Final Report - 27th November 2019
It’s time to say adios to Seat’s top-end SUV as the Spanish workhorse ends its six-month 9000-mile time with us.
The Tarraco makes a great option for company car drivers with larger families or indeed those that need to carry big loads for work.
My time with the Seat has been unremarkable, not in a negative sense, but that the Tarraco has just coped admirably with my busy work schedule and family life without any drama. Which, in turn, has made living with it a breeze.
It’s ticked the boxes as a large SUV – it looks good, performs well, provides a comfortable cabin space and is loaded with plenty of safety tech. It also returns a decent MPG and is sub-130g/km, which is no mean feat for a car of this size. Plus, the 150hp engine is responsive and strong enough to cope even when fully laden.
The sat-nav in the Tarraco is on par with anything else in the segment and P11d value, and let’s not forget the rather superb digital dashboard.
Following the introduction of the Arona and Ateca, the Tarraco continues Seat’s push into the SUV segment and has every right to be just as successful as its two smaller siblings.
Update - 13th November 2019
I’ve been playing with the drive profiles accessed via the rotary dial set just behind the gearstick in the Tarraco.
Providing Normal, Eco, Sport and Individual modes (Individual allows tailoring of certain drive aspects), the idea of switching profiles to suit your every whim is a sound one.
In reality, I didn’t find it of any real benefit. While slight differences between the drive profiles are present, most drivers will struggle to notice any real difference to the driving experience, notwithstanding Sport mode which was discernible by the much sharper throttle response.
So the Tarraco now sits in Eco mode – which is perfectly acceptable.
Update - 30th October 2019
As the Tarraco passed the 7500-mile mark, suddenly the AdBlue warning message lit up, showing 1500 miles before the tank needed to be refilled.
However, Seat can take the sting out of this, because an AdBlue refill service can be booked online and is charged at £1.50 per litre.
Having said that, if you’re like me, you probably won’t want to waste the time driving to your nearest dealer (mine is a good 20 mins each way), to drop off your car and collect it later. Unfortunately, a ‘while you wait’ service isn’t bookable.
So, I simply picked up a container of AdBlue when I last had to fill up the main tank with diesel. It took me just five minutes to top up. Job done. No waiting.
Five Month Report - 16th October 2019
When the Spanish brand’s range-topping seven-seat SUV landed on our fleet, it was the perfect opportunity to see it could cope as a family car in addition to its duties as my daily steed.
With three children (aged 7, 11 and 15) and a one-eyed Jack Russell cross who likes his comfort, seven-seats is a must for us on family outings once the usual luggage etc is factored in. The Tarraco hasn’t disappointed, coping well with everything we’ve thrown at it so far.
It’s worth noting, though, that like all seven-seaters in this particular segment, where sloping rooflines tend to be the norm, the size of occupants using the third-row is restricted due to the reduced headroom, meaning the two rear-most seats are best suited to small or mid-sized children – tall teenagers and adults will struggle.
Good slide adjustment to the middle row allows the provision of extra legroom for those in the back while making entry and exit easier – helpful if mum or dad is trying to clunk-click a child into a car-seat!
There’s also a small amount of stowage next to the rear-most left-hand seat for drinks bottles – saves having to keep passing drinks back and forth.
Update - 18th September 2019
The Tarraco is proving to be a really flexible workhorse.
During a recent weekend outing to a Steam Rally event aimed at raising funds for our local Air Cadet squadron, the Tarraco coped easily with the transport of cadets, equipment and tombola goodies and prizes to their destination in the middle of the North Essex countryside.
Seat’s largest crossover is an extremely practical load-lugger and even when fully laden, the 150hp TDI engine never feels sluggish, pulling easily through all the ratios in the six-speed manual gearbox.
Four Month Report - 4th September 2019
Technology is something that certainly isn’t lacking in this trim level (the clue is in the car’s name). The Tarraco really does feature quite an impressive list of tech and, when married to the digital cockpit and 8.0-inch central display, really provides you with what seems like endless configurations of data displayed.
Whether it’s fuel economy/remaining range data, radio, media, safety features, lighting, navigation, telephone (controversial, I know), engine output in KW, or G-force being applied to the car, there is an abundance of display options. And that’s before you get to the Android Auto or Apple CarPlay screens. If you’re a gadget nerd then you’ll love it!
I really like the ability of the digital dashboard to display the navigation map full-screen. You still get important data in the map, such as speed, but for me, a quick look down to see the map in my dash is safer than eyes turning left to view it on the central screen. But if that’s not your thing, don’t worry – you can still have the full navigation display in the central screen and stick with the turn-by-turn instructions displaying between the speedo and rev counter.
Update - 7th August 2019
I’ve been testing the Tarraco’s load-lugging ability of late. First up was a run to the local recycling centre to drop off our old dining room chairs. Easy! But what about the biggy: a weekend’s camping with the local cub scouts?
In five-seat configuration, with the third-row of seats folded, the Tarraco’s 700 litres of boot space swallowed our five-man tent, camping chairs, holdalls, clothes, food and various other items of camping paraphernalia. There was still room in the boot for several boxes, which are something of a permanent fixture because I carry them for work. Best of all, the weekend was a complete success!
Update - 24th July 2019
This past month I’ve done plenty of mileage in the Tarraco, with a combination of client visits, kids’ clubs, weekly shops and even a spin down to Sussex for the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
And the Tarraco has coped admirably. Cruise control set, motorways fly by, and on twisty B-roads while the Tarraco is no 3-Series, it’s still an enjoyable drive.
But. Lane keep assist. It’s too intrusive (as most of these systems are) and I find myself switching it off. I just wish I didn’t have to go through the process of turning it off every time I start the engine.
Second Report - 26th June 2019
First impressions of the all-new Tarraco are positive. Walking round the car, there are a few things that catch my eye immediately, such as the two-tone black and silver alloys and the full LED headlights that have a beautiful little pattern etched into the glass.
I’m not sure this etching has any particular purpose, but it is a nice little touch of design that shows a certain attention to detail.
Inside, the first thing that strikes me about the Tarraco is the feeling of space. Perhaps that’s an illusion brought about by having those additional two seats in the back – time will tell once the Wallace horde makes full use of the car.
The Tarraco also benefits from the VW Group’s digital instrument panel as well as a central eight-inch LED screen which, between the two of them, seem to provide the driver with all the standard readouts and then some.
The 2.0-litre 150hp engine on test here is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox which helps keep CO2 below 130g/km. You can choose a driving profile via a dial located just below the gearstick. There are Normal, Eco, Sport and Individual options, and I’ll be taking a proper look at this in my upcoming reports.
First Report - 29th May 2019
We’re getting to know our latest arrival, with the Seat Tarraco already feeling like a useful addition to both the Spanish brand’s range and to our fleet.
I’ve been enjoying the early miles before it switches to colleague Dave Wallace and his larger family, but the flexibility of seven seats, including a middle row that slides to balance legroom across the car, is being put to good use. That’s partly because children seem to gravitate towards the novelty value of the rearmost row whenever possible.
I’m glad we’ve gone for the SE Technology trim level, because the larger alloys on higher trims, rather than our car’s 18-inch wheels, really don’t help the ride quality, but the second up of four trim levels is still far from poverty spec, with sat-nav and privacy glass among the kit standard on all cars. Our car also has three-zone climate control, autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, rear parking sensors and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. And metallic paint, which is still an optional extra on most cars, but which Seat allows drivers to spec for free as part of its Easymove scheme. In this, the brand has almost eradicated options, and instead pushes drivers towards the right trim level for their spec and price requirements.
Preview - 15th May 2019
Having been impressed with the new Seat Tarraco on our Big Test (see issue 51, 15th May 2019), we’ve decided to put it to the even tougher challenge of six months of hard labour on our long-term fleet.
We’ve gone for the most sensible fleet choice, the 2.0-litre 150hp diesel version.
This ducks under the 130g/km boundary in front-wheel-drive manual form, while the SE Technology trim offers enough goodies while still keeping the cost under control and not being too extravagant.
Practicality will be put firmly to the test as a chariot to a family of five, plus dog, and we’re looking forward to seeing how the early positive impressions develop through the miles.