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.