IT was a shrewd move by Spanish car maker Seat when they decided to launch an executive saloon by producing their own version of the former Audi A4 naming it the Exeo for it gave them an impressive and almost instant competitor into this important market sector writes Bryan Longworth.
Seat provided the car with their own type grille but the profile of the Exeo clearly shows its link with the Audi and the latest version of the Exeo I have been testing had another Audi look about the front with its daytime driving lights that are such a distinctive feature of cars from Audi which like Seat is now part of the same German VAG car empire.
My test car was the Seat Exeo SE Tech 2.0 TDI 143PS Multitronic with a diesel engine and the CVT Multitronic automatic transmission costing £23,695 although it was loaded with options costing over £3,000 including special seats and bi xenon headlights with those distinctive daytime running lights.
The latest Exeo has that revised face and other styling enhancements include new alloy wheel designs plus upgrades to interior materials and there have been improvements to the diesel engines with reduced emissions and improved fuel consumption.
For the record the test car had the 143bhp version of the 2.0-litre diesel engine giving it a top speed of 129mph, a zero to 62mph time of 9.3 seconds, a combined fuel consumption of 51.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 146g/km.
It had an abundance of standard kit that includes satellite navigation, leather upholstery, BOSE sound system, multi function display including trip computer, cruise control, rear parking sensors, dual zone climate control and tyre pressure monitoring.
And under the large rear load area there is a full size spare wheel which is becoming something of a rarity these days with many cars having no spare wheels or just a space saver wheel.
The test car had a quality feel about it reminscent of an Audi including the steering and handling and the controls and instruments were all very user friendly although I was not too keen on the light coloured panels in the seat which looked good but were not very practical especially when young passengers are on board with drinks and sweets and sticky fingers!
Seat have used a CVT automatic transmission and not the famed DSG system in this car and while it provides a nice automatic drive I would have preferred the DSG transmission if I had had a choice which is used on other models in the Seat range but for some reason not the Exeo.
There is no doubt that the Seat stylists have done a good job in giving the Exeo its own personality unlike a very early Seat model which was based on an ageing and not very attractive Fiat and the resulting Seat effort did not look very good.
For those owners and motorists who wonder what the name Exeo means I can reveal that it is derived from the Latin word for “to go beyond” and is a nice name for this executive car which is produced at the Seat plant near Barcelona.
The Exeo has now become well established in the Seat range since its launch three years ago and it enables the owners of other Seat models to stay with the brand if they want to go up market for a premium car that costs less for example than a comparable Audi and not move to another manufacturer.
My Verdict: A good value executive car.
Model: Seat Exeo SE Tech 2.0 TDI Multitronic.
Engine: 2.0-litre four cylinder turbo diesel.
Output: 143bhp @ 4000rpm
Transmission: CVT automatic.
Top speed: 129mph.
Acceleration: 0 to 62mph: 9.3 seconds.
Fuel consumption: 51.4mpg combined.
CO2 emissions: 146g/km.