Seat’s first foray into the upper medium segment comes courtesy of VW Group sister brand Audi. The new Exeo is, in fact, nothing more than a mildly made-over version of the previous-generation Audi A4.
The re-styling of the Exeo’s nose is disappointing, lacking the drama of Seat’s new Ibiza, and the rear end hardly departs from the look of the original Audi.
Inside, the Exeo gets the A4 cabrio dashboard – complete with distinctive round air vents – which Seat says is of even higher quality the standard saloon interior. Seat sources also claim that the obvious use of an Audi to provide its first upper-medium car should ‘underpin the buyer’s confidence in Seat in this market niche’.
When the car is launched in the UK, the company expects to sell a modest 5000 cars each year in both saloon and estate forms.
It will go on sale in the UK this May, with a choice of just two common rail turbodiesel engines in 140 and 170bhp forms. The Exeo’s suspension has been re-tuned from the original Audi settings by Seat engineers and the brakes have been uprated.
Prices will kick off at £17,000 for the 140bhp car, though the Exeo is likely to have an extensive list of standard equipment. ‘User-choosers who cannot tick any option boxes on the order form’ are the UK target market, a Seat spokesman revealed.