What is it?

Seat’s D-segment offering has been on sale since early 2009, and considering its Audi origins it has been a big success for the Spanish brand – the Exeo is Seat’s third best-selling model in the UK. Further raiding of the Audi cupboard has liberated the Multitronic CVT gearbox to give a self-shifting option for the first time, as well as adding a few detail enhancements.

What’s it like?

Mated solely to the 141bhp 2.0-litre TDI common rail unit, the Exeo Multitronic uses the healthy low down torque to good effect and stop-start traffic is hassle-free. On more open roads the typical behaviour of a CVT gearbox means the occasional prolonged drone as the car’s speed matches up to the engine revs, but overall it reduces driver effort.

A Sport mode for the gearbox keeps engine revs higher for more of the time, but more spirited driving is best served by the manual mode. Seven pre-programmed ratios are offered with changes made using the paddles behind the wheel or the lever itself, and although it can’t match the rapid changes of a DSG system it’s brisk enough to make it entertaining and is a useful option to have. The Exeo is still one of Seat’s less dynamically able cars but it at least offers a comfortable ride and accurate controls.

As well as the automatic option, all Exeo models have had rear legroom increased by 44mm, mainly thanks to a reworked rear bench and deeper scallops in the back of the front seats. Entry to the rear seats has also been helped by reshaping at the base of the B-pillar, so while it is still no limousine the ST is a more comfortable place to be. Two new seat trim options have also been added and on higher-spec models LED rear lights are available, all adding to the premium feel.

Should I buy one?

The Exeo remains a car to fill a particular gap in the Seat range, but the flip side of the familiar design and technology is that it offers unquestionable value for money on proven mechanicals.

Matt Joy

Seat Exeo 2.0 TDI SE Lux Multitronic

Price: TBA; Top Speed: 129mph; 0-62mph: 9.3 seconds; Economy: 48.7mpg combined; C02: 153g/km; Kerb weight: 1545kg; Engine type cc: 1968cc four-cylinder common rail diesel; Power: 141bhp; Torque: 236lb.ft; Gearbox: CVT automatic with manual mode

Join the debate

Comments
11

Re: Seat Exeo 2.0 TDI SE

3 years 23 weeks ago

Autocar wrote:
the Exeo is Seat’s third best-selling model in the UK........

.........all Exeo models have had rear legroom increased by 44mm, mainly thanks to a reworked rear bench and deeper scallops in the back of the front seats. Entry to the rear seats has also been helped by reshaping at the base of the B-pillar, so while it is still no limousine the ST is a more comfortable place to be.

This says a lot and should point to the future direction of SEAT.

It may be re-cycled but it is still a good car to which they have made sensible, desirable improvements. Given a slightly less rushed development schedule, I am sure they could have made it handle properly too!

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

Re: Seat Exeo 2.0 TDI SE

3 years 23 weeks ago

No matter how good this "SEAT" is, it will always be someone elses leftovers . A bit like finishing your mates bag of chips on a Friday night after you have spent all your cash in the pub.

......or finishing off someone elses ciggy cause your drunk and you quit smoking 5 years ago

Re: Seat Exeo 2.0 TDI SE

3 years 23 weeks ago

Not one of my favourite cars but found it well made and was nice to drive. SEAT do seem to be on the up I know last year was their best year for 25 years with 32,000 cars sold and were the biggest selling make in Spain. The potential is there like it was with Skoda for SEAT to be the budget "sporty" brand.

They did need to up the quality and the FL Leon addressed some of that with a better made interior and quality feel. MKIII Leon should help SEAT no end being their best selling model with the FR TDi taking the lions share but the Ecomotive is also doing very well as a cheaper alternative to the expensive Golf Bluemotion.

Re: Seat Exeo 2.0 TDI SE

3 years 23 weeks ago

Ive never really understood the Seat brand it always seem to be one too many for VW . First off we had the Ibizia with porshe emblazoned down its doors then things improved with some decent Toledos .

Apart from this car the other current seats look too much alike for me whereas they used to look individual .

So arethey sprotycars selling at bread and butter prices or bread and butter cars trying to be sporty .

Confused yep so am I as for the Exeo seems like an also ran to me .

Re: Seat Exeo 2.0 TDI SE

3 years 23 weeks ago

Old Toad wrote:
So arethey sprotycars selling at bread and butter prices or bread and butter cars trying to be sporty

The latter, as the only thing that supposedly says sporty is the styling. Seats have no discernable dynamic improvements over any other VW product.

Seat is the "cheap cars aimed at young people" brand as opposed to Skodas "cheap cars aimed at old people".

The sporty tag only appears as that's what young people are more attracted to.

Re: Seat Exeo 2.0 TDI SE

3 years 23 weeks ago

Orange wheels ,

I think you are right . As I like Skodas as they appeal to me being an older driver who wants value and comfort over just about anything else .

Re: Seat Exeo 2.0 TDI SE

3 years 23 weeks ago

Old Toad wrote:

I think you are right . As I like Skodas as they appeal to me being an older driver who wants value and comfort over just about anything else .

I'm in my mid-30s and prefer Skoda too. More interesting cars and a more cohesive brand.

Incidentally, how would you describe this car's colour? Sludge?

Re: Seat Exeo 2.0 TDI SE

3 years 23 weeks ago

scrap wrote:

Incidentally, how would you describe this car's colour? Sludge?

The colour is pretty yukky, isn't it? Whatever you think of the Exeo (and I quite like it) this shade hardly makes it look more attractive.

Re: Seat Exeo 2.0 TDI SE

3 years 23 weeks ago

Autocar wrote:
the Exeo is Seat’s third best-selling model in the UK

Not exactly such a great achievement as you make it out to be considering how small the Seat range is compared to other brands.. I'm guessing the Ibiza is their best, followed by the Leon and then this. The only other 'cars' in the Seat range are the Altea/XL and Alhambra!

I hope VW sorts Seat out soon. The late 90s range was spot on, the Leon mk1 looked good even in base trim as did its Toledo sibling, the Ibiza was good looking against its rivals at the time and there were some great concept cars that should have been given the green light.

The current Ibiza looks great imo, just hope the next Leon looks as good. All Seat need is a halo car I reckon. As for the Exeo, I'd rather have a Skoda Superb. The Exeo is not good at all for Seats image and helps with the critics views that Seat is just a lost cause.

Seat can be great again and it wouldn't take much.

Re: Seat Exeo 2.0 TDI SE

3 years 23 weeks ago

TegTypeR wrote:
It may be re-cycled but it is still a good car to which they have made sensible, desirable improvements. Given a slightly less rushed development schedule, I am sure they could have made it handle properly too!

Problem is they're always going to have that 'engine between the headlights' weight balance problem with fwd models unless they put on Audi type sports suspension which then ruins refinement. I guess they are just not aimed at owners who like their driving a little more dynamic.

Not too bad though for a platform that was introduced over 10 years ago.

I don't fancy the multitronic much. Audi have had serious problems with this type of gearbox (just put 'multitronic failure' into google). Granted most of these are on pre 2006 models - allegedly later boxes are a bit more reliable, or still a bit new - I just wouldn't. Why they just could not develop the excellent 6 speed auto found in quattro models for fwd I'll never know..

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Our Verdict

Is the Seat Exeo anything more than a reheated Audi A4?

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