At six-thirty in the morning, the alarm clock announces the long-awaited family weekend. Shower, breakfast, bags and boards in the boot. The family is ready to set out to meet the emotions of Atlantic surf, on the beaches from Guincho to Supertubos, in Peniche, with a stop at Cabo da Roca for lunch. Tiago is 42 years old and, almost two meters tall, he could have been a basketball star. He is an engineer at a wind and kitesurf equipment company, based in Germany, but he comes home every week.
The profession brought him a passion for waves and at home everyone likes to surf and bodyboard. At 36, Inês is a biologist and is doing research on algae. Both have three young children and like to make the most of their free time. That means going out to the sea, whenever they can, in search of the best swell. When the third child was born it was clear that they needed a bigger car. They soon decided to buy an SUV, as more and more families in Europe do, where these models already represent 37% of new vehicle sales.
The choice of SEAT Tarraco was easy and intuitive, not least because, in addition to being elected the Great SUV of the year in Portugal 2020, there was already a SEAT Ibiza with 10 years and 320,000 km at home, faithful companion of Inês since the college days. This large SEAT SUV has seven seats and enough space for luggage. When only the two of them travel, Tiago and Inês fold the second and third row of seats to transport the equipment inside the Tarraco, without the need to use the roof bars. And so they also enjoy more of the panoramic roof which contributes a lot to a bright environment on board.
When they find the best spot, they park and dress to go with the boards to the sea. After the surf, they return to Tarraco and make the rear gate an improvised clothesline, where they hang towels and wetsuits. After a snack and a couple of selfies, Tiago and Inês are ready to head to the next beach.
In SEAT Tarraco, primacy is given to comfort, with front seats with enveloping shapes and exclusive design, with multiple adjustments, conveying a feeling of refined quality, with premium leather or Alcantara® finishes. An indispensable extra in the soundtrack of any trip for two is the BeatsAudio ™ sound system, with 400W amplifier and subwoofer, for deeper bass.
In dynamic terms, Tarraco allows you to select the Comfort, Eco, Sport, Individual, Off-Road and Snow driving modes, the latter two being only available in the 4Drive versions. This system makes it possible to tackle any rugged road with stability and safety, thanks to the effectiveness of the all-wheel drive system that distributes the driving force across the two axles depending on the grip conditions.
Rolha always goes after
More interested in discovering new paths and remote places, far from the hustle and bustle of the city, Margarida and Nuno enjoy both walking through the interior of the Sintra mountains, where they reside, as well as exploring the corners of the interior of the country. Both work in the family business, in the wine sector, with their own production in the Ribatejo region.
With very demanding routines from Monday to Friday, Nuno and Margarida started to organize authentic expeditions, on weekends, in each of the districts from Minho to Algarve. The last was through the district of Coimbra, to discover the Serra da Lousã where a visit to Aldeia do Talasnal is mandatory, in an authentic schist route with passage through several villages embedded in the slopes and emblematic places such as Fraga da Pena and the Castle.
Always accompanied by Rolha, his dog, Nuno and Margarida have the space and versatility of SEAT Ateca to take the bed and various toys from their faithful friend. He is a member of the family who actively participates in weekend excursions, entitled to recreation and rest in the 510-liter luggage compartment that opens with a foot sensor, under the rear bumper.
In about an hour, passing through Vila Nova de Poiares and Penacova, you will go from Lousã to Luso, a small spa town with just over 2500 inhabitants. Through narrow streets and in sloping corners, the agility of the SEAT Ateca is aided by the automatic parking assistant with 360º camera, which makes any maneuver in tight spaces very easy. From the thermal baths to the fountain, from the various historic chalets to the Grande Hotel do Luso, designed by Cassiano Branco, there is no shortage of points of interest that are usually less valued due to the magnetism of the Mata do Buçaco, famous for its rich landscape and the magnificent hotel that was born as a hunting residence in the king D. Carlos.
To go on reporting the details of each trip on the phone with her friends, Margarida has Full Link connectivity, which allows any smartphone to be integrated into the SEAT Ateca's multimedia system. But what she likes most is the wireless charging function on the center console.
In the countryside as in the city
In winter there is always mud on a path to be discovered. This could be João and Filipa's motto, together almost three years ago, when they met at a college finalist party. They are still in their first job and love the programs for two, always traveling through lesser-known places in the country. At the weekend, they can either search for an inn in the middle of nowhere, or walk the coast in search of unspoilt beaches. Whether winding paths in the interior of Trás-os-Montes or dirt roads on the Costa Vicentina, they have the capabilities of the SEAT Arona to make some forays into more difficult terrain.
The height on the ground and the power available are sufficient to maintain the pace on uneven ground, even though it has only front-wheel drive. Inside, the Arona surprises by the feeling of space, starting with the 400 liter boot. The quality of finishes, colors and materials contribute to a sophisticated atmosphere and the Climatronic® double system allows everyone to choose their desired temperature in the front seats, making travel even more comfortable, in winter as in summer.
In addition to the robustness and economy, versatility is a characteristic that Filipa and João cannot do without. After all, if the weekend is spent in adventure mode, SEAT Arona also works on a daily basis. And in the hypermarket parking lot, for example, the rear cross-traffic warning system can be a great advantage in avoiding those minor touches in terms of damage, but almost always very expensive.
Another advantage of the smaller SEAT SUV is the detection of vehicles in the blind spot, which indicates the presence of other vehicles on that trajectory when the driver changes lanes. Adaptive Cruise Control with Front Assist is a marvel on the open road, but it is also useful in compact city traffic. The system relies on sensors that process information in order to maintain a safe distance to the vehicle in front.
The Arona comes packed with little details that make a big difference, like the cruise control and the wireless charger, available as standard on all versions. These are some of the equipment that Filipa and João value most, but when it comes to convincing friends who are not yet driving an SUV, the best argument is even the visibility offered by the higher driving position.
In 2019 the segment that includes models such as the SEAT Tarraco, SEAT Ateca and SEAT Arona grew 13% to a number close to 5.7 million cars in circulation. Currently, the SEAT SUV range represents the best that is done in this class of vehicles that continues to win the preference of most drivers.