Product launches happen in fits and starts. A manufacturer will trundle along with the same range then all of a sudden there will be a veritable deluge of new models, engines and specs.
SEAT has been doing well with its range of motors for sometime but it is time for change and new models are about to burst asunder over the coming weeks.
New Ibiza was the first on the scene boasting aesthetics courtesy of Lamborghini - well ex-Lamborghini.
The latest to get the new corporate SEAT look is a new saloon called Exeo and thankfully it has been let out of the traps with the family’s superb TDI motor - that we are still waiting to see in Ibiza.
The Exeo is a nice looking car. It shares the nose surgeon with the newish Ibiza which blends contemporary with slightly angular.
Side on, the modestly sized saloon actually looks long and imposing and with large alloys eye catching too.
The boot boasts a badge-cum-handle and a little lip to help with aerodynamics. Lift it up and the load space is large and embracing. Bulky and awkward items such as baby paraphernalia is swallowed with a gulp and thankfully rear seatbelts are long enough to circumnavigate a child seat
It’s a good solid start to a model in a competitive sector that it shares with Audi A4, VW Passat and Vauxhall Insignia.
But it’s the 143PS diesel that sets it apart. It gives a middle of the road saloon the edge in both performance and character.
That motor is a gem in all its various VW/Audi/SEAT incarnations. It pulls like a train in any gear. It cruises unflustered with long rangy legs and it is forgiving and tractable around town.
Expect economy in the upper 40s without even trying. It even sounds and feels okay giving Exeo character and personality.
Cross country it is the ideal companion to the six speed box which allows the driver the confidence to overtake slow moving traffic with consummate ease. I can’t stress enough just how good this motor is; it makes the car.
If it wasn’t as good as it is you might just notice that the Exeo feels a tad soft on the road. When rounding bends there is plenty of grip but just a fraction too much wallow and roll. But the engine charms so much that such criticism seems churlish.
It also makes the Exeo very easy to live with and a car that you look forward to driving.
Inside, the interior is functional if unremarkable. There’s nothing wrong with it and everything is in its place but it’s hard to remember its layout once the car is out of sight and mind.
The seats are excellent wrapping driver in a fond embrace. They are firm but strangely comfortable and seem to know what is good for your posture and form. They are the perfect fit for a car with such sporting pretensions.
It’s uncanny just how good SEATs are to drive. They all have the ability to put much more expensive vehicles in the shade.
Exeo is an excellent addition to a range of cars that are designed for people who want more than just a car to get them from A to B. If it is a sign of things to come then the market is in for an exciting time. Let the deluge begin.
Model: SEAT Exeo TDI Sport
Engine: 2.0 litre, turbo diesel
Drivetrain: six speed manual
Top speed: 133mph
0-62mph: 9.2 secs
Insurance group: 12
Miles per gallon (combined): 51.4
CO2 (g/km): 143
Price: from £19,230.00 with accessoriesReuse content