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  1. Analysis
August 10, 2020

Interior design and technology – SEAT Tarraco

Launched in 2018, the SEAT Tarraco joins the Spanish brand’s SUV family alongside the smaller Arona and midsize Ateca. Continuing just-auto/AIC’s review of interior design and technology trends, we take a closer look inside this seven-seater crossover.

Launched in 2018, the SEAT Tarraco joins the Spanish brand's SUV family alongside the smaller Arona and midsize Ateca. Continuing just-auto/AIC's review of interior design and technology trends, we take a closer look inside this seven-seater crossover.

What's in a name? Tarraco is named after the Spanish port of Tarragona. The name was chosen via a public vote, with over 140,000 people participating in a SEAT car name competition. 

Cavernous cabin

At 4.73 metres long, it is the largest SUV in the automaker's range.  Its long wheelbase of 2,790mm means the Tarraco provides just enough space for up to seven passengers. Head and leg room in the front and second row seats is generally good although the third-row is best reserved for children unless you are a contortionist. If adults do want to give it a go and sit in the third row, access itself is quite reasonable thanks to the long and wide-opening rear side doors. Third-row seat occupants also get their very own cup holders and a storage tray.

The second row seats split 40/20/40 and can slide forwards, backwards and recline which is always a welcome feature to kick back on long journeys. The decent-sized door bins are flock lined to prevent things rattling around.

Further back, the Tarraco's boot offers quite a wide opening with a low lip for storing 230-litres of luggage space with all rear seats in the upright position and 1,775-litres with the seats folded flat. Second-row occupants can use airline-style picnic tables that flip up from the back of the front seats with pop-out cup holders. The trays can be locked in a 45-degree angle position, ideal to prop up a tablet. The generously sized glovebox is chilled via the air-con. The armrest between the two front seats is adjustable too.

Beneath the boot floor liner is a flexible storage arrangement with useful dividers. And beneath this is, joy of joys, an optional spare wheel, just in case.  The cargo cover can be stored either on the base of the boot or concealed beneath the boot liner and secured in place to avoid rattling around or taking up space in the main storage area. That's another neat idea.

Infotainment and connectivity

The infotainment system, aka SEAT's Digital Cockpit, incorporates a 10.25 inch driver screen and a central eight-inch display that stands proud of the dash. The automaker points out that its ergonomic and prominent position helps minimise intrusion into the cabin and is closer to the driver's eye-line, thereby making it easier to read.

Tarraco drivers and passengers can get Apple/Android connectivity through the car's infotainment system. As with most centre mount touchscreens, it is a little fiddly at first to work your way around, but you soon get used to it. The HVAC unit, positioned directly beneath, is the polar opposite in terms of its simplicity, with large, clearly marked buttons either side of a central dial that controls the fan speed.

The driver's digital display is an interactive, customisable pixel dense digital instrumentation cluster allowing drivers to reconfigure the view from classic information found on analogue dials, such as speedometer and tachometer, to full colour maps and navigation. The driver information displayed can be changed via a steering wheel mounted roller switch. The sat-nav is a little slow in providing directions though.

Driver assistance

Tarraco comes with an array of advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) technologies, including front assist, lane assist and emergency call, park assist and a top view camera system. There is even a system that detects driver tiredness.

On the road

Six trim levels are offered, from the entry-level SE, rising through to SE Technology, Xcellence and Xcellence Lux, FR and FR Sport. The last two were added to the range earlier this year.  The Xcellence we took out and about last week was powered by a 2.0-litre, 150PS offering mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. The car's fuel economy lived up to expectations, too. With all seats occupied and headed for the coast, it still managed to deliver just enough oomph when needed.

The long list of creature comforts fitted as standard includes triple-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, auto-dimming mirrors and parking sensors front and rear.  A dial on the centre console enables selection of the driving mode. There is also an SOS (eCall) button located on the headliner in case of an accident.

Once seated in the throne-like SUV manually-adjusted driving position, the eye is drawn to the horizontal chrome line that spans the squishy dash and continues to the material-lined front door panels. It serves to emphasise the width of Tarraco and gives it a little more panache to an otherwise grey and predictable cockpit.  That said, it's got family-appeal in spades with an array of durable-looking fabrics to full-on leather on offer. While the interior lacks a wow factor or any sense of flamboyance, it offers plenty of luggage space (even with all seats upright), good all-round visibility and plenty of driver comfort, convenience and safety technologies.

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