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  • P11D Value (as tested): £36,235
  • BIK band 2018/19: 37%
  • Large 7-seat SUV
  • 0-litre 4-cylinder petrol 190hp/320Nm
  • Performance: 8.0secs/131mph
  • Economy (On test) 28.2mpg
  • CO2: 166g/km


What is it?


It’s a full seven seater and while SEAT has occupied this space in the past, it’s been with the Alhambra in the MPV sector. Tarraco moves into the burgeoning SUV sector.

The Tarraco is closely related to Skoda’s Kodiaq, with which it shares a platform, and has a more sporty appearance and feel of the two.

It sits atop of SEAT’s SUV family above the Ateca and Arona.

It’s well equipped with large boot and a generous level of equipment and so comfortably meeting the requirements of a family.

So with August and the school hols upon us, we have had the opportunity to spend a month with the new model to see how it shapes up.

Problem ……. Family flew the nest a while ago, so we had to borrow the grandkids for much of the test.

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Fully loaded for a few days away

Week 1

And that’s where we start. Day one with grandson on board a trip around Buckinghamshire taking in the delights of St Tiggywinkles’ hedgehog sanctuary.

A nice day out but hardly a test of the Tarraco’s capabilities. This arrived on day two, both grandkids on board and a 125 mile run from South Bucks to the Dorset coast and home for the next 10 days.

With the two children occupying the middle seats, those two extra’s in the rear needed to be folded down to accommodate a considerable amount of luggage.

Even with a minimal amount of supplies and clothes, the available cargo space if you are seven up would be nigh on impossible to cope.

Day three saw the arrival of mum and the ideal opportunity to trial the three rows of seats.

It didn’t last long. The impossible logic of four- and three-year olds meant that they both didn’t want to occupy the rearmost seats – although grandson did try, under protest, for two days.

Neither would they allow their mother to sit back there, so eventually she was wedged between the two car seats. To be fair the Tarraco had the width to cope with that (in a good way – my daughter is not wide!)

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With luggage – not really enough space for seven

So, week one was spent touring Dorset clocking up 350 miles at a somewhat disappointing average (brim to brim) of just over 28mpg.

According to the trip computer the car did achieve mid-30s on the motorways, but much of the week was spent up and down Dorset’s hilly country roads.

As seven-seat SUVs go, the Tarraco has a good amount of driver appeal, stable through the corners with limited body roll and riding well over all surfaces – has to be said, Dorset roads are considerably smoother than the pot-hole ridden tracks of Buckinghamshire.

Possibly contributing to the mpg figure was the weight of the four-wheel drive system.

Until next week then ……..

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Week 2

Really getting to like this car, especially as it is the top of the line and equipped with all the bells and whistles. The auto brake hold kicks in automatically and is really useful if you live on a hillside.

Don’t know whether it might be a slight software glitch but the reversing camera sometimes stays on when you set off going forwards. Still, makes a change from looking in the mirror!

Actually, it could be a really useful feature it you are loaded up to the roof in the back.

The tour of Dorset continued although the grandchildren moved on to replaced by two more adults. Five up, still no one was keen to occupy those rear seats and they are only really useful for little ones.

But there is masses of room in the conventional rear seats with particularly impressive leg room.

With the drive back home to the Chilterns (more hills) we covered a further 350 miles during the week and the fuel consumption resolutely remained at an average 28mpg.

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Week 3

This week kicked off with a trip to Silverstone, neither for pleasure or for racing, unfortunately, but for business.

The Terraco confirmed its credentials as a comfortable motorway cruiser up and down the M40 where the computer consistently reports fuel consumption into the mid-30s.

However, this work was undone a couple of days later meandering around the lanes of the New Forest although the average fuel consumption did creep up past 29mph over what was now a total of 1,000 miles.

That big panoramic sunroof certainly makes the cabin very light and airy, but what the late August heat wave kicked in the blind really needed to be drawn – and the air con is extremely effective.

There are driver aids aplenty to keep you a safe distance from the car in front, staying within lanes, blind spot indicators and sensors all round.

With the number of miles accrued, there have been the odd messages popping up telling me to stop and have a cup of coffee.

Also this week, the on board police have also been telling me to put my hands back on the steering wheel! They have been – but maybe not in the right position?

Week 4

Despite all the miles put in over the August holiday period, it was not until the last couple of days that I found myself out in the dark. Surprising how little driving is done during the hours of darkness during the summer.

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So, something of a surprise when I stepped out of the car into a pool of courtesy light with the word Tarraco in the centre. A very nice, upmarket touch.

The SEAT also had the opportunity to display its flexibility once again, opening up the entire rear for a trip to the tip – and yes, I did hoover it out afterwards.

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With two days to go, a glitch. Maybe the car had had enough of me, or it didn’t want to leave, but turning right, the stop/start cut the engine …….. and wouldn’t restart.

Stuck in the middle of the road was not a lot of fun, but shutting everything down eventually seemed to reboot the system and we got going.

However, on reaching my destination, the car would not re-start, so out came a technician for whom the SEAT started immediately. Computer attached, it did indeed confirm there had been an issue, but showed no fault.

With wiring etc checked, I took to the road again and kept the stop/start system switched off just in case.

Total mileage at the end of the holiday month was 1,480 and I did manage to get the mpg up to an average 31.4. However, on one 14 mile stretch of the M20, with a 50mph limit through roadworks, the trip computer hit an average 44.4mpg.

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