Car Review: Seat - Exeo  Series 09 (3 stars)

The Seat Exeo is a facelifted last-generation Audi A4 - plush for a Seat, but not the best drive.

The benefit of being part of a larger set of car makers is the benefit of being able to make use of shared componentry and platforms, saving money and shipping in competent packages that can be developed in next to no time. This is exactly what Seat has done with its Exeo model, a rebadged last-generation Audi A4.

The Spanish manufacturer had clearly identified an executive saloon-shaped hole in its diverse range, and brought the Exeo to market in a piffling two years. The A4 facelift amounts to a bit of spit and polish, and the addition of Seat lights front and rear. The Exeo is recognisably the car it used to be, but that's no bad thing - the last-generation Audi A4 was an exceedingly capable car.

What might be an Audi cast-off is now arguably the most accomplished and refined car in Seat's range, with decent space and a top quality cabin. It does stick out a little amongst its Spanish siblings for being so refined, but while the Exeo doesn't offer anything at all new, if you look at it as a bargain basement Audi then you're getting quite a good deal. It has a decent level of equipment too, which adds to the feeling of value.

The diesel engines on offer in the Exeo are fairly workmanlike but dull. They do the job well enough, not feeling powerful but offering a decent level of fuel economy. The 2.0-litre petrol engine is probably the best all-rounder, with more character, but obviously it isn't going to be as frugal as any of the diesel units.

Provided you spec the car properly, the Exeo handles well, going through corners in a stable and assured manner. The 'comfort' suspension on offer is the thing to avoid; it makes the car wallow and heave all over the place, not up to containing the car over bumps. The sport suspension firms up the ride enough to rein in all that pitching and rolling and makes the Exeo handle quite tidily for the heavy saloon that it is.

The Exeo is as respectable a car as the Audi A4 ever was, providing a comfortable and mature ride. It's not up to competing with the best driving cars in the segment like Ford's Mondeo, but for a Seat it definitely feels luxurious and represents good value. It is worth having a look at.

Seat Exeo Series 09 StatisticsCar Reviews

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