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 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.