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In-depth reviews

SEAT Tarraco review - Engines, performance and drive

The Tarraco is nicer to drive than the Kodiaq, with the diesel engine delivering punchy performance

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Engines, performance and drive Rating

4.0 out of 5

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​For a seven-seat SUV, the SEAT Tarraco is remarkably good to drive, offering more driver appeal than the Skoda Kodiaq, even though it shares the same platform. It helps that the Tarraco sits 20mm lower to the ground, which means body roll is kept in check.

This means that you can change direction with confidence, with the responsive steering encouraging you to press on when cornering. Sure, it’s far from sporty, and we suspect the majority of customers won’t be placing dynamics too close to the top of the list of priorities.

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You can select from four different driving modes – Normal, Sport, Eco or Individual – although we question the relevance of a Sport mode on a seven-seat SUV. We think it’s better to enjoy the Tarraco’s long suspension travel and revel in the soft and cushioning ride, especially if you’ve opted for an SE model with 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels. 

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed

The Tarraco was originally available with two petrol engines, a 1.5- and 2.0-litre TSI unit producing 187bhp and 242bhp respectively. The larger engine was discontinued in 2022, so the sole petrol option is now the 1.5-litre. This engine can feel a little underpowered, especially when fully-laden. There’s only 250Nm of torque on offer, and all of the power is produced at the higher end of the rev range. 

Both the petrol and diesel versions of the Tarraco come with the option of a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox. The automatic petrol-powered Tarraco will cover 0-62mph in a leisurely 9.7 seconds before hitting a top speed of 124mph. Manual versions see an increased 0-62mph time of 9.9 seconds but the same top speed. 

Just like the petrol, there were also two diesel engines offered when the Tarraco originally launched in 2019. These were both 2.0-litre TDI units that were available with either 148bhp or 197bhp, but the more powerful version has since been axed. The less powerful engine still produces 340Nm of torque, though, so it does have enough pulling power for a fully-laden SUV. 

The diesel-powered Tarraco will deal with the 0-62mph sprint in a reasonable 9.9 seconds if you opt for the seven-speed DSG automatic, and this will proceed to a top speed of 122mph. These figures change to 10.2 seconds and 123mph for the six-speed manual.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.5 EcoTSI SE First Edition 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £29,905

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.4 eHybrid FR 5dr DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £41,395

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0 EcoTSI 245 Xcellence 5dr DSG 4Drive
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £40,990

Shane is responsible for looking after the day-to-day running of the Auto Express website and social media channels. Prior to joining Auto Express in 2021, he worked as a radio producer and presenter for outlets such as the BBC.

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