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Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review: Seat Tarraco

Overall verdict
The Tarraco is a roomy, good-looking seven-seater and probably the poshest Seat ever


Styling, space, standard equipment


Oversells its sportiness, pricier than rivals


What is it?

The Tarraco – named after the old name for the Spanish port of Tarragona – completes Seat’s threesome of SUVs, joining the little Arona and midsize Ateca. And it’s a biggie, built to rival the likes of the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Skoda Kodiaq, which of course is also the Tarraco’s not-so-distant cousin. All UK cars get seven seats over three rows, so it’s a real family mover.

Seat already makes one of those in the Alhambra, which can also seat an entire water polo team with the bonus of sliding doors, but let’s be honest, MPVs are as fashionable as socks-and-crocs these days. SUVs are where it’s at, and the Tarraco actually has the looks and the dimensions to carry off the label (4735mm long and 1658mm high, if you were curious).

But it’s not just a range-topper in terms of size. It also gets upmarket materials, higher specs and more equipment than its showroom subordinates. Seat says it

“Blends design and functionality, sportiness and comfort, accessibility and quality, technology and emotion – but in a form that suits a wider variety of lifestyles.” Sure. You could also say it’s basically a big, practical thing that isn’t bad to look at.

Its silhouette is very similar to the Kodiaq’s – unsurprising given the shared architectural underwear – though the Tarraco is marginally longer, lower and more angular. There are bonnet fins. And a geometric grille between pointy, inset headlights. At the other end there’s a full-width ‘lightbar’ across the bootlid, which doesn’t actually light up, so it’s just a useless stripe of plastic. Shame about the fake, blanked-out exhaust trims, too. Why bother?

As for driver assistance, all Tarracos come with lane assist and front assist, which picks out pedestrians and bicycles. Their riders too, hopefully. Optional gear includes the usual fare: blind spot assist, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise and traffic jam assist, which does the slowing down/speeding up for you. It’ll also buzz the emergency services if you crash.