Priced from £28,320 in SE spec for the 148bhp 1.5-litre TSI petrol engine, the base Taracco comes with metallic paint, 17-inch alloys, a DAB radio, Seat's Full Link connectivity system and three-zone climate control as standard. Unlike its Skoda Kodiaq sibling, only seven-seat variants are available in Britain.
Other engines include a 187bhp 2.0 TSI petrol, mated exclusively to a DSG transmission and four-wheel drive, and a 148bhp 2.0-litre TDI diesel. Topping out the range is a 187bhp 2.0-litre TDI unit with a DSG gearbox and four-wheel drive in XCELLENCE First Edition Plus spec, priced at £39,905.
The new SUV was unveiled by Seat earlier this year in Tarragona, the modern version of the city that used to be called Tarraco. Positioned as the firm’s new flagship, the Tarraco completes its trio of SUVs alongside the Ateca and Arona.
"The introduction of the Tarraco forms part of our €3.3 billion [£2.93 billion] investment between 2015 and 2019 in the company’s future and the range of vehicles we offer," said Seat boss Luca de Meo. "It completes our family of SUVs, to suit every customer’s need”.
Seat believes that the Tarraco can help it attract new customers and will considerably boost the firm's profits due to the greater margins possible with a larger SUV. De Meo said the Tarraco would help Seat fight in the market for "the main family car in the household."
The Tarraco is built on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB-A long-wheelbase platform, which is also used for the VW Tiguan and Skoda Kodiaq. Sven Schawe, Seat’s chassis development boss, told Autocar that much of the development focus of the car was tuning the VW Group technology – in particular the Tarraco’s Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) systems – to offer a more involving driving experience.
“We used the same philosophy as the Ateca: using the latest technology on a proven VW Group platform and trying to offer one step more to the customer,” said Schawe. “We tried to give the Tarraco the Seat character in terms of driving dynamics, reducing the weight you feel when driving it. It fits into the family DNA.”
The Tarraco will be launched with four direct injection turbocharged engines: two petrol and two diesel. The entry-level petrol is a four-cylinder 1.5-litre TSI unit with a six-speed manual gearbox and front- wheel drive. The high-spec 187bhp 2.0-litre petrol comes with a seven-speed automatic and four-wheel drive. Both diesels are 2.0-litre TDIs.