brakes if the driver takes no notice.

It also has adaptive cruise control an eCall system to call the emergency services after an accident and a tiredness recognition system.

The clutch is light and the six-speed gearchange is brilliant, so getting the best from the engine is never a problem.

But for best performance you do have to floor the accelerator and, when you do, it is hugely willing and surprisingly quick, as well as very quiet and refined.

There's enough urge for decent motorway acceleration in sixthgear and it revs sweetly in third and fourth for easy overtaking.

SE Technology spec gives you an alarm, rear parking sensors, loads of seat adjustment, audio remote control from the multi-function steering wheel, voice activation for some functions, and sat nav.

It also has traction control, keyless entry and starting, cruise, DAB radio with Bluetooth and an excellent digital instrument panel that is clear and bright.

Average economy over one day was 32.7 but on a more gentle trip I managed to get 40.3 from it, which is very good.


Price: £29,600

Mechanical:147bhp, 1,498cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 125mph

0-62mph: 9.7 seconds

Combined MPG: 39.2

Insurance Group: 23

C02 emissions: 134g/km

Bik rating: 31%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles


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