SEAT Tarraco 1.5 TSI


Seat Tarraco, front action
Seat Tarraco, action front
Seat Tarraco, side action
Seat Tarraco, rear static
Seat Tarraco, rear action
Seat Tarraco, dashboard
Seat Tarraco, rear seats
Seat Tarraco, boot 2
Seat Tarraco, boot 1

OLDER drivers will remember cars with Oxford or Cambridge on their boot lids. Now SEAT has taken to the same city naming theme - and come up with Tarraco.

Never heard of it? Well, you might know of the vibrant Spanish city of Tarragona. And Tarraco is what it was called aeons ago when Rome ruled the roost in this part of modern Spain.

The resulting car is actually built in Germany, at the historic home of Volkswagen in Wolfsburg (cue a future name plate?) and is the biggest model available in the current Seat range, with seats for seven and priced from £29,140.

It demonstrates how the Volkswagen Group has properly caught up with the world's clamour for SUVs, cars that seek to mix a bit of off-road rough and tough style with the carrying capacity of a now out-of-fashion people carrier.

There must be high-ups in the VW Group hierarchy who couldn't name every SUV they build, there are simply so many: Macan, Q8, Tiguan, T-Cross, Bentayga, Urus and Kamiq for starters.

The Tarraco was always going to have a struggle to stand out from its cousins, but its Madrid-born design chief said they tried hard to make it look smaller and less intimidating than its actual inches might have meant.

Which is a rather different - and welcome - approach to the in-yer-face, huge-grilled look of so much modern machinery with boardroom chiefs in Germany.

The result is a capacious family hold-all that mixes a touch of style to the job of getting on with things in a world where reaching the school gates in time is more important than playing grand prix wannabe.

You won't win any races in a Tarraco but you might be surprised how stress free those last 200 miles were as the little ones played with their tablets in the spacious surroundings of row two.

There's even enough room in row three to keep squabbling to a minimum, and perhaps pack in a couple of smaller adults for shorter runs.

Their driver will discover a car that copes just fine, with enough go to join a motorway traffic stream without worry and might even enjoy the way this particular car slides through the gears automatically, lowering the stress levels still further.

This FR grade comes with big 19in alloy wheels that notice bumps in the road more than the smaller ones on lesser versions, but it's aimed at a 'sportier' feel and comes with black door mirrors and roof rails, sports front bumper and a modest roof spoiler to heighten the illusion.

More practically, there are goodies like adaptive cruise control, climate control, Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto as standard kit.

Further stress relievers are a boot as big as 1,775 litres with seats folded flat or a still usable 230 litres with all of them occupied.


SEAT Tarraco 1.5 TSI FR

Price: £34,705

Mechanical: 148bhp, 1,498cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving the front wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 124mph

0-62mph: 9.5 seconds

Combined MPG: 38.2

Insurance Group: 20

C02 emissions: 169g/km

Bik rating: 36%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles


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