The SEAT Exeo is something of a departure for SEAT.
The SEAT Exeo is something of a departure for SEAT. Never before has the Spanish manufacturer made a sporty saloon of this ilk, which is surprising when you consider some of the championship-winning hatches in the company's portfolio.
The SEAT Exeo (ex-ay-oh) may be a sporty saloon but not in the same manner as a Maserati Quattroporte, say, or even a Mitsubishi Evo. With prices starting at £17,740, it is clearly nowhere near as expensive as the former and certainly not as brash as the latter.
No, the SEAT Exeo styling has more in common with the classic lines of a BMW saloon and hats off to the designers who have avoided making it look similar to anything else in the Volkswagen Automotive Group. The SEAT Exeo is pure SEAT and would be recognisable as such even without the badge on the front.
Built to attract a new breed of customers to the brand, and in particular, business users, the SEAT Exeo is a good mix of smart and sporty and should appeal to both groups of buyers, although it clearly has a leaning towards the executive market.
The meshed lower grille runs the width of the front skirt, accommodating the beady front fog lights. Above this is a larger grille that marks the start of SEAT's trademark Arrow Design front end. Sharp bonnet creases emphasise the curved, broad bonnet and somewhat squat stance.
The view from the side shows that the proportions are just right and how well the wheels fit the wheels arches, adding to the impression of quality more in keeping with more expensive cars. The standard wheels on the SEAT Exeo S are 16-inch alloys; the SE has 17-inch alloys and the Sport test car and Lux have 18-inch wheels wearing low-profile tyres - another hint at the sportiness.
The SEAT Exeo has quite a high boot lid, hiding a surprisingly capacious, 460-litre, luggage area. For the most part, the rear end is devoid of embellishment, save for a very slim spoiler lip above the large and predominantly red tail-light clusters. In the middle is the SEAT emblem, which, as usual, doubles as the boot latch and just below that is the single, centrally placed word - EXEO.
SEAT Exeo Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||SEAT Exeo 2.0 TDI 143 Sport|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||9.2 Seconds|
|Top Speed||133 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||65.7 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 24/06/09)||£19,225|