SEAT Exeo ST

SEAT Exeo ST
SEAT Exeo ST, boot
SEAT Exeo ST, profile
SEAT Exeo ST 2.0 TDI SE Tech
SEAT Exeo ST
SEAT Exeo, interior

SEAT's Exeo is not one of the better known of the Spanish car maker's models in the UK.

Which is a shame because the estate - or to give it it's proper name the ST, standing for Sports Tourer - version of the car has a lot to commend it.

It's spacious, well equipped and decidedly economical. And if you opt for the Tech version you get up-market features like full leather upholstery, Bose audio equipment and satellite navigation.

The latest model has a revised "face" with powerful bi-xenon headlights and eye-catching LED daytime running lights all set off by the striking SEAT grille.

The design is more angular than some of today's sleek estates but that gives it height for coping with large loads. What won't go inside can go on top thanks to stainless steel roof bars, which are not only useful but give the car more presence on the road.

This car was powered by the Volkswagen group's 2.0-litre, 143bhp turbo diesel engine mated to a slick six-speed manual gearbox.

The combination gives healthy acceleration and plenty of pulling power, with the bonus of more than 56 miles per gallon.

Inside the cabin it's functional rather than flash, with everything in the right place and falling easily to hand.

The only exception were the climate control switches which were tucked away beneath the satellite navigation system screen in the centre console and therefore not easy to find at night without taking your eyes off the road for far too long.

That apart, with the Exeo what you see is what you get. It's solid, well built and has a lot of nice touches which make it easier to live with, like storage boxes under the front seats, a retractable luggage cover and coming home headlight function.

The deep, wide opening tailgate makes loading easy and the lack of obstructions on the interior design means it will accommodate bulky loads. In fact with the rear seatbacks lowered you cram in a hefty 1,345 litre of goods, which means everything but the kitchen sink.

And true to the sporting nature of SEAT's models its handling is sharp and positive making it easy to forget that you are behind the wheel of an estate.

Which just goes to show that just because you need the carrying capacity of an estate car for family or business reasons you don't always have to sacrifice the pleasures of an enjoyable drive.

FAST FACTS

SEAT Exeo ST

Price: £23,485

Mechanical: 143bhp, 1,968cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 130mph

0-62mph: 9.6 seconds

Combined MPG: 56.5

Insurance Group: 24

C02 emissions: 132g/km

Bik rating: 20%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles

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