In-depth reviews

SEAT Tarraco SUV review

"The SEAT Tarraco is stylish and nice to drive, but it doesn't really stand out in the SUV crowd"

Carbuyer Rating

4.1 out of 5

Owners Rating

5.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Price
£30,175 - £42,690

Pros

  • Smart looks
  • Enjoyable to drive
  • Spacious for five passengers

Cons

  • Feels generic
  • Tight third-row seats
  • Some safety features not standard

The SEAT Tarraco sits at the top of the Spanish brand's SUV range, offering more space than the SEAT Arona and SEAT Ateca. Closely related to the Skoda Kodiaq, the Tarraco has seven seats as standard, making it a fashionable alternative to people carriers such as the Ford S-MAX and the now-discontinued SEAT Alhambra.

Of course, there's no shortage of seven-seat SUVs around these days, with the Kodiaq, Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace, Kia Sorento, Peugeot 5008, Land Rover Discovery Sport and Nissan X-Trail all offering a third row for occasional use. With all these rivals, and more besides, can the Tarraco offer something unique to set itself apart from the crowd?

It's certainly a smart-looking car and was the first to use SEAT’s current design language, which is now also seen on the SEAT Leon and Cupra Formentor. It has a sharp-edged six-sided front grille with a chrome surround that gives it a premium air, one which SEAT models haven’t always exuded. Slim, angular headlamps are slightly inset in an attempt to give the Tarraco an individual look, while the side mirrors are mounted on the doors rather than the A-pillars for a more sporting feel.

Under the surface, there's little to separate the Tarraco from the Skoda Kodiaq. There's a choice of turbocharged 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre petrol engines, ideally suited to low and medium-mileage drivers, as well as two 2.0-litre diesel engines that hoover up motorway miles. With their greater pulling power, the diesels are well suited to towing a caravan or trailer, particularly in combination with SEAT's 4Drive four-wheel-drive system. It's a shame, however, that 4Drive is only available with the most poweful petrol and diesel engines higher in the Tarraco range.

The Tarraco feels a little sharper and more responsive from behind the wheel than the Skoda, thanks in part to suspension that is 20mm lower and reduces lean in corners, but the ride is firmer too. The most powerful 2.0-litre TSI petrol model (which has an engine shared with the Volkswagen Golf GTI hot hatchback) can cover 0-62mph in just 6.2 seconds - at the expense of fuel economy - while the more sensible engines all cover the distance in 10 seconds or less. A Tarraco plug-in hybrid version is thought to be in the pipeline.

Inside, the Tarraco is pleasingly designed and well equipped. The dashboard has a smoother, more rounded look than previous SEAT designs, with a free-standing touchscreen infotainment screen that’s modern and easy to reach when you're on the move, but sports quite a thick bezel. A recent update added Adaptive Cruise Control and the SEAT Connect app to all models across the range, so you can lock your vehicle remotely or find it in the car park.

There's generous interior space, too – at least for those who occupy the first and second rows of seats. The standard-fit third row, meanwhile, is best treated as overflow space when two extra passengers need to travel a short distance, or for use by younger children. Alternatively, you can fold them out of the way entirely to free up a useful 700-litre boot. There's bags of safety equipment as standard, too, and lots more available at extra cost.

As a versatile family SUV, the SEAT Tarraco ticks most of the boxes. Unfortunately for SEAT, so do many of its rivals. Distinctive looks aside, the Spanish SUV fails to outshine established favourites like its in-house Volkswagen Group rival, the Skoda Kodiaq – especially when the latter's handy 'simply clever' touches and lower price are taken into account.

Tarraco ownership is a straightforward experience, according to our 2021 Driver Power survey, with SEAT finishing in the middle of our survey with decent scores for reliability across its model range. The brand also received a high score for their cars’ handling, while infotainment and connectivity also won praise from owners. The Tarraco is also a class leader for safety, with a five-star score from Euro NCAP.

Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.5 TSI EVO SE 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £30,175

Most Economical

  • Name
    2.0 TDI SE 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £32,365

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0 TSI 245 FR 5dr DSG 4Drive
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £40,885

Recommended

New Renault Austral SUV replaces Kadjar for 2022
2022 Renault Austral
Renault
6 Dec 2021

New Renault Austral SUV replaces Kadjar for 2022

Renault Megane hatchback review
Renault Megane hatchback
Renault Megane
6 Dec 2021

Renault Megane hatchback review

Vauxhall Mokka SUV review
2021 Vauxhall Mokka - front 3/4 dynamic
Vauxhall Mokka
3 Dec 2021

Vauxhall Mokka SUV review

Volvo V90 estate review
Volvo V90 estate
Volvo V90
3 Dec 2021

Volvo V90 estate review

Most Popular

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?
How much does it cost to charge an EV
Electric cars
3 Dec 2021

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

Hybrid vs plug-in hybrid vs electric cars
Hybrid vs plug-in hybrid vs electric cars
Tips and advice
17 Nov 2021

Hybrid vs plug-in hybrid vs electric cars

Best car tyres to buy 2021
hero
Tips and advice
22 Nov 2021

Best car tyres to buy 2021

More on Tarraco

Show me:
SEAT Ateca and Tarraco SUVs updated for 2021
SEAT Ateca SE
SEAT
4 Aug 2021

SEAT Ateca and Tarraco SUVs updated for 2021

SEAT Ateca and SEAT Tarraco get interior upgrades and more standard technology
Top 10 best cars with three ISOFIX points 2021
Peugeot 3008 SUV front cornering
Family cars
22 Jul 2021

Top 10 best cars with three ISOFIX points 2021

Most cars come with just two ISOFIX child seat mounts, but many families want three. Our top 10 rundown picks the best.
2021 SEAT Tarraco gets new 242bhp petrol engine
2021 SEAT Tarraco 2.0-litre TSI
Family SUVs
25 Feb 2021

2021 SEAT Tarraco gets new 242bhp petrol engine

SEAT Tarraco SUV is now available with a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine shared with the Skoda Octavia vRS
SEAT Tarraco e-Hybrid PHEV will join range in 2021
SEAT Tarraco
3 Dec 2020

SEAT Tarraco e-Hybrid PHEV will join range in 2021

Plug-in hybrid SEAT Tarraco SUV uses same powertrain as Cupra Leon and Skoda Superb iV
SEAT Tarraco FR and FR Sport trims levels launched
SEAT Tarraco SUV
11 Feb 2020

SEAT Tarraco FR and FR Sport trims levels launched

SEAT Tarraco seven-seater SUV gets sporty FR treatment; prices start at £31,680
New automatic model added to SEAT Tarraco range
SEAT Tarraco SUV
17 Dec 2019

New automatic model added to SEAT Tarraco range

Combination of front-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox available in SEAT Tarraco for the first time
SEAT Tarraco 2019: prices, specification and release date
SEAT
27 Feb 2019

SEAT Tarraco 2019: prices, specification and release date

All-new SEAT Tarraco SUV on sale now, priced from £28,320; deliveries start in 2019

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
29 Sep 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2021
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Ioniq 5
Best cars
1 Dec 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
27 Oct 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks