Auto Exeo a smooth


SEAT Exeo Multitronic, rear
SEAT Exeo Multitronic, front
SEAT Exeo ST Multitronic, action
SEAT Exeo ST Multitronic, front
SEAT Exeo Multitronic, instrument panel
SEAT Exeo Multitronic, interior

A SMOOTH shifting automatic is being introduced by SEAT in a high specification version of its family-sized Exeo saloon and estate car.

Complete with sat nav, a high end sound system and leather trim the new Multitronic will become the flagship of the Exeo range.

It's on sale in April and although prices are still to be confirmed SEAT says they will be in the region of £23,000 for the saloon and £1,000 more for the estate.

The Exeo Multitronic will be available only with a 143bhp two-litre diesel engine which is capable of delivering average fuel economy of 48.7mpg with CO2 emissions of 153g/km - low enough to fall below the all important 160g/km threshold for business users.

Top speed is a claimed 130mph with a 0 to 60 time of 9.3 seconds making the auto quicker, although thirstier, than its manual counterpart.

Basically, the Exeo is a revamp of the last generation Audi A4 and the Multitronic transmission is the same as that developed by the German company.

SEAT, like Audi, is part of the Volkswagen Group and that enables the Spanish car maker to buy-in tried and tested technology from its sister brand.

The Exeo is built at SEAT's factory in Barcelona which itself has another tie in with Audi as the manufacturer of the Q3 SUV.

Not surprisingly, considering its roots, the Exeo feels exceptionally sturdy and well built which translates into a refined and very quiet ride.

The Multitronic system is not a pure auto but a continuously variable transmission which can be used in a variety of settings.

As an auto the changes are almost seamless although there is a slight lag under initial acceleration.

Switch to sports mode and seven gears become available giving the car much more bit. Manual changes can be had via steering wheel mounted paddles or by operating the gear lever in a tiptronic fashion pushing it forward or backwards to move through the box.

As such the gear shifts are rapid fire and although not overtly sporty the Exeo can do the business if asked.

With SEAT deciding to offer the Exeo Multitronic only in high specification SE Tech of Sport Tech trim in the UK the car is on the posh side for the money.

The factory fitted navigation system is linked to a full colour display in the centre of the dash while the sound system is Bose. iPod and USB connections are also fitted as are 18-inch alloys, xenon headlamps and LED tail lights.

To create more leg room in the rear the back of the front seats have been modified and the bas of the door pillars altered giving almost two inches of additional leg space compared to the current models.

The Exeo is the only saloon is SEAT's current line up and offers a good sized boot with a 460 litre capacity - actually slightly larger than the estate with all seats up.

However, fold down the seats in the Exeo ST - as the estate is know - and there is a useful 1,354 litres of room.

In either body style the Exeo has wide appeal for families.

Compared to other diesel automatics of similar proportions the specification of the SEAT is packing in an awful lot for the money.

In a way this is not the newest kid on the block but with the tried and tested Audi technology under the skin, this is a car which comes with reputation built it - and for the price that's something not to be sneezed at.



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