SEAT Tarraco SE

Technology

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

IF you buy a large, spacious, seven-seater family vehicle it always helps to find the manufacturer has built in a way of keeping the running costs down.

And with the latest SEAT Tarraco SE Technology model the Spanish car maker has a trick up its sleeve to do just that.

For while the Tarraco is a four cylinder car it automatically cuts off two cylinders when you're cruising along at a constant speed and have a light foot on the accelerator.

In other words the engine is only working at half its power which sends the instant fuel consumption readout into three figures.

And that helps keep the average fuel consumption at a sensible level of around 43 miles per gallon.

You know when it's happening because you get a "two cylinder mode" message on the dashboard, and unless money is no object it's a message which it's tempting to aim for every time you get behind the wheel.

The new SEAT Tarraco, which is named after the northern Spanish city of Tarragona in case you were wondering, is the largest model in the company's SUV line up.

And unusually it's not manufactured in Spain but in Wolfsburg, Germany, home of the Volkswagen Group of which SEAT is part.

This is a car which you buy for space and flexibility and it has both in spades allowing you to stretch your legs - and your arms - without encroaching on anyone else.

And when the third row two rear seats are not in use they fold neatly into the floor.

This increases the luggage space under the tailgate from 230 litres to 700 litres as well as giving the three travellers in the middle row of seats even more space as you can slide these seats - which are split two-thirds/one third - backwards and forwards.

And if you really need a vast carrying capacity folding down all but the front seats will give you a van-like 1,775 litres.

The SE Technology model is just one up from the entry-level SE model and adds a navigation system with 3D mapping, dark tinted rear windows and 18-inch rather than 17-inch alloys for a premium of just over £1,000.

But despite its fairly low status in the pecking order it it has everything on board that most people will want, from full LED headlights to height adjustable front seats and parking sensors.

You can even dial up the driving mode you want to use, with a choice of eco, normal, sport and individual settings.

On the road the Tarraco has a nice solid, chunky feel to to it, Slip it into sport mode and it firms up the ride to give it just the right handling for enjoyable driving with very little body roll.

And while the high stance of the Tarraco gives you good all round vision it doesn't - unlike some large SUVs - detract from its handling.

From the driver's seat everything is easily controllable thanks to an eight-inch central touch screen which operates most on-board features and is impressively logical to use.

FAST FACTS

SEAT Tarraco SE Technology

Price: £29,670

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

Max Speed: 125mph

0-62mph: 9.7 seconds

Combined MPG: 42.8

Insurance Group: 23

C02 emissions: 134g/km

Bik rating: 30%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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