Large SUV of the Year 2019: SEAT Tarraco
The SEAT Tarraco is the 2019 Auto Express Large SUV of the Year, with the Peugeot 5008 and Skoda Kodiaq commended
As SUV sales grow and MPV sales shrink, more and more buyers are turning to larger off-roaders such as the SEAT Tarraco if they need a car with space for seven. The Tarraco is a new winner here, having beaten the Skoda Kodiaq (last year’s winner) in its group test earlier this year.
The Tarraco offers the same as the Skoda, yet the Spanish brand has priced its rival competitively enough for it to take the win in this close-fought category.
First, it features a high-quality, upmarket interior that’s also versatile and practical. The cabin is neatly designed and easy to live with, featuring a long list of equipment including an excellent infotainment system that responds quickly and has solid smartphone connectivity.
There are seven seats, and while legroom is a little tight in the rearmost row, the remaining five are easily big enough for adults to get comfortable. The huge 700-litre boot (with the third row folded down into the floor) is very useful, and the loadbay is nice and flat, boosting versatility.
You’ll also find that the Tarraco is good to drive, thanks to the MQB platform, which brings a good mix of agility and comfort. The standard set-up is good, helping the SEAT to ride smoothly over rough roads and keeping body control in line while cornering, but you can also add adaptive dampers, which allow an even wider spread of ability.
The steering is light and accurate, and the manual gearchange is slick and satisfying. DSG automatic versions are great, too, thanks to the smooth shifts, and take the sting out of driving in heavily congested city traffic.
Finally, the engine range is versatile and you can opt for either the punchy and economical diesels or the more refined petrols depending on your needs. All offer solid performance – albeit nothing special – and decent economy to keep running costs respectable.
SEAT Tarraco 2.0 TDI 150 SE Technology (£30,820)
The high torque output of a 2.0-litre diesel makes a lot of sense in this large SUV, so we reckon the 148bhp 2.0 TDI is the best pick. Go for a manual – it’s slick and easy to use – to save some cash, while SE Technology trim is great value. It might not have all the toys of high-spec cars, but it has everything you need at the right price.
Peugeot’s seven-seat 5008 builds on the success of the 3008 with which it shares parts by improving its practicality through extra seats. It’s fitted with a range of efficient and punchy engines (the PureTech petrols are great), plus it has loads of space and a superb interior that gives it a character of its own.
The Kodiaq was pipped to the post this year, because the Tarraco was just a little bit better value. But the Skoda is still an excellent buy because it has all the same benefits: a smooth ride, excellent engines and a smart interior. Above all, though, it’s incredibly practical, and it’s also available with just five seats if you want the extra boot space.
Auto Express New Car Awards 2019
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- 1IntroductionWhat are the best new cars to buy in the UK today? The 2019 New Car Awards have the answer...
- 2Car of the YearThe Auto Express Car of the Year for 2019 is the all-electric Tesla Model 3
- 3City Car of the YearThe Volkswagen up! is the 2019 Auto Express City Car of the Year, with the Kia Picanto and Skoda Citigo commended
- 4Supermini of the YearThe Ford Fiesta is the 2019 Auto Express Supermini of the Year, with the MINI 5-door and SEAT Ibiza commended
- 5Convertible of the YearThe MINI Convertible is the 2019 Auto Express Convertible of the Year, with the Audi A3 Cabriolet and Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet commended
- 6Compact Family Car of the YearThe Skoda Scala is the 2019 Auto Express Compact Family Car of the Year, with the Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla commended
- 7Family Car of the YearThe Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport is the 2019 Auto Express Family Car of the Year, with the Skoda Superb and Toyota Prius commended
- 8Compact Executive Car of the YearThe BMW 3 Series is the 2019 Auto Express Compact Executive Car of the Year, with the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Mercedes C-Class commended
- 9Executive Car of the YearThe BMW 5 Series is the 2019 Auto Express Executive Car of the Year, with the Mercedes E-Class and Volvo S90 commended
- 10Estate Car of the YearThe Skoda Octavia Estate is the 2019 Auto Express Estate Car of the Year, with the BMW 5 Series Touring and Volvo V60 commended
- 11Small SUV of the YearThe Citroen C3 Aircross is the 2019 Auto Express Small SUV of the Year, with the Dacia Duster and Volkswagen T-Cross commended
- 12Mid-size SUV of the YearThe Skoda Karoq is the 2019 Auto Express Mid-size SUV of the Year with the Peugeot 3008 and Toyota RAV4 commended
- 13Large SUV of the Year - currently readingThe SEAT Tarraco is the 2019 Auto Express Large SUV of the Year, with the Peugeot 5008 and Skoda Kodiaq commended
- 14Small Premium SUV of the YearThe Range Rover Evoque is the 2019 Auto Express Small Premium SUV of the Year, with the Audi Q3 and Lexus UX commended
- 15Mid-size Premium SUV of the YearThe BMW X3 is the 2019 Auto Express Premium Mid-size SUV of the Year, with the Porsche Macan and Volvo XC60 commended
- 16Large Premium SUV of the YearThe Land Rover Discovery is the 2019 Auto Express Premium SUV of the Year, with the BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne commended
- 17MPV of the YearThe Citroen Berlingo XL is the 2018 Auto Express MPV of the Year, with the Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer and Renault Grand Scenic commended
- 18Roadster of the YearThe Mazda MX-5 is the 2019 Auto Express Roadster of the Year, with the Audi TT and Porsche 718 Boxster commended
- 19Coupe of the YearThe Alpine A110 is the 2019 Auto Express Coupe of the Year, with the Porsche 718 Cayman and Toyota Supra commended
- 20Hot Hatch of the YearThe Honda Civic Type R is the 2019 Auto Express Hot Hatch of the Year, with the Cupra Ateca and Ford Fiesta ST commended
- 21Performance Car of the YearThe Porsche 911 is the 2019 Auto Express Performance Car of the Year, with the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera and McLaren 600LT commended
- 22Luxury Car of the YearThe Mercedes S-Class is the 2019 Auto Express Luxury Car of the Year, with the Bentley Continental GT and Range Rover commended
- 23Affordable Electric Car of the YearThe Kia e-Niro is the 2019 Auto Express Affordable Electric Car of the Year, with the Hyundai Kona Electric and Nissan Leaf commended
- 24Premium Electric Car of the YearThe Tesla Model 3 is the 2019 Auto Express Premium Electric Car of the Year, with the Audi e-tron and Jaguar I-Pace commended
- 25Affordable Hybrid Car of the YearThe Toyota Corolla is the 2019 Auto Express Affordable Hybrid Car of the Year, with the Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in and Toyota Prius commended
- 26Premium Hybrid Car of the YearThe Mercedes E 300 de is the 2019 Premium Hybrid Car of the Year, with the Range Rover P400e and Volvo XC60 T8 Twin Engine commended
- 27Pick-up of the YearThe Ford Ranger is the 2019 Auto Express Pick-up of the Year, with the Mitsubishi L200 and Nissan Navara commended
- 28Van of the YearThe Vauxhall Combo Cargo is the 2019 Auto Express Van of the Year, with the Citroen Berlingo Van and Peugeot Partner commended
- 29Technology AwardLand Rover wins the Auto Express 2019 Technology Award for its ClearSight Ground View system
- 30Driver Power AwardLexus has scooped the 2019 Driver Power Award after taking the customer satisfaction survey by storm once again
- 31Design AwardWe asked you what your favourite car design is for 2019, and the Alfa Romeo Tonale has taken the crown