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The Seat Tarraco is today’s new VW Group SUV

Apparently this big, bluff seven-seater is the sportiest SUV in its segment

Seat has a new SUV. Still awake? Okay, then say hello to the Tarraco, which is Seat’s biggest SUV to date. It’s available with seven seats and thusly is a rival to Hyundai’s Santa Fe and Skoda Kodiaq, and completes Seat’s trio of SUVs – ahead of Skoda’s similar plot.

See, we’ve had the small Arona and medium Ateca, and now we’ve got this. The, erm… Tarraco. Skoda has the Karoq and Kodiaq and will soon have its own supermini-sized crossover, while VW will follow with T-Cross, joining the T-Roc, Tiguan and Touareg. Got it? Good. Excited? Hmm…

Seat says the Tarraco, which was named by public vote and therefore should have been called BloatyMcBloatFace, “blends design and functionality, sportiness and comfort, accessibility and quality, technology and emotion – but in a form that suits a wider variety of lifestyles.” How wide a brief is that? We’re surprised it hasn’t gone for a Nürburgring record and achieved vertical take-off.

The Spanish outfit’s R&D boss, Matthias Rabe, says it’s “the sportiest vehicle in the segment from a design point of view and also thanks to the dynamic chassis control, which allows you to tune it to meet your driving needs”. If it’s the sportiest in the segment, one wonders why Seat’s given it such hideous fake exhaust pipes.

Do modes maketh a driver’s car? We’d argue absolutely not, but the Ateca is by far and away the best mid-sized crossover to drive and is practical and handsome with it, so there’s potential in the Tarraco’s bloodline.

You can choose between two diesels (2.0-litres with either 148bhp or 187bhp) or a 1.5-litre petrol with identical outputs. As standard, the pokier versions get a seven-speed DSG over a manual gearbox. But you knew that already, because this is all very familiar from the Tiguan, and Karoq, and Kodiaq, etc etc. Seat’s simply applying its apparently new design language to components we’re pretty familiar with by now. As such, there’ll be a plug-in hybrid later.

Inside, all get a 10.25-inch digital display in front of the driver, and a ‘floating’ tablet-style infotainment touchscreen. And climate controls from VW’s five-year old parts bin. It’s not radical, but it’ll likely be a worthy, ergonomically peerless set-up. Which it will need to be, to distract buyers in such a crowded marketplace. Speaking of which, nice wood.

And that’s all for this episode of Volkswagen Group SUV of The Day. Tune in next time for another new Skoda, Audi or VW to see the latest in exciting daytime running lights and full-width rear light bars…

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