Seat Exeo, a quality saloon at recession busting prices

WHAT, many of you may ask, is the Seat Exeo? Well put simply it is a stylish four door saloon, which is about the size of an Audi A4 and is powered by a 2.0 Tdi diesel engine.

WHAT, many of you may ask, is the Seat Exeo? Well put simply it is a stylish four door saloon, which is about the size of an Audi A4 and is powered by a 2.0 Tdi diesel engine.

Road Tested By Hugh Maguire.

In fact what it really is, believe it or not, is actually the previous model Audi A4!! Confused? Let me explain.

Seat, as many know, is part of the Volkswagen/Audi Group, as is Skoda and many parts and platforms are shared across the brands. In this case however what the VAG group has done is taken the excellent previous model Audi A4 made some very minor cosmetic changes and stuck a Seat Exeo badge on it. Here is the good news you can have this Audi A4 ... sorry Seat Exeo from just €24,825.

My test car this week is the new Seat Exeo Style 2.0 TDI. Three trim levels are available, REFERENCE, SPECIAL EDITION, STYLE and SPORT. I have been testing the REFERENCE model.

First Impressions

The exterior design is good. It’s dynamic with a chunky shape accentuated by the use of flared wheel arches and bold shoulder lines. The overall effect is to create a car with a distinctive purposeful style. The new Exeo scores well in the beauty stakes. Standard 16 inch wheels are ok, but go for optional alloys if possible.

Behind the Wheel

The cabin is typically teutonic in that it is practical, functional and well designed. The ergonomics of the cabin layout are excellent with all the most important dials and switches placed directly in front of the driver while secondary controls are neatly housed in the centre console. Small details like the chrome finish to the air vent levers are subtle but effective. The fit and finish is beyond reproach. Standard equipment on the 2 ltr TDi REFERENCE includes automatic climate control, dust and pollen filters, remote locking, 6-speed manual transmission, electronic stability program (ESP), ABS with EBD, 6 airbags, foglights, front and rear electric windows, radio/CD which is MP3 compatible and has an AUX jack point, heated mirrors and washers nozzles, and an on-board computer.

Interior space is pretty good seating four adults in comfort and five at a squeeze, the boot is massive and will accomodate most families holiday needs.


The 2.0 litre Tdi is an impressive performer. With 120 bhp on tap and loads of torque this Seat Exeo goes very well indeed. There are three power outputs available from the 2.0 Tdi, a 120bhp as here, a 143bhp and in the SPORT a 170 bhp version.

The 6-speed gearbox is excellent allowing rapid up and down shifts to be made easily. Even in 6th gear the Exeo will pull from 80kmh without the need to downshift. Mid range performance is simply excellent. This car will dispense with a long line of traffic when overtaking quickly and safely. Overall then it is a very impressive performer and only gives away the fact that there is a diesel under the bonnet with a small bit of diesel clatter at idle when cold. However once warmed up and on the open road you really do not notice the fact that you are in an oil burner. Economy is equally impressive, I returned an overall average of just 5.9 litres per 100km giving a range of well over 1,000 km between refuels, a very good result indeed!

Road Behaviour

The suspension set-up is geared very much towards comfort without compromising agile handling giving a very smooth ride even over poor road surfaces. The car handles well too proving surefooted whether on wet or dry roads. The Exeo does offer a very good compromise between good handling and overall ride comfort. Noise levels are commendably low. I must say with the new Exeo you really feel that you are traveling in a very high quality motor car.


Everyone knows how good the Audi A4 models are. Well here you are buying the previous model A4 at Seat prices! Sit into the new Exeo and apart from the Seat badge on the steering wheel it’s an Audi.

So there you have it. The new Exeo is really a lovely motorcar. Beautifully built, good to drive, with a classy shape, loads of equipment, a premium brand car at everyday car prices. It really is a car for our times. However it’s a car that is way better than just the sum of its parts. Each time I drove it I liked it more. The teutonic build quality, the understated style, and the way it simply gobbled up the miles with ease are very appealing attributes. Make no mistake this is a car worth considering.

Seat now have a very fine range of cars from the Ibiza to the Exeo with the Cordoba, Leon, Altea and Alhambra as well.

A very nice part of the package Seat offers for me is that Seat injects a bit of Mediterranean flair and style into solid Teutonic engineering.

Prices start at €24, 825 for the Exeo REFERENCE as tested.