From £19,4257

Dashboard, infotainment, sat-nav and passenger space

If the exterior of the Seat Exeo left you in any doubt of its Audi roots, the cabin should jog your memory. Other than the steering wheel badge and a gear lever of a subtly different shape, the Exeo cabin is pure Audi A4 – or, more precisely, A4 Cabriolet.

Given the plaudits lauded at the A4 for the quality and ergonomics of its cabin, Seat’s decision not to mess with a winning formula seems sound. But while the ergonomics are still (mostly) excellent and the cabin construction very robust, the design is a little dated. Whether that will matter is down to individual taste; some here felt it missed the flair and intricacy of some rivals, while others appreciated its simplicity.

The Exeo's cabin is a little dated, but the ergonomics are mostly excellent

The driving seat, which in the case of our test car was cloth-finished (leather is optional), offers good support, and along with the reach and rake-adjustable steering wheel caters for a wide variety of shapes. If there is a grumble it is that the driving position is slightly offset, although the problem here is nowhere near as poor as in the current-shape A4.

Accommodation for rear-seat passengers is perfectly acceptable if not quite as spacious as the current crop of saloons; likewise the Seat’s smaller dimensions mean that its 460-litre boot capacity trails all but the Citroën C5 saloon. Higher-end Exeo models get an ‘acoustic’ windscreen which improves sound deadening. This feature, coupled with tall gear ratios and a refined engine, make the Exeo a quiet, relaxed tourer, with minimal wind or engine noise. Given this, it is a shame that the stereo isn’t better; it has an impressive eight speakers, but its sound quality falls short on definition.

Seat Exeo 2009-2013 news

Features of the eco Exeo include a stop-start system and low rolling resistance tyres, plus lower-than-standard suspension
Seat Exeo Ecomotive from £20,040
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