Seat is part of the vast Volkswagen empire and the Spanish brand is unashamedly pitched at younger drivers, with Skoda being used to hoover up the older motoring crowd.
Over the years the company has had success producing models with youthful panache, such as the Ibiza, Leon, and small/medium SUVs the Arona and Ateca.
So the Tarraco is something of a gamble for the firm – a big, seven-seat SUV that’s aiming for family buyers.
It’s the sister car of the Skoda Kodiaq and shares the same engines and underpinnings. In line with its youthful vibe, the Seat is arguably a bit more sharply styled.
It’s not bargain basement cheap, though it is a lot of car for the money. Prices start around £28,000 and top out at just north of the £40,000 mark for top spec automatic 4×4 models.
Engines span 1.5 and 2.0 litre petrols and a 2.0 litre diesel with 148 or 187bhp, and you can pick from front or four-wheel drive as well as six speed manual or seven-speed DSG automatic transmissions.
My steed for the week was the more powerful of the two diesels with a manual gearbox in mid-spec SE Technology trim – yours for just over £31,000.
At 4.75 metres long the Tarraco is a big car. All UK versions have seven seats, with the rearmost ones folding flat into the boot when not in use. They’re a bit tight for adults but perfectly fine for children.
Despite its size, the Tarraco seems to shrink when you’re driving it, feeling more nimble than it has any right too. It’s hardly a sports car, but it’s agile enough on twisty roads and doesn’t feel cumbersome in a multi-storey car park either.
Like its sister car, the Kodiaq, the Tarraco has a very smooth, supple ride that takes bumps and imperfections in its stride.
On wet roads you get a smidgeon of wheel spin before the tyres bite and the car squirts forward. If you live in a rural area and need to cope with bad winter weather it might be worth upgrading to a four-wheel drive model. For most users, front-wheel drive versions should be fine.
Inside, there’s a big, user-friendly touchscreen and all the switchgear feels built to withstand the rigours of family life. Fold away the third row of seats and there’s a huge, 700 litre boot. Even with all seven seats occupied you still have 230 litres, and there are plenty of storage cubbies.
The Tarraco is a talented car but it needs to be – rivals like the Peugeot 5008 and Land Rover’s Discovery Sport are also excellent. The Seat has what it takes to hold its own though.
0-62mph: 9.8 seconds
Top speed: 126mph
CO2 emissions: 129g/km