Flip, the first: The S eat Tarraco comes - contrary to announced - with the 150-PS-TDI for comparison test. The more powerful 190 hp version is not available at the time of testing. There is just as little choice in the Hyundai Santa Fe, which as a diesel with all-wheel drive and automatic transmission can only be combined with the 200 hp 2.2 CRDi.
So you don't have to worry too much about what the Hyundai also applies to the equipment. If you simply tick “Premium Seven” (for seven-seaters), you can only order metallic paintwork and a panoramic roof, otherwise everything is standard. That makes 53,600 euros.
The Tarraco is a whole lot cheaper, not only because it drives up in a weaker engine variant. Even as a top diesel, at 43,800 euros, it would be around 10,000 euros cheaper than the Santa Fe, and for the test car with 150 hp, all-wheel drive and Xcellence outfit, prices even start at 41,950 euros - plus 800 euros for the seven-seater package.
In this equipment line, the Seat is not nearly as lavishly equipped as its Korean rival, but it is by no means lean. A three-zone air conditioning system, for example, is just as standard as 19-inch aluminum wheels, adaptive cruise control, driving profile switch or the keyless start system including an electrically operated, sensor-controlled tailgate. In conjunction with the Infotain Plus business package (navigation, sound system, digital radio), which costs € 2,090, there is hardly anything left to be desired.
The adaptive chassis, which is called DCC in VW jargon, could possibly be dispensed with , but for 940 euros it gives the Tarraco a very balanced suspension comfort: not gentle, but pleasantly firm, appealing and successful in preventing excessive build-up movements. The Hyundai is not quite as talented in a direct comparison. It seems to be more softly tuned overall, but that gives it a certain shakiness that can hit sensitive natures on the mind and stomach. In addition, the spring elements respond less subtly to smaller bumps. The fact that things are still cozy on board the Santa Fe is due to the softly padded front seats covered with fine leather.
Open the folding chairs in the third row, on the other hand, are both rather uncomfortable. The approach is only reasonable for children and athletically talented adults who are not too tall, as is staying on the narrow seats. They are a good thing when it comes to bringing extra passengers every now and then. But if you travel in large families or small groups, you should perhaps choose a minibus or van.
The shorter Seat has more space for luggage, while the Hyundai has more space for passengers offers a more airy interior. The generous width and the headliner floating high above the occupants give the Santa Fe, in conjunction with the standard leather upholstery, a touch of premium flair that is missing in the Tarraco. In view of its very sober interior with fabric covers, the extra 1,500 euros for tanned animal skins is therefore possibly a recommendable expense, especially since the body as a whole was made very carefully and mostly from high-quality materials.
The Hyundai doesn't quite look on closer look So attention to detail, but overall more opulent and luxurious. In general, the driving experience has something American about it, so the model name fits the car well. The Santa Fe rocks through curves a bit without obligation, and the steering is smooth and precise, but it lacks some feeling for road contact and traction.
The whole thing seems unwilling and sluggish when driving faster. Of course, if you look at the laptop with the evaluation curves after the measurement aria, a different picture emerges. The Hyundai dashes through the pylon lanes a touch faster than the Seat. That, in turn, feels much more agile and lively when driving, the steering is more precise and more responsive, everything looks much more nimble. In addition, the Tarraco weighs almost two centimeters less and is 3.5 centimeters shorter and three centimeters flatter.
The fact that it is still slightly slower in slalom and Wedelgasse is probably due to the even more urgent stability program. This is not relevant in practice, because both SUVs are exemplary in driving safety, show hardly any noticeable load change reactions and, thanks to the four-wheel drive, only experience traction problems in extreme cases.
The two leave a similarly positive impression Braking systems. In any case, great progress has been made in this area, especially in the SUV segment. Modern compact and mid-range SUVs like these now brake with deceleration values beyond 10 g - a value that was once considered the benchmark for sporty braking. That means: after about 36 meters they come to a full stop from 100 km /h - and pretty much on par.
An impressive arsenal of electronic helpers ensures active safety. Adaptive cruise control is now almost a requirement, as are lane keeping and lane change monitors. They also pay attention to the greatest possible security in the test candidates, with the Tarraco even a little overzealous. There, the standard active lane assistant warns that you should take over the steering - even if the driver has not let go of the wheel. In some cases, the lane keeper even ensures bossy warning braking.
Good and simple usability of all vehicle systems has already become one of Hyundai's strengths, and the Santa Fe is no exception. All of this doesn't seem as cool and contemporary as large touch surfaces and pointed-eared and talkative voice assistants, but it helps immensely when operating a vehicle safely.
It works almost as well with the Seat, also because it still has one Infotainment from the VW parts warehouse is used, which has two old-fashioned rotary knobs on the left and right of the monitor. The same applies here: Not so hip, but efficient.
Have we forgotten something? Oh yes, the engines. This is possibly due to the fact that, on the one hand, powerful diesels are still very good sources of power for larger cars, especially if they meet Euro 6d-Temp. And secondly because they work so well and inconspicuously.
The Seat diesel engine is a bit more sophisticated, while the Hyundai engine delivers better performance. But the measured and felt differences are much smaller than the difference of 50 hp and 100 Nm suggests. Subjectively, the Tarraco even looks faster, which is perhaps due to its sometimes jittery automatic transmission. On top of that, it is more economical, 0.7 liters of difference are not that small. So it worked out quite well for the Seat Tarraco.