When is a new car not new? When it comes as the result of a piece of platform recycling. The Exeo might be Seat’s first foray into the mid-size D-segment, but it has had more than a helping hand in the process from its German in-laws Audi. Under the Seat badges and Ibiza-esque nose, the Exeo is a reworking of the previous A4.

Given this, you may well question our decision to give it a full road test, but there is more to the Exeo than a simple change of name, partly in the technical alterations, but also because as a Seat the Exeo has a different role to play than in its A4 days. At prices a good £6000 or more below a current A4's, the Exeo represents refreshingly good value.

Given the current economic climate, this could well be its most persuasive asset. Seat has kept the Exeo line-up simple, with a 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine in three states of tune (118, 141 and 168bhp) and one petrol (a 2.0 TSI with 197bhp). Saloons and ST-badge estates are on offer. Trim levels are S, SE, SE Tech, Sport and Sport Tech. Saloons and ST-badge estates are on offer, as are S, SE and Sport trim levels. On test here is the mid-power 2.0 TDI 143 saloon (the number relates to the metric hp) in Sport trim.

Top 5 Compact execs

  • Jaguar's new four cylinder 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel engine comes with either 161bhp or 178bhp outputs

    Jaguar XE

  • BMW 3 Series
    The 3 Series remains strong in the areas it has always excelled but now it's more rounded than ever

    BMW 3 Series 2012-2014

  • Mercedes-Benz C-class
    The C-Class shares a lot of its looks with the new S-Class, furthering its desirability

    Mercedes-Benz C-Class

  • The Audi A4 saloon is bigger, roomier and more aerodynamic than its predecessor

    Audi A4 2008-2014

  • Volvo S60
    The Volvo S60 is offered with an impressive new D4 diesel engine

    Volvo S60


First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    27 November 2015
    We try the turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol version of the Golf Bluemotion. If you're not doing mega miles, it's a better bet than the diesel
  • 2015 Mercedes-AMG A45
    First Drive
    27 November 2015
    Mercedes couldn't let the Audi RS3 get away with having more power than its AMG A45. As part of a wholesale A-Class facelift, it now has 376bhp and a host of other revisions
  • First Drive
    25 November 2015
    More powerful Clubsport version of Volkswagen's iconic hot hatch proves thoroughly entertaining on our track-only first drive in Portugal
  • First Drive
    25 November 2015
    Suzuki has added an automatic diesel powertrain to its S-Cross crossover line-up. Does it offer a compelling choice over the manual versions?
  • First Drive
    24 November 2015
    Alpina’s D3 saloon and estate benefit from the latest BMW 3 Series updates. We've always loved it, but is it still as beguiling as ever in this latest form?