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Hot Seat Tarraco is fun for all the family and has handy gadgets

I HAVE four daughters, aged six to 16.

If a car can cope with a family road trip, it can cope with anything.

The Seat Tarraco is billed as a “large size” SUV but wasn’t so big as to offend or intimidate the neighbours when outside our house.

I’ve had a fair few people carriers, including the old Alhambra, and am pleased tastes have moved on from big boxes to the 4×4 style.

I have no plans for off-roading so the front-wheel drive 2-litre diesel we tested seemed logical.

Six gears and seven seats, a sharp silver suit and clean lines meant the girls were happy. Things were looking good.

I spent some time getting to know the digital cockpit.

Pairing my phone was easy, setting up the cockpit to my taste and generally poking around had me settled in before the long drive from London to North Devon.

The auto-opening boot was as handy as the USB charging ports.

Everyone plugged in, we hit the road.

The steering was light and direct, power in the first two gears felt commanding and we had no problem cutting a dash across to the M3 – and freedom.

I did feel a few times like an auto-gearbox would have been better, particularly if I let revs drop too far off in second or third gear, but progress was good once the turbo was spinning.

At cruising speed, the ride felt plush on the compression stroke but a tad wayward on the way back up.

The biker in me wanted to add a touch of rebound damping but it wasn’t to be so I settled back and enjoyed the ride.

Nineteen-inch wheels mean space in the arches for a decent-sized tyre, which soaks up whatever the road throws at you.

We sploshed through a few deep puddles getting to the beach but nothing more.

If you’re looking for off-roadability, this isn’t the review for you.

There is a 4×4 version in the range, though, and if towing or muddy fields will be regular things for you, start there.

In the blink of an eye we were at Stonehenge and all passengers were happy.

Cleaning out all the empty crisp packets showed just how many storage compartments there were.

In family car terms, the Tarraco is a win. Selfishly, I’d want more than the 150hp, and a DSG gearbox – but Seat offers both.

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