Large SUV of the Year 2021: SEAT Tarraco

The SEAT Tarraco is the Auto Express 2021 Large SUV of the Year with the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe commended

It’s a hat-trick of wins in the large SUV category for the SEAT Tarraco, and it’s not hard to see why. Stylish, spacious and with a surprisingly sporty side, the seven-seat model has all the family-car bases covered. New arrivals over the past year have challenged its supremacy, but none has landed the killer blow on this supremely talented machine.

Underpinned by the versatile MQB platform that also forms the basis of the Skoda Kodiaq and VW Tiguan, the Tarraco’s classy and robustly built cabin boasts acres of space and thoughtful touches that help take the stress out of busy family duties. 

The third row of seats is spacious enough for kids, while even adults won’t feel short-changed on shorter journeys. Fold the seats away and there’s a wide, flat and cavernous 700-litre boot to play with. The SEAT is also bursting with all the equipment you’ll ever need, with even the entry-level SE model packing full

LED headlamps, digital dials and an easy-to-use infotainment system that syncs seamlessly with your smartphone. There’s all the advanced driver safety aids for peace of mind, too, while optional 4Drive all-wheel drive brings all-weather security.

A compliant ride and good refinement make the Tarraco a relaxing companion on the move, while the composed handling makes the Spanish SUV feel far more nimble than its large dimensions would suggest. There’s no electrification available yet, but the refined 1.5 TSI EVO petrol engine features cylinder-deactivation technology that delivers decent economy as well as a brisk turn of speed.

Factor in prices that undercut most of the competition and it’s not hard to see why the SEAT has been crowned king in this class once again.

Best deal

SEAT Tarraco 1.5 TSI EVO 150PS FR (£33,140)

SEAT is offering buyers two finance choices on the 1.5 TSI in FR trim – either zero per cent APR or a £3,000 deposit contribution. Over three years with 10 per cent up front (£3,350), the £3,000 deposit contribution is the cheaper option by £1.30 a month, at £482.36.


Kia Sorento


A range of efficient hybrid engines (HEV and PHEV) combine with a cabin that blends upmarket appeal with practicality to make the Sorento a desirable family car. It’s relaxing to drive and is backed by a seven-year warranty. Only when it comes to value for money does the Kia give best to the SEAT.

Hyundai Santa Fe

Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid - front

Closely related to the Kia Sorento, the distinctively styled Santa Fe delivers seven-seat versatility, generous kit levels and useful tech. Its appeal has been boosted by the recent introduction of hybrid and plug-in petrol models, but these engines come at a price that’s a little higher than many rival cars.

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