Raiding of the Audi cupboard has liberated the Multitronic CVT gearbox of the Exeo
Exeo Multitronic uses the healthy low down torque to good effect
141bhp 2.0-litre TDI common rail unit gives an economy figure of 49mpg
Two new seat trim options have been added
Exeo offers a comfortable ride and accurate controls
A Sport mode for the gearbox keeps engine revs higher for more of the time
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.
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