It takes 9.2 seconds to reach 62mph from standstill and the top speed is 133mph while the sporty attitude makes it all very enjoyable.
The SEAT Exeo comes with a 2.0-litre TDI CR engine, which comes in two outputs; 143 and 170PS, or the only petrol option is a 2.0 TSI. Under the bonnet of the test car was the common-rail diesel with the lower output, which is produced at 4,200rpm and 320Nm of torque is developed between 1,750 and 2,500rpm. That seems quite a short torque band but with the aid of the non-optional 6-speed manual gearbox, it is quite easy to keep it in the envelope and there is plenty left in top gear for swift acceleration and overtaking.
It takes 9.2 seconds to reach 62mph from standstill and the top speed is 133mph while the sporty attitude makes it all very enjoyable. The SEAT Exeo features a new Sports Chassis concept, which provides agile handling and quick reactions. It feels like the faster SEAT Leons but a little more refined. The Servotronic steering was heavier than expected but felt nicely weighted and positive when exploring country lanes, where the fast bends serve to illustrate just how firmly planted it is.
Every SEAT Exeo has a full set of airbags, active headrests at the front and comes with ESP and EBA while all but the S have a tyre-pressure monitoring system on board. For family time, the rear seats have ISOFIX child seats anchors with top tethers for extra security.
The test car was priced at £19,230 and the most expensive SEAT Exeo saloon, the SE Lux, is £21,340, which is reasonable. High mileage users will also appreciate the fuel economy figures of 37.2-, 65.7- and 51.4mpg for the urban, extra-urban and combined respectively. BIK for the test car is 19 per cent and the CO2 emissions from the twin tailpipes, are measured at 143g/km putting it in VED Band G.
I liked the SEAT Exeo's classic lines with just enough of a hint of sportiness to make you look twice. I also like the fact that the 'Sport' isn't just a trim level name and that the car does live up to it. The SEAT Exeo is likely to be a winner for SEAT and more than a match for some of the more established saloons on the market.24 June 2009
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|