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 saloons

  • The Jaguar XE - the big cat's new compact exec
    Jaguar's new four cylinder 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel engine comes with either 161bhp or 178bhp outputs

    Jaguar XE

    1
  • BMW 3 Series saloon
    BMW 3 Series is priced from £24,975

    BMW 3 Series

    2
  • Ford Mondeo Titanium 180PS

    Ford Mondeo

    3
  • The 2015 Audi A4

    Audi A4

    4
  • 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

    5

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Seat range

Driven this week

  • Car review
    27 July 2016
    Facelifted roadster ushers in a new generation of turbo V6 AMGs
  • First Drive
    27 July 2016
    Special-edition Twingo is packed with kit for a reasonable price, but a practicality deficit and a gutless engine leave us feeling cold
  • First Drive
    26 July 2016
    An expensive but entertaining, intriguing and very usable road-going track car whose rarity may eventually underwrite its high price
  • First Drive
    26 July 2016
    French fashion brand Givenchy has come together with DS for a special edition DS 3. Is it now any closer to the class leaders?
  • 2016 Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    26 July 2016
    Plug-in hybrid Q7 promises economy of 156.9mpg and BIK rates of 10%. It’ll take you a while to recoup the £10k premium over a standard Q7, though